The Derry cat that nobody wants

Plum has been waiting for her ‘furever’ home for almost a year and her foster mum is baffled as to why the sweet cat is still waiting.

By Daire Ní Chanáin
Friday, 3rd June 2022, 11:03 am

Plum is under the care of St Columb’s Animal Rescue and Rehoming (SCARR), who would love for the young cat to find a home for life.

Plum’s foster mum Serena said: “I find Plum very sweet. She’s not needy or demanding and she’s happy enough to spend a lot of time by herself on the bed or the windowsill.

“She’s not disruptive. I have a couple of my own cats and some of them break things or love to jump around but Plum never does that. Apart from the odd nibbling at a plant, she’s very good.

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“I can’t understand why she’s still here. I think everyone has this expectation of wanting a cuddly cat who will sit in your lap and you can lift and cuddle and that’s not how she is. She’s not used to people caring for her because she was a stray, and it’s so hard for strays to learn how to trust. It takes time for cats to realise that they are there for good.

“I think Plum is comfortable in my house. I wish she had more space because she’s not exactly friendly to other cats. I have to keep her up the stairs which is a bit confined. I think it would be lovely if she had a home she could call her own and have the freedom of walking around. You never really know fully how a cat behaves until you can see them in every room of the house. I’m hoping Plum would make even more progress if she was in a happy home.”

So, what sort of person would suit the shy cat?

“I think Plum would make a lovely companion for someone who works,” said Serena. “They might work from home or even if they leave for work, she’s very good on her own. I have a friend who works from home and her cats are quite needy. They’re always calling for her and that’s not great when you have a zoom meeting! Plum isn’t like that, she just sits and isn’t needy. Plum wouldn’t suit young kids either because they will not understand or respect her space.

Plum has been waiting for a home for over a year.

“When I go upstairs, she will come for a cuddle and she’s always over for pets. She would be scared of sudden movements because she was a stray. She’s always on alert, even though she’s comfortable here, she’s always thinking there could be a danger. People need to be aware that that’s how she is. She has come a long way, though, from when I first got her, I didn’t see her for three weeks first. I thought she was never going to come out or like me and that it was going to be a complete disaster but, no, it was okay.

“I think she’s still waiting because people want a cuddly cat that likes being picked up, kind of a toy. Plum will come to you in her own time and when it’s good for her. I think it’s great because I don’t like a needy cat and I don’t have much interest in a lap cat either.

“Plum is just so sweet and I would love to keep her but it wouldn’t be fair because she deserves to have a full house. I think she’s brilliant because she’s such an easygoing cat. There must be someone out there who is perfect for Plum but I just don’t understand why it’s taking so long.”

Plum came into SCARR’s care last year with her own litter of kittens. All of her kittens have since long been rehomed but Plum is still waiting. Catherine Magill, from SCARR, says Plums story isn’t unique but highlights the importance of getting your pet spayed and neutered.

Catherine said: “We’re always extremely busy at this time of year with kitten season in full flow. We often see sick, dying and orphaned kittens because they are born from inbreeding or just have an awful start in life. People living in the north who are receiving state benefits, are on a low income and who are students or pensioners can get their cat spayed or neutered for only £5 from the Cat Protection and it’s so easy to do.

“Poor Plum has had the ordeal of birthing kittens and watching them go on to their new homes while she is still waiting. We are inundated with kittens at the minute so Plum is just being overlooked but it would be such a relief for her to finally have a home.”

SCARR are also in need of kitten food and cat litter to look after all the kittens in their care.

To enquire about adopting Plum or any other pets, or to donate food or litter, contact SCARR on Facebook or at [email protected]