Bess Twice Survives Attempts Made on Her Life Before Landing on All Four Paws at a Pub in Lincolnshire
"Bess has already used up two of her nine lives, but she's settled in now. She quickly got her paws under the bar, and she's ready to make her debut with the customers."
-- Matthew Walsh
The new year certainly got off to a disastrous start for an eight-week-old black and white kitten named Bess from Swinderby in Lincolnshire. In fact, it is somewhat of a miracle that she even made it through New Year's Day.
That was when she was stuffed into a carrier bag and cruelly dumped by the side of the road. Luckily, she was discovered by a man out walking his dog who freed her and promptly took her to a local veterinarian.
Instead of honoring the sanctity of all feline life by providing her with shelter and protection, this unidentified twenty-four karat fraud of the veterinary profession threatened to have her killed off if a home could not be procured for her. That was when Lady Luck shined her beam once more on Bess in the form of Matthew Walsh of The Bugle Horn Inn in nearby Bassingham who, upon hearing of her plight, readily agreed to save her life by adopting her.
Now, fit as a fiddle and as healthy as a horse, Bess serves not only as the bar's mascot but also as a companion for its other longtime resident feline, Stumpy, who is an amazing twenty-two-years-old. Best of all, the two cats are said to get along well.
"Bess has already used up two of her nine lives, but she's settled in now," Walsh told the Lincolnshire Echo on January 14th. (See "Pub Landlord Saves Abandoned Kitten.") "She quickly got her paws under the bar, and she's ready to make her debut with the customers."
That should not pose any difficulties in that she obviously enjoys a pint or two every bit as much as Walsh's regulars. The only obvious difference is that her tipple of choice is milk as opposed to either beer or sour mash. (See photo above.)
Despite the happy denouement, Walsh nevertheless was angered by the inhumane way in which Bess was treated. "...we are appalled at the cruelty shown to such a defenseless animal, and we can only hope that people will stop and think about their actions before abandoning helpless animals in the future," he told the Lincolnshire Echo in the article cited supra.
Some individuals no doubt will heed his sound advice, but most feline abusers tend to be serial offenders who never will mend their wicked ways. For them, the only recourse is arrest and incarceration.
This is especially true in light of the recent spate of high-profile entombments and abandonments. Most prominently, an orange and white kitten named Duff was discovered entombed inside a canvas bag on August 20th at an apartment complex in Spokane. (See Cat Defender post of October 3, 2009 entitled "Deliberately Entombed Inside a Canvas Bag for Six Days, Duff Is Saved by a Pair of Alert Maintenance Workers at an Apartment Complex in Spokane.")
Later on January 8th of this year, a young black female cat named Titch from Westcliff in Essex was discovered sealed up inside a backpack that had been stuffed inside a plastic bag and then tossed in the trash. (See Cat Defender post of February 24, 2010 entitled "Sealed Up in a Backpack Inside a Plastic Bag and Then Tossed in the Trash, Titch Is Rescued by a Passerby in Essex.")
Hopefully, the bad times are now a thing of the past as far as Bess is concerned and she, like Stumpy, will be able to enjoy a long and happy life at The Bugle Horn Inn. Should that come to pass, she will join a long list of legendary cats who have made their homes at English pubs.
Most notably, there is Daisy of the Hen and Chicken Pub in Southwater, West Sussex, who on November 24, 2006 celebrated her twenty-second birthday. (See Cat Defender post of December 15, 2006 entitled "Minnesota Cat Named Baby Celebrates His Thirty-Sixth Birthday; English Pub Cat Named Daisy Turns Twenty-Two.")
"She's been here all her life and although the pub has had different management couples they've all had Daisy." co-owner Chris Marks said on that historic occasion. (See photo above of him and Daisy.)
Of course, not all pub cats spend their entire earthly existence in bars. For instance, Carlsberg's stay at The Swan in Ironbridge, Shropshire, was short but sweet. (See Cat Defender post of December 12, 2007 entitled "Bored with Conditions at Home, Carlsberg Stows Away on a Beer Lorry for the Adventure of a Lifetime.")
Along with all of England's feline-friendly pubs there are bound to be a rotter or two in the woodpile. One such drinking establishment is the Blunsdon Arms in Swindon, Wiltshire, who has horribly mistreated a cat named Ember. (See Cat Defender post of October 23, 2008 entitled "Pecksniffian Management at Swindon Pub Plies Ember with Food and Then Gives Her the Bum's Rush.")
On the whole, however, peripatetic felines with parched palates are generally welcome to slake their thirsts at most English watering holes. Some of them, such as Bess and Daisy, even find their metiers and homes amongst the spigots of beer and pie-eyed barflies.
Photos: Lincolnshire Echo (Bess) and the West Sussex Observer (Daisy and Marks).