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How to rescue a cat from an unusual owner at Turnpike Lane Tube station?

Who can step in to help this cat which appears to be suffering with its present owner?

My partner has been giving cat food to an apparent homeless person who sits outside Turnpike Lane Tube station on several days of the week. For the last few months she has seen the cat lying on his lap but today she noticed when the cat tried to stand up it had a harness on and had deformed back legs. The spine also appeared deformed and the cat could not move easily, she claims. 

If I phone the RSPCA they may miss this man on their visit and waste their time. 

Has anyone else seen this black and white cat and know more about its owner and welfare? 

How has the owner been able to use the cat at the tube station for so long without cat welfare officials stepping in? 

Thanks for any advice. 

Tags for Forum Posts: advice, cat, help, lane, station, tube, turnpike, welfare

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I’ve seen a cat at Turnpike Lane with a homeless lady, I think it was black and white from memory, could this be the same cat? It had a harness and was being brushed by the lady when I saw it.

If the cat is healthy (e.g. well-enough nourished, infection-free and any other welfare criteria) and living with a mobility disability then is there any reason to intervene. I've met a disabled cat with cerebral palsy which, though its movement was uncertain and juddery, was as healthy, bright and engaged as the other cats around it.

You could notify Street Vet and they can help both the person and the cat - even better talk to the person and see if the cat's already seen a vet, and if not if they know about Street Vet.  I've meant plenty of homeless people with pets (dogs, cats, ferrets - even one man with a parrot) and the majority were well cared for.  Arguably a cat with mobility issues might be better off in the situation you describe than with an owner who's out at work all day.

Unusual owner? I don’t care much for the rough sleepers and their mess but what’s so unusual in a homelessperson having a pet cat? Or a dog? Don’t see how this is something that needs to be reported to animal welfare groups...

It is not in a cat's nature to accept being in a harness and stationary for long periods on a noisy, cold street outside a busy tube station. Cats like to be in control of their movement at all times. 

Perhaps you may not have been acquainted with the cat and his homeless owner who hung outside Angel station for years.  I don't remember his (the cat's) name but there was no question who was the boss in that situation - the cat.  His owner ended up writing a book about the whole thing.

You seem to be making quite the leap from your partner’s anecdotal evidence that the cat was “deformed” to apparent mistreatment of a cat requiring its immediate confiscation from the individual. If you passed one of mine in my hallway when the radiator was on she’d probably look deformed too, she scrunches herself into all sorts of shapes which at a passing glance may look incredibly uncomfortable, but she’s having the time of her life making the most of my gas bill!

You referred to the owner as “unusual” - are you sure you aren’t allowing the appearance or living conditions of them to cloud your judgement a bit? If you’re concerned about one then you should probably be concerned about both, in which case Betty’s suggestion of Street Vet might help owner and pet. But you should be seeking co-operation with the person first.

A Street Cat Named Bob, it's now a film. Not all cats are the same, some are happy to walk on a harness, but if you are concerned Street Vet is a good option.

I have spoken the cat's owner and he rescued it a few years ago after someone threw her off a roof. 

I always have a supply of cat biscuits on me so I can give them to the owner when I see him. 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PccD1ULea4A
Yes I was thinking about the famous street cat bob who I bumped into in Covent Garden . Then he jumped onto his owners shoulder and off they disappeared into the crowds
Yes it is def unusual but not impossible that the cat is actually ok with it, but yes def worth investigating and recommending street vet for a check up

and this, I mean he made fame

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iRf0NAAi-rQ

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