Fatwire Article Portlet

Overlooked cat finds purr-fect home in time for Christmas


Raphael and Ashleigh

Unique puss dubbed ‘Count Catula’ struggled to find a home – until Ashleigh Bird spotted him on our website.

Ashleigh, 23, had been looking for a cat who would be happy living an indoor life with her at her flat in Rothwell, Northamptonshire.

“I saw him online and absolutely loved him for his unique look,” she said. “I sent in an application but then I talked myself out of getting a pet.”

When Ashleigh saw Raphael on the news over Halloween and found out he was still looking for the purr-fect home she felt it was fate and contacted our Northamptonshire Branch about her earlier application straight away.

Raphael makes himself at home

Ashleigh brought Raphael home with her on 11 November and it’s clear he won’t be going anywhere!

She told us:

He has been lovely, he settled in straight away. I think people were probably put off by his unique looks but it made me want him even more. I’m a sucker for an underdog!

I grew up with a three-legged cat so it would be weird to have a ‘normal’ pet!

A long wait


Poor Raphael hasn’t had it easy. The seven-year-old arrived at the charity in June 2015 after his owner died, and spent 432 days waiting for a home before being adopted in August 2016. But he was sadly returned the following May when his adopter’s circumstances changed – before finally, being adopted by Ashleigh.

Emma Markham, adoptions manager at our Northamptonshire branch, said:

Poor Raphael had spent a total of 601 days in rescue which is too long for any puss.

As a senior, black cat the odds were already stacked against him with research suggesting they are more difficult to rehome. But while Raphael was gorgeous in our eyes, his unusual looks and distinguishing features seemed to put some people off.

With his prominent canine tooth and his deformed ear – from a suspected old haematoma (a swelling of clotted blood within tissue) – he looked just like a bat so we felt Halloween was the best time to find him the right home, and it worked!

We’re so pleased Ashleigh fell in love with this lovely boy and that she appreciates him just the way he is.

Show some kindness to other cats

And Ashleigh is thrilled to have the feline friend home with her too:

He sits on the back of the sofa at night and we watch TV together. Then he sleeps on the bed, but as soon as the alarm goes off in the morning he knows it’s breakfast time!

He’s so lovely.

If you’d like to offer one of our rescue cats a new home, use our pet search page to find your perfect match. And visit the website for more information about caring for a cat.

Kindness at Christmas

This Christmas, so many more animals like Raphael will be arriving, recovering and waiting for new homes in our centres. Give some kindness this year, and help us feed them over the festive period as part of our Kindness at Christmas appeal.

You can also show some kindness to the animals at our Northamptonshire Branch by supporting them directly.

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