A DIABETIC cat which benefits from a scheme supporting moggies in their old age has visited a Lymm vet who has secured a charity cash boost for the programme.
Tilly, a part Bengal tabby cat was originally taken in by the Warrington-based charity Cat Homing and Rescue (CHAR), run by Hazel Helsby, which receives support and advice from Head Vet Rachel Dean of Lymm Veterinary Surgery.
The nine-year-old moggie is part of the charity’s Golden Oldie scheme which seeks to ensure older cats who find themselves homeless or neglected can live out their twilight years in comfort and security.
The programme has received a much-needed £500 boost from the independently-run Willows Veterinary Group which owns Lymm Veterinary Surgery on Booths Hill Road.
The group has a network of 25 small animal practices, a referral veterinary hospital, two equine centres and a seven-office farm practice, located across Cheshire and into Greater Manchester, North Wales, the Wirral and Staffordshire.
Vet Rachel put forward CHAR on behalf of her surgery at the Group’s Christmas party and two animal charities benefit each year from a donation. Another £500 went to the Cocker and English Springer Spaniel Rescue (CAESSR).
Rachel, 42, who heads up the team at Lymm Veterinary Surgery and has been a vet for more than 20 years, said: “We have worked closely with Hazel and CHAR for around five years and greatly value the work Hazel does. She always tries her hardest to help us, particularly with finding homes for stray cats which might be brought into the surgery, and we try our hardest to help her by providing advice and helping her to look after the health of the cats which come in to her care.
“We admire her drive, determination and the compassion she shows to needy cats just like Tilly who has found such a loving, forever home thanks to Hazel’s efforts.”
Tilly’s continual care for her diabetes is partly funded by CHAR’s ‘Golden Oldie’ scheme which supports new owners of the charity’s older cats with any additional health care which the cats need – often due to their age.
She lives a very happy life with her new owner, Cath Windridge, 79, a retired Deputy Headteacher from Hale, who gives Tilly insulin injections twice a day to manage her condition.
Cath said: “I didn’t want a kitten at my time of life and thought it would be nice to give an older cat a loving home.
“They want warmth, a quiet home and security, all the things we want in our old age.”
Cath added: “She’s a beautiful cat and very companionable. When she first came to me, she was extremely anxious to please. I have a Camellia in the garden and she would continually bring in these Camellia blossoms, they would be spread all over the hall, just like she was leaving me a present.
“Now she’s got her paws firmly under the table, she is a bit more bolshy but no less loveable.”
Tilly doesn’t tend to stray too far from home but on the days when she is out exploring the garden, Cath has a novel way of ensuring she comes back in for her injection.
Cath said: “I will whistle for her and she will come just like a dog does. Even though it’s for an injection, she always comes in very dutifully and sits while I do it which is remarkable really.
“I think she has come to trust me and knows I am helping her.
“I am extremely grateful to CHAR for helping to fund Tilly’s ongoing medication costs.”
Hazel, 70, founder of CHAR who has been looking after the region’s neglected, unwanted and needy cats for the past 20 years, said: “We have a fantastic relationship with Rachel and her team at Lymm Veterinary Surgery who have helped us look after the cats in our care for many years.
“I am thrilled to receive this money from Willows Veterinary Group and can’t thank them all enough for their support. The group and the surgery has done so much for us over the years.
“It’s been terrific to see Tilly and Cath again too. She’s a great example of what can be achieved with our Golden Oldie scheme and I would urge anyone who might be interested in giving a home to an older cat to get in touch.
“People can sometimes be put off from having them because they worry about the cost of their care as they get older but CHAR can help with this by pledging to cover some or all of the costs of their healthcare costs, which can naturally arise when a cat is older.”