Chunky Chops watched me closely for the whole time I was stood outside his pod writing a few notes on how he came to be there.

And what a sad story it was.

Chunky Chops had a home and an owner until last September when his owner died.

From September until February this year, he lived outside his old home, unable to get in, getting what food he could from locals.

It wasn’t until he developed an infected wound on his head that he was taken into the care of the RSPCA.

What a bewildering existence for a cat, to be locked out of their home when their owner dies.

Peace of mind

It is precisely to avoid this happening that Cats Protection has set up their Cat Guardians service.

This is a free service aimed at giving peace of mind to cat owners concerned about what might happen if they were to pass away before their cat.

In order to make use of this service you have to register in advance.

Then, as soon as Cats Protection are informed that someone who is registered with the scheme has died, they make immediate arrangements for the care of the cat(s).

Details from the Cat Guardians Team on 01825 741291 or email

Dogs Trust have a similar scheme for dogs (the Canine Care Card Scheme, call 020 7837 0006) and, for cats, dogs and other sorts of pets, the National Animal Welfare Trust operate the Pet Care Card scheme (call 020 8950 0177) and the RSPCA operate a Home for Life Scheme.

However painful it is to think about, we owe it to our pets, to make sure arrangements are in place to care for them, if we no longer can.

A new start for Mr Chops

Now back to Chunky Chops, after having to fend for himself, this boy is now being properly looked after.

He can be shy with new people, so he prefers it if you take your time to introduce yourself slowly so he can make friends in his own time.

I also found a handful of nibbles helped.

If you would like to offer Chunky Chops a loving home and show him his days of abandonment are over, you can meet him at the RSPCA Cat Adoption Centre, Burket Close, Southall UB2 4JS.