Thanks so much Cat Rescue Christchurch for your invaluable support and advice over the past year or so. When we first encountered Reggie it was during the winter snow falls of 2011 when we could track his foot prints each morning into our back yard to where he had taken up residence. Reggie was an un-neutered, “feral” cat. Every time we approached him we were greeted with massive display of bared teeth and hissing. We began to feed him by placing a saucer of food under a slat fence that we could see him behind. He would always hiss and snarl until we had left and then after five minutes he would approach the food and eat it. Eventually over the course of many months we moved his food closer towards our back door, every time we fed him we would tap the saucer as a way of association. Over two years he grew to be bigger and stronger but also began to get involved in fights and would turn up after days of being missing with new battle scars. A friend of ours advised we should get him neutered and then release him back. By this stage I had begun to stroke him while he ate his food, but every stroke he would shrink away, and couldn’t stand being touched. Foolishly I thought I would be able to catch him myself. During the attempt Reggie gave a nasty bite to my hand winding me up in Accident and Emergency with an infection tracking up my arm. After 3 days on intravenous antibiotics and 7 days of oral antibiotics it cleared up. It was then the friend suggested Cat Rescue (7 days too late!). I contacted Cat Rescue through their website and received a call from Emma the Rescue Coordinator the following day. Emma showed me how to set and position the traps and also recommended Vetcall who deals with their strays, in no time we had caught Reggie! In fact the day I took my last antibiotic Reggie had his first as the vet not only neutered him but also drained a total of six abscesses he found on his face! Over the next few weeks Reggie’s behaviour settled down, but it wasn’t for another 9 months that we were able to touch him. This was a huge break through. As it happened we were also shifting houses and had to make the decision whether to take Reggie with us or not. With Emma’s help we have once again successfully trapped Reggie and at the same time microchipped him. At our new house Emma lent us the use of her own dog cage for use inside for a period of four weeks. During the first number of days I contacted Emma as I was concerned about Reggie’s behaviour and the suggestions that Emma offered worked wonders and put Reggie at ease. Since then we released Reggie into the house for 4 weeks and then outside, during this time he has totally had a change of nature. He loves being patted and will sit curled up on the couch beside us as we watch a movie. The advice from Emma has been instrumental in successfully making Reggie a happy and friendly cat and without Cat Rescue we believe this would not have been possible.
David and Pieta Durrant, and Reginald Spitfire (a.k.a. Reggie), 2 September 2013