I often read about dogs and cats being rescued in Turkey and being transported to new homes in Europe and it's great to see the "happy ever after" stories.
My dear friend Elizabeth has rescued four dogs and a cat from Turkey, and this blog post is the first part of their story. In Elizabeth's own words.
Princess Ruby of Didim
Well it all began with a rather dirty, greasy coated " white " and tabby cat with a seriously matted fur, who seemed to be rather bossy around other cats. We were across in Turkey in February 2011 for a week to open up the house after winter. This cheeky , little cat seemed to have quite a personality and decided to stay that week with us sitting on our knees whilst I combed and combed to see if we could whiten her up.
At the end of the week she looked beautiful and my husband, we still don't know why, called her Princess.
We feed when we're across if neighbours are already doing so - if not we leave food daily at the rubbish bins. So we left dry food for our neighbours to carry on feeding when we left.
Going back in April we wondered if Princess would appear. The others did, then by the end of the week she appeared, rather surprised to see us back, still beautifully clean, and stayed.
We were sitting outside , Princess on my husband's knees, discussing our Ruby wedding that year. Well what would you like? he asked, becoming rather exasperated at my lack of ideas when I said, Her!
We had, many years ago, taken a cat from Saudi Arabia so we knew it could be done. But we were leaving in two days so we got started planning, found a vet, discussed neutering with him and by an amazing coincidence, found a lady taking 20 plus cats to Bulgaria and then home to UK. With help from another involved in animal rescue, and with us covering the financial costs, they would make sure Princess was ready to go home with injections etc. before they left. Once in Bulgaria we had a call asking if we wanted to fast track her across in a van with other animals.
We agreed and that September our young neighbour went to pick her up in Yorkshire. We'd had a call about a rather big Anatolian - cross dog who was on the van, and had been adopted by people in Dundee who weren't ready for him. Would we foster for a few weeks? So our neighbour arrived with a big cat box and Princess - who was now, in view of her rather important place in our hearts- Princess Ruby, and a rather large white and tan dog called Peanut! His story is next week!
Princess Ruby was taken to the vet the next day and to our dismay she had been hit rather badly on her left jaw which would account for her lack of grooming in February and all her broken teeth on the left side were removed. Poor soul.
She is rather haughty now and tells huge porkers about being Princess Ruby of Didim and living in the Sultan's Palace- ah well!
We have three other cats and six dogs and she rules with a rod of iron , but never goes out. She nags and nags each morning for her particular grasses which I pluck, still in my dressing gown, and was rather fat initially until, realising there would be food always available, settling into a proper shape. She is a joy and a living present. She cuddles into my arms every night and purrs and purrs.
We have always had dogs and cats in our house and because the cats have confidence, the dogs seem to acknowledge this and we've never had problems. They all live together quite amicably , apart from Ruby's attacks coming down the stairs! But it is all light hearted .