Being an avid supporter of Cat Protection (and any charity that helps living creatures to live in a stress-free environment), I thought it only right to visit the National Cat Centre at Chelwood Gate in Haywards Heath. Set in beautiful woodland surroundings (51 acres of Ashdown Forest), the staff and volunteers work tirelessly with limited resources to care for and re-home cats and kittens who have been given up or abandoned by those responsible for them. They deal with some genuine cases of hardship and grief-stricken families and individuals who are in a position where they must give up their beloved pet, as well as some heart-breaking situations of neglect and cruelty that defy civilised human understanding.
There is a large adoption centre full of cats with all sorts of different personalities. They have a cheeky little resident cat (black with white socks) who roams around the adoption centre getting lots of attention and treats, rolling around on the floor while the visitors stroke him. Then there was this sweet friendly little brown tabby girl in a pen who is tiny and has deformities in her legs, back and tail because she came from a litter that had been repeatedly in-bred.
By the time John and I got to the café for a coffee and a bowl of cat-milk, I was starting to wonder if John was considering trading me in, especially after I bit his toe last night, scratched the bed-post, hid in the suitcase, licked the chicken sitting on the kitchen work-top and nearly fell in the fish-tank. Luckily, my good looks and charming personality won the day and we’re still the best of pals. I might be a pest sometimes but I know how to make him laugh and I know I couldn’t run my photography business without him.
Visit – http://www.cats.org.uk/