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Posie - Her Story


Posie: Her History

Underneath the silky coat of this sweet little domestic cat beats the heart of a lion.

Posie was found in a gutter at the point of death on the notorious Marsh Farm Estate in Luton. However, the children who found her and detected a trace of life had the humanity and quick wit to fetch an adult, who had the humanity to call the Cats' Protection League.

Someone from the League jumped straight into a car and took her to a vet. She was very young and very pregnant. She looked like a balloon on toothpicks. She had absolutely no flesh. Obviously, she'd been living rough for some time, and any little food she'd managed to find had been used by her body to nourish her kittens. The vet said he didn't think he could save her. Before he operated on her, he asked her name.

The Cats' Protection woman who'd brought her in thought: poor little thing. She's starving. She's bitterly cold. She's frightened. No identification, so if she has a name, we'll never know it. She's been eating pizza cartons (cardboard found in her teeth). She only has one eye. And now she's going to die. If she's going to die, she's going to go with a pretty name. So quickly she said, "Posie! Her name's Posie."

Well, the vet worked a miracle. The kittens had to go, of course, but Posie managed to pull through. The Cats' Protection League didn't really have any room for her. All their cages were full and it was winter. She had to be put in a cage that was meant to house two cats, but Posie made three. Nevertheless, overcrowded and unwelcome as she was, and convalescing as she was from major abdominal surgery, and at the bottom of the pecking order in the cage, she was pleased. This was the first time in however many weeks that she'd been dry, had real food in her belly and was secure. Her will to live was stronger than her aversion to pain, and she fought on.

From many clues I've picked up, I think she belonged to someone elderly who doted on her. But was old-fashioned enough not to believe in neutering animals. Or perhaps believed in it, but simply didn't have the money. Yet when an emergency arose, money had been scrounged together somehow to pay for Posie's eye to be professionally removed. (I suspect there was also a kind-hearted vet involved who quietly reduced his/her charges or agreed to a long schedule of tiny payments.) My own vet told me it was a very nice job. Her jaw had also been wired together. Thus, the signs point to a car accident. I think she was allowed out during the day, and she didn't have identification.

Then, I think one day, she was let out and her elderly owner fell ill or died and was taken away in an ambulance. I think Posie went back to her house/flat at her usual time to find there was no one to let her in. She probably hung around for a few days before being forced to go foraging for herself, and subsequently wandered far enough away to get lost - easy enough to do on a vast housing estate. After she was rescued, Posie was advertised, but no one responded, which leads one to the conclusion that the elderly owner had died.

I'd had a cat who'd been run over and died, and I wanted a second cat again. When I went looking, the woman at the Cat's Protection League pushed Posie, because there wasn't really room for her. So I took her. Needless to say, I haven't been sorry for a moment.

I got her built up again, but Chanel wouldn't accept her and it took her a year to get to the top landing. She slept outside the bedroom door for another two months before creeping in. It took her another month to get up on the bed. But now she is fully integrated into the household. She and Chanel ignore one another, but Posie now feels she has as much right to the bed as Chanel.

Needless to say, I never changed the name she was saved under, so Posie she still is today.

When we moved to France, Posie was travelling in the hold and 17 year-old Chanel was in the cabin with me. We missed our connecting flight at Charles de Gaulle and, outrageously and against international airline regulations, Air France did not offload my luggage and Posie when I didn't join the flight. Air France put Chanel and me on a better flight to Montpellier, but Posie had already taken off for Toulouse, all by herself. I was so furious with Air France that they agreed to send Posie by chauffeur-driven car (well, she couldn't drive herself) from Toulouse Airport to Montpellier Airport 70 miles away. She was waiting for me when I got off the plane.

Anyway, that is her little story. From Marsh Farm Estate in Luton to the south of France.

I'm very grateful to the Marsh Farm children who found her, the adult who called the Cats' Protection League, the Cats' Protection League itself and the veterinary surgeon whose skill saved her.

Val MacQueen  

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