It is a huge responsibility owners place on our shoulders when they leave their cat in our care for a period of time for whatever the reason.

We take our responsibility seriously. We endeavor to give each cat the same love, care and attention they would otherwise be receiving at home. Every day we feed, clean, groom, play and talk to them as if they were our own.

Inevitably it is only normal that we would become quite attached to these cats, especially our repeat feline guests that we have come to know quite well.

But just how attached do we become to our charges?

This became rather obvious a few weeks back, when for the first time since owning the cattery, I had to make the agonising decision to have a cat euthanized while the owners were overseas. This particular cat had stayed with us a number of times. We were devastated but knew it was the right decision.

My vet nurse was in tears before the cat had even left the cattery. I drove slowly to the Vet, making small talk to the cat as if nothing was wrong. “I am going to be strong” I thought. After all this isn’t my cat and we are doing what is best.

My tough stance lasted until the needle went in, then sadness overcame me and the tears flowed. The Vet kindly handed me a box of tissues. I felt stupid; it wasn’t my cat. I had made the choice to stay with this wee girl until the very end as she had nobody and I wanted her to have a familiar face by her side but the episode left me visibly upset.

Thinking about it later, I realised that even though the cats that board at our cattery do not belong to us, they very much become a part of us and we in turn feel privileged to have been a part of their lives.