For the RSPCA told them: You fed it, so now it’s yours!
Bill and Dorothy Harrison started feeding the black and white cat after it turned up outside their Gargrave home at Christmas. But they are about to go on an extended holiday and are worried what will happen to it.
Mr Harrison said: “It’s a lovely little cat and we’d take it in, but we can’t because my wife has asthma and is allergic to cats. The smallest amount of hair sets her off.”
They believe the cat – which they’ve named Squeaky – might have wandered off a canal boat or got lost when its owners moved home. “It’s obviously been with a family at some time because it’s so friendly. We feed the birds and it won’t go anywhere near them,” said Mrs Harrison.
She had contacted the RSPCA’s national call centre and was initially told someone would collect the cat. But then came the shock.
“I was on the phone for about two hours being passed to different people and eventually I was told that, because we’d fed the cat, it was now ours,” said Mrs Harrison.
The couple spend a lot of their time abroad and are about to set off again. “I told the woman we were going away and were worried about what would happen to the cat. She told me it would fend for itself,” said Mrs Harrison.
The couple are now in touch with the RSPCA’s Craven and Upper Wharfedale branch, which has promised to take Squeaky as soon as possible. But the branch is faced with huge numbers of abandoned cats and dogs and is in desperate need of foster carers.
Pam Laking, branch co-ordinator, said she was sorry the Harrisons had had problems with the national call centre and would do what she could to help.
“We’ve had quite a few cats abandoned in recent weeks including seven kittens who had spent the first eight weeks of their lives in a carrying basket,” she said.
“We’re full to the brim and in addition to Squeaky I’ve got five other cats who need to come in. What we really need is kind people to offer foster homes. We’ll provide the food, if they can just give these cats a home for a while until they can be re-homed.”
The Harrisons are desperate to find Squeaky a home soon. “We just want Squeaky to have a nice home. I’ll even buy a month’s supply of food,” said Mr Harrison.