SAFFRON and her brother Monty came to us from the feline version of hell. They
were living in a squalid flat with more than 35 other cats, never
allowed out and had no love or affection.
Their owner, who has mental health problems, thought she could make money from breeding white cats. In the filthy
conditions, their coats became discoloured from urine and nicotine, and so we named the female Saffron after the yellow spice.
Eventually the owner was ordered by her landlord to give up the cats or be
evicted. Our branch took four (pictured left)
. As well as six-month-olds Saffron and
Monty, we had Oscar and Chelsea.
These two boys, aged 18 months, were much more sociable
and found homes fairly quickly. That left Saffron and Monty, who
were so scared. But, with weeks of patience and care from
our cattery volunteers, they gradually learned to accept humans. Then, it was time to find them a
However, the two needed special owners, with loads of patience to let
them settle in their own time. After about four months with us, their guardian angels arrived in
the form of Claire, her husband, two daughters and five other
Claire, who read about their plight on our website, said: 'I've lived with cats all my life - some have had poor starts in life and
been very timid. It brings me a lot of pleasure to form friendships with
cats nobody else wants.
I picked Saffron and Monty because I
thought they needed a home with someone who had experience of shy cats. I also thought they
might be difficult to hom
e as they would need patience and time, but I could offer this.
'They have settled very pleasingly, becoming
gradually more sociable and are very comfortable with my other cats. Saffron is the most confident and now follows us
around then "falls over" at your feet to be stroked.
'She is also nosey
and plays with the other cats and humans. She is especially good at
paper football and chasing feet under the duvet, but will hide if
someone outside the family comes into the house.
'Monty (left in this photo with Saffron) likes the other cats but is wary of humans. However, he
is making steady progress. He will come for his food, has explored the
house and will play flicking paper.
'He will allow me to stroke him if he is in a safe place, eg behind the sofa or in his box,
purr. He hides if an outsider comes in but will
sit on the sofa if it's just us. It seems that he wants to be friends
but is battling with fear. However, I'm hopeful his progress will continue. But whatever stage he gets to is fine as we will
still love him. We are expert at moving in
slow motion and speaking softly to encourage him as much as possible.
'Saffron is helping me type this, she loves
to watch the printer spit out paper. She climbs curtains, sleeps on beds
and is often second to appear in the welcome home gang when we get
home. She likes to be stroked
when lying on the floor and will then purr and purr.
'They are beautiful cats and they are bringing us a lot of pleasure.'
We heard from Claire again after the cats had been with her for a few months and she said: 'Monty and Saffron have gone from strength to strength and developed lovely
personalities. It was well worth the effort by all Cats Protection staff, continued by us.'
We never give up on our cats - there is usually someone out there for them. For Monty and
Saffron, it was Claire and her family. So a huge thanks to them for giving
these two cats a wonderful new life.