Pearl was found as a stray kitten in Bulgaria. I first spotted her in a Facebook post entitled “poor tortured Pearl” and what I read simply broke my heart. She was adopted locally and her owner didn’t waste any time finding a disreputable vet to declaw the little scrap illegally. With nothing left to protect herself, she was then given to the children to play with. The kitten and a cigarette lighter. Having burned her ears, whiskers, tail and paws, terrified Pearl somehow ended up going over the balcony of their sixth floor flat, where they didn’t even bother to go and see if she was still alive. Instead, they rang her rescuer, who rushed over to find her lying in a pool of blood with a broken jaw.
Back with someone to care for her properly, she eventually made a good recovery, although her mouth will never be the same. She was looking for another home, a proper one and hopefully in time to have her own bed underneath the Christmas tree. I couldn’t say no. She was prepared in record time – blood tested, chipped, given a passport and a rabies jab and I made arrangements to have her transported over on the last run of the year. My dear friend in Sofia collected her on 13th December and the next day she set out on her journey home. It took three days and then she was required to stay in a cattery for another two before we could go and collect her. We finally picked her up on 20th December and she has settled in very well. Oddly enough she has bonded best with our other Bulgarian rescue Buddy and the two of them can often be seen hurtling round the house together.
Much is said of Eastern Europe and I can’t deny that their treatment of animals can be appalling. However, the rescuers I call my friends couldn’t be kinder. Pearl’s saviour loved her dearly and on hearing she was to travel to her new home during the winter, she set about knitting a little coat to keep her warm. She is the first of our cats to arrive with her own luggage.
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Zookeeper and amateur photographer.