Cat lover Juliet is a supporter of CAM4animals. We asked her to tell us about the stray cat who appeared around Christmas time ….

Things that go bump in the night…

Bob decided that I was his Christmas present back in December 2018! I kept hearing my cat flap go in the middle of the night when I didn’t have a cat, and by putting some food down, which disappeared, eventually Bob and I met in my kitchen, one winter morning just before Christmas. He looked at me as if to say:

“Now what? Do I run or are you keeping me?”

So I put some more food down, and that was basically it! I tried to find out if he was owned by someone through telling his story on the Chipping Campden Facebook page. Nobody owned up to him although plenty of people kept telling me to keep him!

Skin and bones

As you can see by the two photos below, he was so thin and gaunt that I doubted he would have lasted that winter if I hadn’t taken him on board. You could see his spine and all his ribs, his tail was just bone and he was so haggard in the face that some might say he was ugly. His coat had disappeared from halfway down his back so I think he would have frozen to death that winter.

Check up at the vets ~ back leg problems

Of course I took him to the vets, for a check over. He wasn’t chipped and they couldn’t tell me how old he was, but they did comment that his hind legs and the muscles around his back in that area were very wasted.  I had already noticed that he had a great deal of difficulty jumping up anywhere, especially onto my bed! And he seemed to need to have to haul himself up by his front legs, rather than use his back muscles, which of course didn’t do my furniture et cetera all that much good!

This was still the case a few months later when I took him back to the vets for a check-up and we came to the conclusion that he might have had some sort of accident or confrontation perhaps with a vehicle which is why he wasn’t using his back and his back legs effectively. Or possibly, it could be arthritis. In any case, all they could recommend was pain medication, which would have meant giving him pills every day, probably steroids, which I wasn’t keen to do. The 2019 photo below gives you an indication of what he looked like before treatment.

Bob before treatment

Acupuncture holds the key

Luckily, I saw a mention of vet Lindsay Brazil of Cotswold Veterinary Acupuncture on a CAM4animal Facebook post and how she helped a collie called Bec. I hadn’t realised that there were any vets around who had had the sense to learn acupuncture. I asked Lindsay to visit.  It was so good to be able to have her visit him on his own territory, at my flat, as it meant that he was much more relaxed and the treatment was much easier to administer.

Bob the pincushion

Before meeting Lindsay, I would have said it was impossible to treat a cat with needles. Cartoon images came to mind! However, she was very quiet and gentle with Bob. We settled him on my lap and after an initial bit of tension, he relaxed and before long, he looked like a pincushion! I was amazed……..  I’ve been treated with acupuncture for years and know what it feels like when a treatment just sends you off into such a relaxed state that you can’t move and I think that’s what had happened to Bob. He just lay on my lap, zoned out, until he was “cooked” and when he started to stir again, Lindsay whipped the needles out very quickly.

The second treatment wasn’t quite like that in that he decided after 2 or 3 needles that he’d had enough, but Lindsay said that was quite usual and that he’d got what he needed out of it. We agreed that she should come back again and the third treatment was more like the first. She came back one more time and by then he was moving so much better that we decided to leave things for the moment and possibly have him treated upon the turn of the seasons, as and when he appeared to need it.

The cat who got the cream!

Lockdown then happened, so my planned springtime treatment for him didn’t happen. In any case, by that time he had gained so much weight, was looking very much the fat and happy cat (he seems to sleep for 75% of the time!) and was moving so well that I was astonished. See the May 2020 photo below for the contented cat look.   I had moved to a ground floor flat and during the lovely summer we had this year, he used my living room window, which was open a lot of the time during the day, to get in and out of the flat as much as he seemed to use the cat flap.  The cat who arrived in my kitchen in 2018 simply couldn’t have done that.  

Who can tell how much of his recovery was individually due to lots of good food, a safe environment after his unknown time of being a stray and Lindsay’s treatments, but I’m willing to bet that a good part of his increased agility, together with his muscle and padding build-up, could certainly be put down to her. I for one, am very grateful. And if he could, I think Bob would echo that very sincerely.

A very contented Bob the Christmas Cat

Useful links

More information about Lindsay Brazil can be found on the Cotswold Veterinary Acupuncture website.

Check out our Modalities section for information about acupuncture and how to find a qualified vet.

Acupuncture blogs including Bec the Collie.

Cat blogs.

Rescue animal blogs.

Disclaimer – Where blogs have been created by a guest author, CAM4Animals has reproduced this in good faith but cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies of information in it or any use you make of this information

The veterinary Surgeon’s Act 1966 restricts the treatment of animals (usually other than your own*) by anyone other than a qualified vet. Always consult a veterinary surgeon if you are concerned about your animal’s health. *For full details visit the RCVS website