Bessie's Story

22 Jun 2023

Bessie, a shy but affectionate 8-year-old cat, found herself at Battersea after a tragic turn of events left her without a family. When Bessie’s owner Dorothy sadly didn’t return from hospital after an illness, Bessie was left alone in the home without a soul to keep her company.

Fortunately, Dorothy’s neighbours knew she had signed up to Battersea’s ‘Forever Loved’ scheme. Providing families with a peace of mind, ‘Forever Loved’ is free service that rehomes cats and dogs if the worst should happen to their owners.

Dorothy’s neighbours quickly contacted Battersea who sent a team of expert staff to collect Bessie. Unable to find Bessie in the usual spots across the house, a member of staff inspected a hole in the bathroom wall and found Bessie hiding inside the wall cavity. After months without any love and affection, Bessie was covered in dust and very scared of people. Working closely with the RSPCA to ensure Bessie’s welfare, the shy cat was soon brought safely through Battersea’s gates.


After Bessie’s arrival in the Cattery, Sylvie Wilcock, a Rehoming & Welfare Co-ordinator at Battersea noticed that Bessie was having a difficult time adjusting to being around people again. Unable to interact with staff, Bessie hid at the back of her pen for days and did not eat during the daytime. To provide Bessie with the best care possible, Sylvie went above and beyond to ensure her welfare.

Sylvie said, “We booked her into one of our quietest pens to make sure she had a good set up from the get-go and added stress management like extra hiding spaces and additional Feliway [a diffuser spray that helps reduce anxiety and stress]. I assigned myself as her consistent carer to give her a familiar face.”

Working with Bessie to increase her confidence, Sylvie decided to take lunch with her. To her surprise, Bessie immediately started to come out her shell.

Sylvie added, “I heard her do a tiny chirp and she headbutted my hand very gently. That one touch seemed to kick start something in her. From then on, she would come running out from behind the igloo when I called her name. It made me quite emotional thinking of how long she had gone without physical contact and how affectionate she was.”

With Bessie confidently interacting with staff and showing off her sweet personality, she was finally ready to be rehomed. Bessie now lives happily in Surrey with a family who appreciates her gentle nature and can provide her with warm and loving home.


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