Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Cat on retreat

On June 17th one of our cats had to have an operation.  Spots is a white cat and had developed cancer on the edges of her ears.  The treatment was to remove her ears.  When I first saw her after the operation I could not help myself and burst into tears.  My poor little cat.  She had to have a protective collar on for 10 days which she found quite distressing but gradually got used to.  When the collar was able to be removed she still needed careful care – but we were due to set off on our yearly camping retreat only three days later.  We did not feel able to leave her with a cat sitter and so the only solution was to take her with us.  So this year Spots attended our annual camping retreat.

We made a secure area for her in our camper van for the journey and she travelled quite comfortably, considering she had never before been on a journey longer than the 5 minutes drive to the vets.  She was pretty frightened when we first arrived at the camping field.  Her only experience has been our home and garden, and the gardens of the houses around us, so she had never seen such a large open space.

We had bought a cat harness and lead but it quickly became clear that it was going to be distressing for her to be constrained for any length of time, so we had to risk letting her loose.  We felt confident that her bond with us was strong enough that she would not go too far away for too long.  We kept her in the van over night every night, but otherwise let her be completely free.

At first she only felt safe in the yurt and the van.  She was not keen on the tents as the walls flapped in the wind.  Gradually she became more confident and would settle in our tent and carefully traverse the space between our tent and the yurt (which was used as the shrineroom).  By the fourth day she had started to explore the woodland that adjoins the field.  On the final morning we in fact had to leave an hour later than intended because Spots had gone off wandering and took ages to come to call.

We feel she is a remarkable little cat and it was a pleasure to have her with us on retreat.  In these photographs her fur still has not grown back around her head and neck where she was shaved for the operation.  She looks a little odd without ears but will look better when her fur is its normal length again.   She has adjusted to her new condition and behaves completely normally.  Her mother hissed at her at first but it turned out that it was just because of the collar as she has been fine with Spots since that came off.  Other cats who visit our garden seem to treat Spots normally as well.  She is now a healthy and happy cat once more.


  1. Wonderful to hear Spots is recovering and getting back into the swing of life.

    1. Thank you. She is pretty much back to normal now except that her fur has not fully grown back. She will always look a little odd, but at least she is now healthy.


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