Henry and Motley’s journey from being brought to the sanctuary to the present day is far from as smooth as it should have been and usually is.

The elderly owner of Henry, a ginger Manx and Motley, a distinctive black and white cat passed away and whilst the family made efforts to keep them, it wasn’t possible, and the couple wishing to keep them together, we agreed to take them. After checking that the people bringing them in had carriers we organised a time and got ready for the cats to come in. The couple bringing them in rang us when they were at the gates, we opened them and went into the cattery ready to welcome them in. Usually, one of us will go to the car to make sure everything is ok and show them in, but on this occasion we didn’t. We could see the car from the cattery, waved at the couple and waited for them to come over to us. They lifted the carrier out that Henry was in and then we watched in shock and horror as Motley was brought out of the car, and the rickety old carrier fell apart and collapsed onto the ground. Within a split second, Motley ran off into the field and away.

Naturally there was a lot of commotion and hysteria, none more so than with the lady who was holding the carrier when it collapsed. There was noting immediately we could do with Motley, he was frightened, didn’t know where he was and we turned our attention to calming the situation down with the couple and Henry, who for now was without Motley for the first time. The couple left still very upset with the situation and we focused on settling Henry down. Henry wasn’t happy at first, he didn’t like the other cats that he was in with much and there is no doubt it would have been easier for him to settle if Motley was with him. We opened a cupboard up for Henry which is how a lot of our elderly cats like to settle and with the door propped open, he could come and go from it at his leisure and this helped him.

The couple did a lot of work in trying to find Motley’s whereabouts, we of course put it out on our Facebook page and that was shared to many other lost pet sites on the IOM. We did think he might wander back to his home and so there were posters up around that area and the house was checked regularly. After a few weeks there was no sign of him, we’d taken a couple of calls from people who thought they had sighted him, but once we attended it was never Motley. Then, one day, we received a call from someone we knew who lives on a fairly quiet road not far from the sanctuary. She advised us that a cat had turned up at her house, looking hungry and she had begun to feed it. A few things went through our heads, one of course being, “this could be Motley”. She sent us a photo and indeed it looked like it could well be. We rushed up there and sure enough there he was! He generally looked good, although we hadn’t really seen him at all yet, only running off from the sanctuary as fast as he could but he was obviously a little under weight and dirty. We brought him back with us and put him in the same room as Henry. Within moments he had gone into the cupboard to see Henry and sat down with him! This was a great moment and of course, the couple were overwhelmed with relief when we told them the news. Motley ate well on his return and Henry really picked up having him back close to him.

After a few weeks of them being inside the time had come that we needed to open the door and let them out to enjoy some fresh air. We were of course, a little apprehensive but they had both been here long enough and seemed settled. They ventured outside, the room is towards the back of the sanctuary so they come out to the field area. They had a little wander then came back in which we were pleased about. This went on for some time, until we noticed we hadn’t seen Motley for a day or two. We became a little worried but after a few days he returned. He was a little hungry so he filled himself up with food but a couple of days later, he went again. This looked like this was going to become a regular occurrence and indeed it was. Motley now regularly takes himself off for a few days but always returns when his stomach rumbles! Henry also likes to be outdoors and at one point went to a house close to us just across the fields and we went there to bring him back. However after a few days he returned to the house and now splits his time between the sanctuary and the house. The lady who lives there doesn’t mind him and he is well fed at both locations, so he is on a tidy number!