Slowly, slowly we built up trust till I could get within a yard of him but he was extremely easily startled and very wary of people. So we laid in wait, pounced on him and put a collar on him with my contact details asking his human companion to get in touch.

To be honest, considering the state of him (skinny, flearidden and obviously underfed) I thought he was a stray and didn’t expect a response. But I got a call that evening from one of my neighbours claiming ownership. I (gently) suggested she feed, flea and worm treat and neuter him and she readily agreed. But did nothing. So a few weeks later I offered to take him to the vet for her and told her the cost of the visit. At which point she asked me to keep him. Don’t know why I bothered trying to trace her in the first place really.

So I whipped him off to the vets to be neutered, checked over, dewormed and defleaed, and then kept him in for a couple of days to be sure he recovered from the trauma okay. He’d sit on my lap for a few minutes at a time but was extremely unhappy being kept indoors and melted against the windows at every opportunity so we admitted defeat and set him free.

But we’d made more progress than we realised and within a matter of days Tommy had turned into one of the most affectionate cats I’ve come across. And, surprisingly, extremely affectionate to complete strangers – once he’s been formally introduced!

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