Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Thomas - our gift from the mountain

On Tuesday 18th September 2012 we had family here staying with us and we had been down to show them Fethiye market in the morning. We returned home for a leisurely afternoon around the pool and at around 6 pm we all showered and changed ready to go down to the village for a meal. As we set off out of the door we discovered three kittens in our drive.

Three little kittens ........

Our first thought was that they belonged to our Turkish neighbour as we knew her cat had kittens around the age of these. So we shouted over the fence and told her we had her kittens running around our garden and that we were concerned for their safety with our dogs. She said she didn't know how they could have got out, but came to the fence to take them back. However, as she reached out to take the first one she said that these were not her kittens, so we bundled them into our Labrador's flight crate for safety and went out for our meal.

Tom - always the one wanting a cuddle!

When we returned later that night we fed them and settled them and wondered where on earth they could have come from. It would not have surprised us if someone had dumped them inside our gate knowing we were animal lovers, except for the fact that we had been in the garden all afternoon and had not seen anyone go past. We came to the conclusion that they had come down off the mountain beside our house, although there was no sign of a mother cat. Maybe someone had dumped them up there.

We had no intention of keeping them as we already had two dogs and three cats, but we took them to the vets for a check up and later when they were old enough, back again for their injections, and when they were old enough to be re-homed we started to advertise them on the local animal aid Facebook pages for good homes.

When I had taken them to the vets for their injections the vet had a kitten the same age as ours recovering from a broken leg, so I went to the vets with three and came back with four, as it seemed a little churlish not to have her with ours for company. It suited us as the two tabby females were very close and the Tom was an odd one out, so it meant he had company too. Consequently we tried desperately to re home them as pairs so they could stay together.

Because we didn't intend keeping them we didn't give them names. But the two tabbies we referred to as the princesses, the tom as Tom and the new addition as Peggy because of her peg leg. After a few weeks the animal aid group arranged for a lady in Calis to have two and she chose Tom and Peggy. I was a bit upset as I was rather hoping to persuade David to keep Tom as he was always the 'in your face' affectionate one. He was always the one hanging on the crate door when you went past and loved to climb all over you when he was out whereas the girls were more self contained and aloof.

Anyway, we took the two down to Calis and left them in their new home. A little while later the two princesses also went together to live in Calis with some lovely people, where it was obvious they would be greatly loved and cared for. So we congratulated ourselves on having managed to re home four abandoned kittens.

The Princesses went  together to a lovely home in Calis

Unbeknown to us at the time however, Tom was to return! Animal aid had received a report that there were two abandoned kittens in Calis and when they went to catch them they were none other than Tom and Peggy. Peggy was suffering from colitis and was quite poorly and Tom had a large abscess on his neck. Both cats received veterinary treatment and we agreed it was only fair that we had them back again.

So both of them were back with us by Christmas 2012. We were offered homes for Tom but we refused to let him go without his best friend Peggy who was a poorly little thing and we subsequently lost her last year to cancer at only a year old. So Tom stayed and became Thomas and he is a very, very special cat.

Tom and his best friend Peggy were both back with us by Christmas

Both David and I have had many cats over the years but Thomas is unlike any of them. He is incredibly affectionate and loving and his trust in us is unconditional. He will jump on our laps, flip over on his side and totally trust us to stop him falling off - which he would if you didn't catch him. He has obviously missed Peggy greatly as our other cats are older and don't play. But he has made an independent life for himself and he is always busy. He checks the banks and the mountain for butterflies which he loves to chase (and eat if he catches!), he terrorises both next doors cats and our other cats, he is always busy. But if he is passing he will expect a quick cuddle before he goes off on his next adventure. We love him dearly.

Thomas asleep with Little-E

Last summer he opted to stay out at night, as does one of our other cats, so when he did not re-appear one night last week as we locked up, we were not too concerned. We just thought Thomas thinks its time for his summer schedule. However, we were concerned when he was not about when we got up the next morning. Thomas can't manage long without food! Funnily enough David had told me only a few days before that he had seen Thomas up on the road, and I had said "Oh no I hope he doesn't get run over".

David set off and scoured along the side of the road calling him, he went all around our property and up into the mountain calling him for an hour or more - nothing! We were very concerned because it was so unlike Thomas not to be around. A couple of hours later we heard a feeble "meow" and when we ran out we found Thomas laying on the front doormat. To this day we do not know how he got there. We saw nobody and nobody has since told us that they found him, but it seems incredible that he could have got home himself.

He was talking to us pitifully and we carried him in on the doormat to assess his injuries. He did not seem able to move his back end and he had several cuts and grazes with one on his back leg which was down to the bone. It was obvious he needed immediate veterinary attention but of course we have no transport. This is the first time we have been in a muddle through our lack of having a car.

First I tried to hire a car but the local car hire guy was away, so couldn't help me. I rang everyone living in the village whose number I had and nobody could help me. The frustration and feeling of helplessness was unbelievable. I put a plea on the village news page on Facebook asking if anyone could help me, but got no replies. After around 2 hours Thomas also had swelling on his head which concerned me and as a last ditch attempt before we tried to find a taxi, David managed to find our friend Eddie at a friends house. He came straight away and finally we managed to get Thomas some help.

Our wonderful vet Serkan looked him over and x-rayed him and thankfully his spine was not damaged as I had suspected. He did however, have internal injuries, cuts, bruises and a broken hip. He gave him several injections and we returned home for him to be caged to allow his hip to heal, which the vet felt was preferable to an operation.

We had tablets to give him which wasn't a problem. But after a few days he still hadn't eaten or drunk anything much or been to the toilet, so we had to return to the vets with a very poorly boy. Once there he suffered the indignation of having a feline style enema which produced some bloody faeces, presumably from his internal injuries and we returned with two anti- inflammatory injections for him to be given two days apart and some glycerine to put up his bottom to help him poo every third day.

Two days later he had his first injection and started to eat a little food. The following day was scheduled for the glycerine. Thomas however, must have heard me say this and had other ideas because when I went armed with my plastic glove and glycerine I discovered he had managed to go to the toilet on his own!

It is now twelve days since we found him in such a sorry state on our doorstep and he is much, much better. He is eating, drinking going to the toilet unaided, starting to weight bear on his back leg and most important of all is wanting a cuddle and purring again. We are optimistic now that he will make a full recovery, which fills our hearts with joy because this is the third time he has got himself to our home and we can't imagine a world without Thomas!



  1. What wonderful story you are very kind people, how lucky all your animals are.

  2. Thank you Carol. We try to do our best by them.

  3. Awwwww what a heartwarming story, he sounds a little love...hope he makes a good recovery. x

    1. Thank you Susan. He is well on the mend now. x