On Saturday 14th November 2009, Joy and I took the hours drive to St Albans Cat Protection branch and their new fosterers, Bev and Rolf's home in London Colney.
We arrived just as the sun came out, and as we entered their home the strains of Dusty singing ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ filled the house.
Following introductions and a welcome cup of tea, the conversation wandered between Dusty and cats, of course. Also present were Jean, the Branch Co-ordinator and Nicola, a cat friend. Unfortunately Laura was laid up with a virus and couldn't make it. Ms P was a bit put out with not being the centre of attention with five cats wandering around.
Bev and Rolf have five cats of their own - a grumpy black she called Jet, a black and white tom, Georgie, Mr Ginger who stayed on the bed all the time we were there and two tabby she-cats, Grimli and Molly. There were cat pictures, ornaments and cushions everywhere.
In the garden, Bev and Rolf have a double shelter which at the time was home to Harold, a fluffy black and white grumpy Tom just like me - I could have taken him home but Mathilde would have objected; and two young tabby females, Emily and Polly, who were to be re-homed that afternoon, their place being taken by a mother and her three kittens.
In the other shelter, the single shelter bought by LTD's donation, was a black tom called Shadow. He is the cat of the month being used in adverts etc for Cats Protection in the area.
The shelters were immaculate, complete with sleeping quarters with a cat flap, heating controlled by thermostat, cushions, blankets and toys.
On behalf of us all, I presented Bev and Rolf with the plaque (thanks again, Kathy) and a framed photo of Dusty, the one with the kitten on her knee (thank you, Cas). Rolf plans to mount the plaque on a piece of wood and then fix the plaque and photo to the inside of the double shelter.
The local press could not be in attendance, but Jean knows the Editor of the paper, he got his cat from their Branch, and he willingly puts articles in the paper about cat protection in St Albans.
Bev and Rolf have only been fostering cats for under a year, and during that period they have re-homed 31 cats, each one having a name, including Johnston who was named after The Springfields track Johnston Boys, Bev's Mum's favourite record - which was also played during the visit.
Jean the Co-Ordinator was a fan of Dusty's during the 60's and has visited our site, I think she might join the forum, cats permitting.
The cat protection people must be congratulated on their work in St Albans, they are a small branch without an official shop/shelter on the High Street, just a loyal band of cat lovers, just like Dusty.
- Tom and Joy Lovett
Click the image to read more about Cats Protection at St Albans