Wilby: My cuddly co-worker


The coronavirus has been hard for almost everyone, but there are some surprise winners in this whole ordeal: our pets…

With everyone being at home, our furred friends have been having a blast. For many of them, this is the most time they’ve spent with us in ages, maybe ever.

Cats seem to be purring a lot more and dogs look like they are walking on air…

But now that we are at home all the time, how are our furry friends coping with sharing ‘their territory’ with us all day, every day?

Rolo, a seven-year-old dachshund, has been so happy to have his family around that he’s managed to strain his tail by wagging it so hard. Read all about the waggy dog story here.

Wilby, who turned 8 this week is my ‘cuddly co-worker’ at home. He’s one of a kind, a special three legged ginger and white cat, who unlike the majority of cats is loving having us around at home. He actually prefers company to being by himself and doesn’t really mind Betsy’s tantrums or tail pulling at times.

However, you can tell that a lot of cat’s out there are very disgruntled about us humans being at home all the time. On our daily walk to school and back, Betsy gets excited about the amount of cats we see. Each day the tally is growing, purely where cats find being outside quieter than being indoors, now that we and especially the tail pulling kids, are at home all the time!

People who see Wilby, often don’t realise he has three legs – they think there’s either something wrong with him or simply don’t notice that he has a leg missing. When he runs, you honestly wouldn’t notice, it’s just when he’s walking that you think there’s something unique about him.

Wilby, did used to have four legs – it’s a bit of a long story but one morning he came back in the house limping. He was about 10 months old and his back leg was bent in around 3 places. He didn’t cry, but we knew he was in pain and needed help. Off Darren went to our local vets, who confirmed unless we wanted to pay £15,000, with no guarantee that his leg could be saved, we needed to amputate. They think he was kicked by a human, as there was no other injury and apart from his leg he had a perfect bill of health.

I went to pick him up from the vets and little did I know that the vets hadn’t secured his cage. The door swung open and as I was walking to the car Wilby, being scared and suddenly missing a fourth leg, legged it (excuse the pun) into a ditch and under a tunnel. There he remained, despite my calls and treats until the next morning when we had to drain rod him out. My ginger and white cat was black! The vets took him for a well earned bath and then, finally, cage secured, I took him home.

He’s rarely been back to the vets since as I’m scared of losing him again! He’s a very special cat – loyal, happy and loves the kids. I feel very lucky to have him.

There are so many benefits of owning a pet, not just for your health and wellbeing but for company, reducing anxieties and for also helping to lift your mood.

And that’s in normal circumstances. In lockdown, Wilby is proving a lifesaver – reducing my stress levels and upping the fun in our house…

If you’re worried about how your pet is coping with lockdown here’s a few tips from the experts:

  • The RSPCA has plenty of ideas on how to keep pets amused, including using empty toilet roll tubes (if you have any) to build a pyramid structure to hide treats in for your cat…
  • The Guide Dogs charity says it’s important to keep your animal occupied. Two things that dog owners can do, that dogs love, is playing tug-of-war with a toy and having regular bonding sessions such as stroking and grooming.
  • Government’s advice is whilst there is no evidence of coronavirus circulating in pets or other animals in the UK, in line with general advice on fighting coronavirus, you should wash your hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.

Don’t forget to keep me smiling by sending us your pictures of your cuddly co-worker or lockdown companion  – share your pictures by emailing bluebelledesigns@hotmail.co.uk and I will add them to this blog post 🙂

So far these are the pictures I’ve been sent, from left to right they are:

  • My three legged Wilby (owner: Claire-Marie Lamport)
    Maple (owner: Laura Salisbury)
  • Storm (owner: Laura Salisbury)
  • Spark (owner: Laura Salisbury)
  • Bruce (owner: Daniel Lamport)
  • Gordon (owner: Donna Lamport)
  • Munchkin (owner: Maria-Louise Cinnamon Woodward)
  • Leo (owner: Maria-Louise Cinnamon Woodward)
  • Ralph (owner: Catherine Luke)

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