Anyone visiting the CPW shelter over summer had to have seen gentle giant Beau.
The huge, handsome tabby is a slow-moving, relaxed fella, who could usually be found peacefully lounging in the middle of the floor, or on the deck.
At nearly 8kg, the 6 year old is one of the biggest cats to come to CPW in recent years.
With his liquid green eyes and gentle nature, Beau had many admirers, but he needed a particularly safe and caring home due to his epilepsy.
His previous owner was elderly and couldn’t care for him as he was having frequent seizures.
In the shelter, he seized less often – about once a month, which was still difficult to watch for those who saw it.
Luckily, a perfect home was closer than anyone thought. Shelter volunteer and committee member Asrai Mayes had got to know Beau, and liked his personality. She thought he might be the right cat at the right time to join her household.
“He’s curious,” she said. “And he makes these cute little noises when he purrs.”
Asrai and her partner both lost their cats to illness last year, and their flatmate’s 5 year old cat Megatron seemed lonely without other cats around.
“We wanted a cat that has a personality and that needed a home, as opposed to one that would have found a home easily… one that needs lots of care and attention.”
She wasn’t fazed by Beau’s condition, although she did watch a video of one of his fits, so she knew what to expect.
“It wasn’t fun to watch, and it didn’t look like it was fun for him, but he was back to normal afterward.”
Once Beau had met Asrai’s partner and flatmate as well, the foster agreement was finalised. Her partner works part-time and studies full-time, so Beau would have lots of company.
“We’re both drawn to cats that are different, and we really wanted to adopt him.”
She already had experience with giving cats their medication, but she had to learn how to ‘pill’ him before she could take him home. He has two pills morning and night, and a syrup on his food for potassium. He doesn’t like having whole pills, but “he gets over it pretty quickly”. He’s also on a weight-control diet to get him to a more comfortable size.
Under the Care for Life programme, the cost of Beau’s vet visits and medication related to his epilepsy and potassium deficiency are covered by CPW.
Since going home in late January, Beau has been doing really well.
“He loves the flat and sleeps on the bed most nights,” Asrai says. “He has a few toys that he plays with and has recently started doing zoomies! We were worried – because Beau is slower – that Megatron would be a bit bullying to him. But that doesn’t seem to have happened.” In fact, they’ve even started grooming each other.
“Sometimes he looks really grouchy, but he’s not, I don’t think. He was very cuddly this morning. He always comes up on the bed and sleeps with us at night. He’s discovered that being under the covers is very nice.”
And the best indication that he has adjusted to his new home – he’s eating well, and hasn’t had any seizures.