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Ebeneezer, Harris and Bertie find a home together

Bertie and Harris

Ebeneezer and Harris were two cats rehomed from our Hertfordshire centre after a lengthy stay with NAWT. They have now been joined by Bertie from NAWT Clacton and here is an update from their new owner, Martin and Lindsey Joyce.

"After adopting Ebenezer (Ebony) and Harris from the Watford HQ in late March, we were not actively looking to increase our cat family, but Bertie’s story caught our eye and it just moved us immensely. We thought he was beautiful. We monitored him on the site for a couple of weeks before making ‘the’ call.

Bertie was an (initially) unneutered stray of around three or four who had been brought into the Clacton centre of the NAWT at the beginning of May by a lady who was very concerned about his condition and situation. He was sporting some severe bites from an unknown animal on his neck, face and chin, and had a claw embedded in his cheek, and some fairly extensive bald and partially-furred areas around his wounds. Further investigations later revealed part of a tooth deep inside his left ear, which was permanently bent. He had also subsequently developed a bald patch on his tail.

However, his nature was one that belied his “bruiser” appearance. He had become a great favourite with the staff, because he was so people-friendly, affectionate and trusting. But his unusual appearance, probably coupled with the fact that he was a black cat, had meant that there had not been a single enquiry about him.

There was a very strong feeling in both of us that this cat was meant to be part of our family. However, with the suspicion that he may have been picked on previously by some cat ‘bullies’, our concern, therefore, was that he might not be too happy to arrive here and find other cats. We did not want to introduce a cat to our trio who was aggressive (however understandably). Anyhow, Bertie was introduced to the delightful Teddy at Clacton and all went extremely well. Astonishingly, Bertie seemed to like other cats, or at least Teddy! So, the decision was easy: Bertie would be coming to Hertfordshire!

Fate has been kind once again, and Bertie has been a very simple soul to introduce. To begin with he was very quiet and reserved in his behaviour, but after a couple of days he found his voice and mojo! He is incredibly loving and companionable, and is the official ‘meeter and greeter’ of human visitors to our home. He is also very keen on all our cats. He sleeps in with Tilda, who, given that she largely ignores him, must be very keen on him too! Bertie made very quick headway with Ebenezer and Harris: they are now great pals and Bertie spends a lot of time vigorously washing them, wrestling with them and charging round the house with them! When not doing that, he is often to be found lying with his paws crossed!

For us, there are definitely shades of our beloved Lester in him, Lester being our ex-stray who passed away in February of mouth cancer, way too soon. This is partly in terms of appearance but mostly in terms of their histories. We wish that we could have rescued Lester earlier from the streets and had more time with him. With Bertie, we feel we have a second chance and it is something we can do in Lester’s memory also.

Bertie’s coat looks in much better condition already, with the fur thicker and skin softer. He will keep some badges of his past, no doubt, but who cares about that? It’s a shame that visual characteristics play such a part in some folk’s decision when adopting an animal. There has been recent publicity that black cats being difficult to photograph is a reason for them languishing in rescue centres. Surely anyone giving so ridiculous and trite a reason for not taking on an animal as their being ‘unphotogenic’ should immediately be categorised as unworthy of the love of any cat. However, such folk’s loss is our gain because Bertie is an absolute delight, truly epitomising the saying of never judging a book by its cover."