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Thinking about it in retrospect there was no evidence that the requested ‘donation’ of £80- which upon inquiry was for vets bills, such as vaccinations and neutering, was actually used for those purposes or carried out as no documentation was supplied.

With previous years of cat owning I always had a medical card with a description of what injections, vaccinations, operations, microchiping or any other treatments such as frontline anti-flea serum was administered, what date these events occurred, and by whom, often with a signature or a stamp from the vets practice next to the date.

This is helpful to keep track of especially:

• If you have more than one cat.

• If any any point you need to travel with your cat, or relocate to another country, you have the correct documentation and can comply with required quarantine procedures.

• If your cat is passed on to another owner at some point, you have a historical account of medical treatments and know whether the cat has any special requirements that the new owners should be aware of.

• A well documented medical history also serves as reminders for when they need boosters.

Also thinking about it I did not receive any microchip information either, none was provided.

Generally there are stickers with the microchip number printed on it and a form to fill in case you need to pass on ownership at any point.

There’s no documented evidence that the cat I adopted from London Inner City Kitty’s had carried out any of those procedures. It may be that he already came from a good home. How would I ever know? The whole procedure is based on trust.

I also discovered a loophole in the law where unlike a pet dog, for some strange reason the law says that pet cats cannot be owned. So if someone steels your cat, which is no different to stealing a child, whether it is an expensive pedigree cat, or a show cat, the police are not obliged to investigate, which leaves a massive loophole wide open for the exploitation of cats being stolen for resale purposes @£80- (or more) a pop without repercussions.

I recently spoke to someone local whom had experienced their cat being stolen but I had no idea at the time how prevalent this kind of occurrence had become. Until it happened to me.

I realise now that probably the woman never had any intention of returning my cat to me, I think she just saw an opportunity to make money.

So if you are thinking of adopting a cat my recommendations are:

• Always use an established and reputable organisation like Battersea Cats and Dogs Home which are regulated and follow rigorous guidelines:

• Make sure you have documented evidence that your cat actually has had the operations / vaccinations / microchipping / and any other treatments that you are paying for.

• Take the cat to a vet to double check that your cats microchip isn’t already registered to a previous owner.

• Report any suspicious behaviour to the RSPCA and the charity commission. If people draw the authorities’ attention to the fact that current lax loop holes in the law are allowing the exploitation of innocent animals for profit, then the more likely it is that they will change the law to prevent any further unnecessary cruelty to both felines and their owners.

I took rather a lot of photographs because I knew he was going to stay with a fosterer for a few days or possibly a week to help me out due to a potential move – which didn’t end up happening. When I arranged it I had no idea the woman wouldn’t return my cat, which effectively is kidnapping and not only that she advertised him on Facebook as a stray up for adoption. Wtf!

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