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Cute is Costly – Meet Buxton

Written By: Jane Davidson RVN

From my previous blogs you may have realised that I seem to have been cat-less for a while. Well… I have news! I am back to being a cat mum again. In fact Buxton has been here for a few months but he’s been very shy so I didn’t want to announce his arrival until he was showing signs of feeling fully settled. 


Buxton has been here for 10 months now and he arrived after his owner became too unwell to care for him. Apart from this I don’t really know anymore about him and that’s OK. Sometimes knowing more sets expectations and you can’t always predict how a new pet will react to your household.


Well, Buxton didn’t really ‘react’ to his new home, rather he chose to hide so he could process for himself his new surroundings. Despite having a couple of safe ‘dens’ made for him they weren’t as good as hiding under the sofa.

The dens were slowly removed and the bed and heat pad and food and water bowls moved under the sofa with him.

Slowly does it

For winter he remained this elusive creature. Happily out and using the litter tray and eating treats left out for him when I wasn’t around... but electing to be invisible once he could see my ankles appearing beside the sofa.

This might sound odd, but if it worked for him then it worked for me, he could do what he wanted in his own time. He had almost 16 years with his previous owner and change is hard, so he could have all the time he needed.

Confident boy

The spring arrived and Buxton decided that maybe I wasn’t so scary and he could be mooching around safely in the same room.

It’s been a big learning curve for him but he’s now a regular member of the family and spends time on the sofa with me, and has perfected his dance by the fridge to get more food. He’s also developed a taste for the great outdoors - despite being an indoor cat in his previous life, he now ventures all the way to the 5th paving slab of the patio. He’s like a feline Bear Grylls!

Scottish Folds – where being cute costs

Yet it’s not all plain sailing, emotionally he is good, in fact really good. Buxton is a Scottish Fold and so, as well as the usual age related issues for cats, he has a couple of extra issues. The ‘cute’ fold in his ears, that give him his permanently worried look, is formed by a cartilage fault that isn’t just in his ears but in all the cartilage in his body.

This can cause a number of issues and in Buxton his little toes seem to suffer the most. They are misshapen and very small for his size and are sore when I need to touch them to clip his claws. He is on pain killers for this and is comfortable with his current exercise options, but it’s an added stress.

For more information on the health issues of Scottish Folds please read more here

As an owner I also worry how easily he can communicate with me through his facial expressions. Cats use their whole body to communicate and the position of the ears can show interest, fear, and more. Yet Buxton can move the bottom portion of his ears maybe 1-2mm in one direction only. Therefore reading his emotions can be hard. And he doesn’t know his ears aren’t sharing his feelings as he doesn’t know he’s a Scottish Fold. It must sometimes feel like he’s shouting and we aren’t listening. Read more on cat communication here.

Retirement is for everyone

Some people ask why I end up taking on the older or more taxing pets and I agree it is hard, at times VERY HARD. Yet a safe and peaceful retirement home should be available for all, and pets are no different. Sadly, some pets can’t have that with their original owners (through no-one’s fault), so people like me can provide that stress-free space. It’s just sad that Buxton has been bred to look a certain way for us humans that has a negative impact on him. He’s not only an older boy but one who needs a bit more care than the average cat.

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