Updated: Dec 9, 2019
Missie and her brother Olly were born feral in Gravesend in Kent. Workmen were just about to flush the area out, but thankfully Missie and Olly were spotted just in time. Bundled together in the drains at just 2 weeks old, workmen got them out safely. Their mum had left them there while she went to feed. Olly and Missie were taken to a vet surgery nearby where thankfully wonderful vet nurse Nicky was, who also runs her own animal sanctuary in Yalding. Nicky would take the two kittens home and they would be hand-reared by her. Nicky and her colleagues also fed the local feral community and were aiming to get them neutered. Nicky was brilliant with Olly and Missie, and clearly loved them both very much. As new mum to the little orphans, they were taken to dinner parties with her so she could be make sure they had a feed every 2 hours, and they were given all the best care and nutrients.
Around April time, Gill got a phone call from a friend who said he knew someone who had two kittens almost ready to be rehomed. Gill had sadly previously lost two cats, Poppy and Daisy, due to renal failure in February and and March. Although still grieving, she felt ready to open her doors and heart to more fur babies needing a loving caring home.
On her birthday in May, Gill was casually in Salisbury's shopping at the time the call come to arrange to go and meet Olly and Missie, and instantly fell in love with both of them. When Gill picked them up 2 weeks later, Nicky was understandably upset to see them go as she had nursed them with great care to the healthy happy little cats they had they become, but Gill was to stay in touch with Nicky and keep her updated.
Although Olly was, and still is, the timid and nervous one, Missie developed into a confident assured little girl with no fear. Always up to something mischievous. Gill was having word done in her home, and Missie would play with the worker Chris's screws with a hammer drill extremely near by. Another time a friend was helping Gill with stripping wallpaper, with the steamer going, so Missie cuddled herself down to sleep just a couple of feet near the steamer.
Missie in her nature so also very loving though. She would come bounding through Gills front window and leapt on her, putting her two paws on her chest and licking her face. One thing she loved is Dreamies. Gill has a little stool in her kitchen where Missie would plonk herself and sit there waiting for her Dreamies. If Gill did not give her enough, then she would stay seated there. Quite often she would come in the back cat flap unaware to Gill, and she would find her sitting on her stool waiting for her, her slave! She would often call for Gill when she came in simply because she wanted Dreamies. It was a very lovable trait of hers Gill will miss. She would wait outside, and as Gill came home she would constantly do her miaowing because she wanted in for her Dreamies.
Missie was a very much outdoor cat first thing in the morning, but would come in about 6-7pm and settle down on her cushion where she would stay until Gill went to bed. Gill would then pick her up, just like a baby, and put her on her bed where she would always skip off the bed to get some food but then settle down to sleep. She would stay there until about 7am+ when she decided she wanted to go out, and try to escape the fanlight in Gills bedroom, or she would just generally moan at Gill.
When Gill moved to Devon from Kent 5 years ago, Missies brother Olly took it really hard and was very upset about the move. When it was time to let them out, Olly went outside only to realise his garden had gone. He came in and just miaowed and miaowed, Missie would just sit there looking at him, then Olly would go for her and Gills other rescue cat Pip. Sadly, this changed the dynamics of the household, and Olly and Missie would lose that clseness they had always shared. They no longer washed and groomed each other or play together. Whenever Olly would appear, Missie would disappear. Missie would hiss and growl at Olly, Olly wanted to play but Missie developed a fear of him, as he would chase her and Missie would see this as dominant, although Olly would roll over on his back being submissive, and he would groom Missie on occassion
When Missie was a kitten, before Gill had started letting them outside, Pip came in the cat flap. Missie would take note and slip out of the cat flap as Pip was coming in. Gill did not realise at the time and would get up in the mornings and sometimes Missie had gone, she had opened the cat flap herself even though it was locked. Gill had to push books in front of the flap to block it in the end. When Gill found her outside when she did escape, she would be cowering underneath a bush very scared.
Unfortunately, Olly was not happy with Missie being in the back garden, which he saw as his, and would not allow her in there. She would wander out there and cautiously peek around the corner and she would run out to the back gate. She once came running in the back garden, with her tail bushy because she saw the neighbour's dog. Gill had a neighbour on the other side also who had a big spaniel. When the neighbour first got him, Missie was smacking him through the fence! The neighbour told Gill that she would sit on her pathway and watch her dog, then see Missies paw come out. Missie also did this to another house nearby where which had three dogs. She would sit on the grass outside the fence just trying to wind them up!
On moving to Devon, Gill had a bird feeder she put high up, which Missie had taken a shine to. One day, Gill saw her leaping up about 6 ft in the air and literally snatching a bird who was at the feeder. Gill, being a bird lover also, felt so bad for the birds so she put plant pots around the area so Missie couldn't launch herself again like that. She then found a new spot where she found a spot behind the rear garden. Gills neighbours had a sawn off tree, so she would sit there looking around for the birds. Gill would often find her there.
Missie would always come in about 5pm for her sleep. Gill had had a nap on the sofa, waking at 5.30 pm to find Missie was not in. Unusual, so Gill started to Panic. As time went on, Gill got more worried so she spent the rest of the evening walking around the streets with a friend just calling her. Pip and Olly followed like my two little lambs. The following day, with little sleep, Gill made posters and put them through neighbours letter boxes. It was 2pm in the afternoon when she came through a hole in the fence, hardly able to walk. Olly and Pip went over to greet her. Gill picked her up and put her in my cat basket and took her straight up to the PDSA. They kept her in and the vet put her hand on her neck area and followed it through and her tail flicked up. All were relieved at that as it meant she didn't have nerve damage.
Gill had a call the next morning to say she could pick Missie up. She was told she had a hairline fracture of the pelvis and had likely been hit by a car. Vets advised she be on cage rest for 6 weeks so Nicky, who hand raised Missie from the rescue, advised Gill on what to do. Gill was worried after the 6 weeks as Missie wanted to go back out, but Gill never wanted to let her out again.
A day forever ingrained in Gill's mind was some time after Missies accident. Gill had come home from church and Missie was sitting outside waiting for her as usual, constantly miaowing at Gill for her Dreamies). Gill gave her some Dreamies after she launched herself on her stool. Gill fed her and said be a good girl, as she always said that to her, Olly and Pip. Missie then skipped out the window, and that was the last time Gill saw her. A little while later Gills phone went, it was the vet. Gill thought it was about a petition she had dropped off there for Dartmoor National Park trying to get the speed down to reduce deaths to the animals, but the vet said Missie had been brought in to the vet surgery. At first, Gill said no, you have the wrong cat, and explained she had only just saw Missie a short while before. The vet said a tabby and then she realised it was her, because she was ringing her mobile, the one on the cat disc Missie had on her collar. The vet proceeded to tell Gill Missie was no longer with us. She had been hit by a car, and it was sadly too late for her.
Devastated, Gill rang Nicky just in floods of tears, followed by two other friends, she just couldn't bear to be on her own or stand my own company. Olly then came in and Gill told him 'Missie has gone', although she had the window open, still expecting it to be not true and she was alive and well. Shenot shut the window till midnight praying for a miracle. When Gill came to ring the vet surgery back, she did not know which one after realising she never asked. It turned out to be one other than her local 5 miles away. Once Gill located th right vet, they told her someone had brought Missie in, but in fact the nurse told me the vet was passing by my road and saw Missie on the kerb. Whoever hit her had put her there, but her collar was still in the middle of the road. Gill feels lucky this vet did this.
Gill asked her what sort of injury Missie had and she said head trauma as she had blood coming from her nose. Vets said it would have been instant.
At the age of 7 Gill did not expect to lose her and going into the vet surgery was so hard, she felt sick and ready to pass out. Missie was brought home in a scatter tube. Gill strapped her in the rear seat and she sat her underneath a little table in her living room for 3 months before she could bring herself to open her box.
Gill is fond of her memories of Missie. In the mornings her trying to get Gill out of bed often biting her fingers. Gill will also dearly miss her little bunny like bounds when she is outside, and her being the only one to sit on her lap, and beside her putting her little legs and head on her leg. Quite often she would wake up and start to miaow. Gill would be on the sofa and would ask her 'have you had a bad dream?' She would then settle back to sleep. She would also look at Gill, her eyes following her around the room, very suspiciously. Missie was extremely clever as when Gill put some new net curtains up, which were long and dragged at the bottom, in trying to work out how to get through, she would climb onto a unit to the window before slipping through the edge of the curtains.
Gills message is for drivers to respect the speed limits as people and animals lives are at stake. Gill posted Missies story on a social media site, asking had anyone else been affected by speeding cars in the area. Quite a few people responded with concerns. Gill and someone she met online, equally as concerned for the speeding cars through the village, now look for speeders to report. Gill ontinues to campaign to local police and the Highways Authority for them to take action to hopefully stop anyone else going through what little Missie unfortunatly did.