When I put an advert in a local publication, Albany News, seeking a home for affectionate Ollie, I never expected to receive an e-mail containing these words: “Our cat Tequila has just appeared in the Albany News in your advert. You have named him Ollie. We have been actively searching for him for months now - since we moved house from one street to another in Browns Bay [on the North Shore of Auckland]. He ran away soon after we moved house and has proved elusive until now. Please, please let us know that he is still OK and when we can collect him. He is very missed, and as you pointed out, very cuddly. He is our son’s best friend. Kind regards, Dan & Rachel.”
It didn’t seem possible that Ollie and Tequila could be the same cat because the Auckland Harbour bridge, a huge stretch of ocean, and motorway complexes stood between Tequila’s home and Ollie’s Auckland CBD habitat. However, I phoned this excited couple and asked them to e-mail me as many photographs as they could of their Tequila. I put them on the computer screen next to my photos of Ollie and fastidiously compared every marking, every shade of colour, every idiosyncrasy. I sent them to Ollie’s feeder and to his fosterer and we all agreed that these two smoochy cats were one and the same.
Although he was listed on Pets on the Net and advertised near his city home, we had not specifically advertised Ollie on the North Shore; and Dan and Rachel had not searched for Tequila in Auckland Central.
A time was arranged for everyone to get together for a happy reunion. When Dan arrived and first laid eyes on his much-loved puss he repeatedly said, “I can’t believe it” and “Thank you for taking care of him”. There were a few glistening eyes in the room as we all came to terms with this miraculous outcome. The photograph shows Dan on the left, Tequila’s fosterer Beryl in the centre and his feeder Hayley on the right - with Tequila in her arms for a final cuddle.
Dan and Rachel have promised to keep Tequila indoors for at least a month this time and now that he is micro-chipped, his risk of ever again being labelled homeless, is hugely minimised.
Here are a few closing words from Tequila’s mum, Rachel: “Just wanted to let you know Tequila is settling in again really well and was really happy to see his mum. He isn't as active as he used to be - spends most of his time sleeping. He seems happy to be home after his travels. It’s great to have the family back together again. We can't thank you guys enough for taking such good care of Tequila for so long. Thanks for looking after him”.
Animal Re-homing would also like to publicly thank Albany News. Tequila is just one of many animals to have found loving homes with readers of this publication.
NOTE: When you move house, it pays to keep your cats indoors for as long as possible – Animal Re-homing recommends at least 2-4 weeks for a confident, fully domesticated cat and much longer for shy cats. Please micro-chip the animals in your care. If they go astray, search all locations on Pets on the Net in case your pet has climbed into someone’s vehicle and been transported to another suburb or city. See http://www.animalregister.co.nz/ and www.petsonthenet.co.nz
ORIGINAL ADVERT: OLLIE NEEDS A ROOF OVER HIS HEAD
The daily feeders noticed Ollie at an established cat colony in downtown Auckland city when he was nervously hanging around the perimeter of the area. At first he would give an occasional hiss even though he allowed the feeders to get within a couple of feet of him. It became obvious that he wasn’t an untouched cat when he started to meow at the feeder - who contacted me. It wasn’t long before, in the feeder’s words Ollie, “…was all over me like a rash. He was rubbing up against me, head butting me, following me around. The next night he was even more full on, if that’s possible, and I was able to pick him up and put him on my knee”.
This behaviour is not at all typical of a cat who is born homeless, and because he is neutered, we believe he has been loved at some time in his life. Advertising has not brought his caregivers to the fore, so we are looking for a permanent or a foster home for him as quickly as possible. Ollie is too friendly to be living in a part of town where he is at risk of being harmed by unsavoury people or hit by traffic. He has been seen chasing seagulls across the busy road.
Ollie is a big, handsome tabby boy estimated to be 3-4 years old who appears to be in good physical condition. Once a safe haven is found for him, he will be taken to a vet for a thorough check-up, to have dentistry if needed, to be flea and worm treatment and to be micro-chipped.
If you live in the Auckland area and have a spare room to keep Ollie safe while his personality emerges; or if you are happy to keep him in a large enclosure in your lounge, then I would very much like to hear from you. Thank you.
NOTE: There are well-managed cat colonies all over the country where TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) is carried out. The homeless/abandoned cats are trapped, vet-checked & de-sexed and returned to the area with daily feeders in place. Often feeding stations and simple shelters are provided for them. Many cats live very successfully this way until they die of old age.