Back in February 2016 I had the absolute honour of adopting Dolly from you. She was a 5 month old wobbly CH (Cerebellar hypoplasia) kitty, and at the time was living with her foster mum Barbara in Dewsbury. She came home and settled in perfectly. She was determined that my grumpy old cat Lily would be her bestest friend, and followed her everywhere trying to copy and learn to do all these clever big cat things, like jumping. She never did quite get the hang of that one. Lily tolerated her with mostly good grace and a bit of bewilderment, which is a huge victory for Dolly and says a lot about her charm.

Doll was never one for being told she couldn’t do something or to let her wobbles hold her back. Despite having grown up thus far in a bungalow, she decided after two nights of being left downstairs at bedtime that she was going to tackle the staircase, and mountaineered her way to the top looking incredibly pleased with herself. There followed a hair raising week of trying to teach her the much harder skill of coming back down them! She cracked it though. She would get angry if you carried her, and would always prefer to wobble along next to you, however long it took to get somewhere. If she was lifted onto the sofa or bed when she had decided she wanted to climb up, she would get down and start again, just to prove she could do it herself. Then she would usually demand Dreamies, for being clever! She had the loudest purr, but an almost silent miaow. In nice weather she loved nothing more than going to sit in the garden and watch all the birds or stake out the mouse holes. She had grand dreams of hunting, despite an utter lack of success. She had some big adventures, like the day she met a cow, and the long walk (at least 200 yards!) we went on one quiet evening to show her where the footpath behind the house went and look at the river. If I was taking too long in the morning to get ready she had no shame in biting my feet to remind me of the importance of breakfast. She even mastered (in her own unique style) the cat flap, and lived in hope that one day she’d manage to jump the gate like Lily so she could go have independent adventures beyond the limits of my Dolly-proofed back yard.

Dolly won over everyone who met her, even the staunchest of Not Cat People, and never failed to make me smile with her shaky little face and positive attitude to life. Sadly, in February this year, she started having seizures. Our amazing vets were brilliant and although the cause was unclear we were able to control these for a time with medication. It clearly tasted horrible, but Doll was brilliant and took it twice a day with minimal complaint. Last Sunday night she was a little off colour and not interested in her food, which was not like her at all. By early Monday morning she was clearly very poorly and despite an emergency trip to the vets, I had to make the heartbreaking decision to put her to sleep. We can’t know for certain, but the vet’s best guess is that she either had a severe seizure which the medication could not suppress or that whatever was underlying in her brain and causing the fits progressed and caused further damage. She has come home and is buried in her garden under a beautiful rose bush.

Her's was a short life but a grand one. I wanted to write to thank you for being there for her, taking in her mama cat, and giving Dolly a chance when she was just a few days old and when a lot of others wouldn’t have. And for allowing me the great privilege of being her hooman. I’ve attached a few of my favourite pictures of her, and will be making a donation to you in her memory. There’s a huge weeble shaped hole in my heart right now, but I’m sure at some point in the future I’ll find myself browsing your list of adoptables again.

Black and white cat at Yorkshire Cat Rescue

Rest in peace beautiful girl. 🌈