Animal welfare charity Battersea is urging people to do their research before picking a pet after a playful kitten bought in a supermarket car park was brought in for ‘feral’ behaviour.
It didn’t take staff long to see that little D’Artagnan wasn’t remotely feral and was in fact a very affectionate kitten that displayed ordinary playful behaviour.
While staff do not know anything about the person who sold D’Artagnan to his previous owner, they do know that he was sold at only six weeks old, which is far younger than any expert would advise a young animal leave its mother.
Battersea Cattery Team Leader Bonita Brincat, said: “D’Artagnan was such a sweet little thing from the minute he arrived. While it was clear to us he was not feral, as his previous owner had believed, it is understandable that someone who hadn’t had experience with kittens before, or done detailed research in to what to expect, might mistake normal playful behaviour and high energy levels as a sign of ‘wildness’. Getting a pet should never be an impulse decision – it’s so important to think it through carefully and make sure you know what you’re getting into.”
Since going to his new home in South London, D’Artagnan’s playful streak has continued, including the inevitable attempts to rid the Christmas tree of any and all decorations. However, his proud owner Olivia Hadley says he has also developed a calm side.
Olivia said: “D’Artagnan is the perfect kitten. He is always getting up to mischief, whether it’s climbing through the blinds, jumping into a running bath (he won’t do that again), eating my porridge when my back is turned or savaging my houseplants. He’s a very confident chap and certainly fearless, but is slowly learning the boundaries. He is such a loving fellow and always wants to be close, following me into every room and cuddling up whenever my lap is available.
“Like for so many people, Christmas this year was different and we ended up spending the festive season together, just the two of us. I can’t imagine my life without him, he provides endless entertainment, company and love. My life is that much richer for having him in it. It saddens me that at such a young age he had so much upheaval, but I believe he knows now that he’s not going anywhere and that he’s stuck with me for the rest of time.”
With many of us continuing to spend the majority of our time at home, people may be thinking about bringing a new companion in to their home. While it may be the right time for some to get a pet, Battersea advises any potential owner to first think carefully about the long-term commitment they would be making.
Bonita added: “We completely understand how easy it is to fall in love with a kitten or cat at first sight and make a decision there and then to take them home. However, you should always do your homework first so you know what to expect and can be confident you’re getting your new pet from a responsible source. At Battersea we would of course recommend any potential owner thinks of rescue first. We’re glad that D’Artagnan’s previous owner made the responsible decision to bring him to us when it became clear he wasn’t the right pet for them.”