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Rescue pets: Happy and healthy now

LOUISE GOULD
Last updated 05:00 04/05/2013
izzy

QUIRKY CAT: Izzy finally warming to the new arrival of Sheba, one of Louise Gould's other cats.

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Izzy came into my life by a pretty extraordinary set of coincidences.

She was found one night six years ago in the bush by a friendly local; she was the last of her litter to survive. Gummy-eyed, barely breathing and cold he took her to his vet. Three weeks later my friend, a trainee vet nurse, who knew I was moving into my first flat and had never been without a pet before, begged me to come and "just see" this kitten they were looking after.

After hearing the litany of health problems she had I wasn't so sure but after much begging I went along. Half the size of a normal eight week old kitten and her eyes still gummed up Izzy hadn't been out of her isolation cage for longer than an hour and had only been handled carefully by people wearing masks and gloves. The second I picked her up her outboard motor started and I was sucked in.

Izzy required 24-hour care for the first few days I had her, and is quite possibly the most educated cat in New Zealand, having attended several nursing lectures and stole the show from my rather bemused lecturers.

Six years on and Izzy is a healthy, gorgeous cat. She still remains the size of a six-month-old kitten and she still can't work out how to meow, but her outboard motor has only gotten louder.

She will only really hang around me, sticking to me like glue when I'm home alone. She grants her trust to others sparingly, and has been know to take up to two years before she'll let a new person even see her. She responds to commands and is the staunchest defender of her territory despite her size.

Of all her little quirks the one I love best has to be her ability to know when someone's sad, sick or feeling miserable - she instantly comes to keep them company. Izzy's been my companion through the upsetting life events that people go through. She's helped me deal with the ups and downs and put a smile on my face with her antics when I needed it most.

I've since adopted two more rescue cats, each of them just as quirky as Iz in their own strange ways. I don't think I could live my life without having pets around and would only ever take in rescues - they have the biggest personalities and they add so much to your life just for the simple act of giving them the roof to sleep under (when they want to), food to eat and the occasional expression of love (again, when they want to). 

My only problem is staying away from the SPCA - three cats is fine, but four might be asking for a little too much from my landlord!


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