I was impressed with the way Annie and John responded to my interview questions, so I invited them to come and meet Webster.
Neither party was disappointed - Webster showed off his conversation, affection and athleticism while Annie and John demonstrated their love and natural interaction with him.
It wasn't long before volunteer Beth and I made the long journey to Webster's new home on 25 acres in Hunua. What a delightful property and what thoughtful preparations had been made for his arrival - a new bed, special food, litterboxes, toys and...in time...a plan to introduce him to the great outdoors had all been provided.
Although I wept as I left Hunua, they were tears of happiness that this once desperately lonely, desperately hungry, desperately sick boy is now living in cat paradise and is getting all the attention, food and indoor living he craved. (OK, a few of my tears were selfish - I would definitely miss his beauty, his big personality and sweet face nudges).
Webster has quickly settled in to his new lifestyle and has endeared himself to Annie and John's friends and family. He could not have been given a happier ending.
When I received the e-mail below about Webster, it was one of hundreds of similar stories that come the way of rescue agencies. More commonly the cat is timid and no-one wants anything to do with him or her. It’s great that Kim acted on Webster’s sad predicament.
“There is a young black and white male cat who has been hanging around our neighbourhood for about 7 weeks and I have no idea who he belongs to. My friend and I walked around the neighbourhood asking if he was theirs. We also put photos on Trademe to see if someone would come forward, but still no luck. He must have been someone's pet as he is so friendly and will go into anyone's home. My neighbour said he climbed through her window and just walked in the front door. It may be that his owners moved and left him.
He was really hungry and [another rescue agency who had no room for him] asked me to give him a bit of food so he doesn't starve. He is really adorable and friendly, but I can't keep having him around my garden. It's getting to the stage where I can't open the front door. Unfortunately I can't keep him.
I am asking for help as this is not my animal but I don't want to just ignore the problem and hope it will go away. Please can you give me some advice as soon as possible?”
When Webster came into our care, he was thin, full of cat flu (which he caught at another shelter where he faced a lethal injection) and had a half-healed bite mark on his neck and shoulder. While I nursed him, I discovered he is one of the most loving, talkative and appreciative cats to come under our umbrella. Even though he was sick and unable to eat for two days, he would nudge my hand affectionately and purr with delight when I approached him.
When he had recovered and put on some weight we had him vet checked, neutered, micro-chipped, double vaccinated and treated for fleas and worms. We also ran a full blood panel and some specialised tests - all with excellent results.
When he has worn himself out playing, purring 3-year-old Webster loves to climb onto my lap and curl up with his front legs reaching up towards my face. Every now and then he stretches up to adoringly nudge my mouth and nose with his own. So sweet.
If you would like to offer a safe and loving home to an exceptionally affectionate, dog-friendly, interactive, follow-you-everywhere, playful, cheerful, chatterbox of a cat with personality to spare - please apply for Webster’s adoption.
You will need to live on a very quiet road or at the end of a very long driveway.
The last two pictures show Webster in isolation in our garage while he was recovering from severe cat flu.