A woman living in the UK city of Nottingham built a sanctuary in her home for disabled and elderly cats who cannot find a home.
Holly Brockwell, who currently lives in West Bridgford, has seven cats with various infirmities such as wobbly syndrome. She was inspired to start the shelter after adopting a senior cat called Maud. She explains:
“I nicknamed her Furious Mau; she just looked so angry all the time and like she hated everything, which was quite funny,”
The tech journalist realized how much love, care, and attention meant to Maud in the final months of her life.
Aswell as dental issues, Maud, the senior cat, also suffered from aggressive bowel cancer. Holly thought the cat previously lacked care and attention, so she wanted to give her a happy ending.
Six months after her adoption, the senior cat passed away.
Holly’s home becomes a refuge
Prior to her passing, Maud developed a following on social media alongside other cats at the shelter, such as Paul, a black and white cat who Holly took in when he was six months old.
The pussy cat had come from a heavy smoker’s home, so he smelled like cigarette smoke and despite his young age, he was constantly coughing as his lungs struggled to keep up.
Soon, Holly took on Duck, a female cat with arthritis, aswell as several cats with wobbly cat syndrome.
Wobbly cat syndrome also known as cerebellar hypoplasia is a medical condition in which the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination, doesn’t develop as it should.
However, the disorder is not painful. Instead, it may cause animals to fall over more frequently. Since it’s in a cat’s nature to move quickly and gracefully, cats with this rare condition are singular cases.
Nonetheless, such moggies can live relatively normal lives, especially if their owners understand and support their demands.
Holly’s home is designed to cater to her kitty pensioners’ unique needs. It offers a variety of litter trays, meal bowls, and water at diverse heights so the cats can reach them despite their disabilities.
Holly explained to Pet News Today how group living benefits disabled cats, saying:
“It’s nice for them to be in a little group. They have created a little army between the four of them.”
A generous endeavor
Taking care of seven sick animals is not a walk in the park. For instance, Holly has 14 litterboxes to clean, several feeding trays, and additional containers of cat toys to keep organized.
Moreover, she also has to organize meals and administer medications. Holly herself suffers from several chronic illnesses including; fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and hyperthyroidism, making caring for the cats challenging.
However, she believes her health issues allow her to relate to her cats as she understands pain and struggle.
Another aspect of operating the shelter is the cost of veterinary care, as bills can quickly pile up. To ease the financial burden, Holly has opened a Patreon account, where volunteers can make donations to ease her burden.
Holly’s followers have shown continuous support for her project. Some subscribe monthly; all they want is updates on how the cats are doing. Holly explained:
“They don’t mind if I don’t post for a month as they know the care is a lot of work,”
Likewise, People donate things their cat doesn’t like the food or old towels. Despite the hardships, Holly believes the change in the cats makes it all worthwhile, saying:
“When you can see the difference in them and say that is something you did, that’s what makes me happy.”
This sense of purpose and the feeling of accomplishment keep Holly going.