Judd Pinkham

3rd Jul, 2024

Written by Louise Pinkham

Photography by Danelle Waschefort

Judd says, “On the 7th of February, a strange lady named Louise Pinkham came to fetch me. She put me in a carrier and took me home. I had no idea what was happening, I had no choice…”

Mountainside disturbance

I received a WhatsApp from a friend asking if I could fetch a ginger-and-white cat that was living on the mountainside, that there was someone to home him but she couldn’t arrange to fetch him during the week.

Judd had been causing a disturbance in homes nearby, stealing food to survive. No-one knew where he came from or to whom he belonged. One of the residents stepped in to get him into their cottage and closed him into their bathroom.

On my arrival to fetch him to keep safe for the few days, Judd was very unfriendly – he was afraid of humans. He was skin and bone and infested with fleas and ticks.

Anger and fear

I made contact with the potential new owner, chatted, exchanged WhatsApp messages, and got videos of the home as he was out of town in Mpumalanga (I’m in Pretoria). There was great excitement by the new owner, but on the day I was expecting him to fetch Judd, it all flat-lined and I heard no more!

Back to Judd on his arrival at my home; he was put into one of my bedrooms and I soon realised he had many psychological problems. He hated me, he hated other cats, he hated dogs (and I have other cats and dogs). He had lots of anger and fear. He wasn’t feral but had been surviving as a feral on the mountainside.

Immediately channelling into his psyche, I decided it was meant that he needed me and going to another home wouldn’t help him. I’ve worked with many abused cats over the years. I sat talking to Judd, with him arguing back. I held his face in mine to grip his concentration, much to his disliking.

I removed all the ticks and booked him in for sterilisation the next day and to receive treatment for the nasties – testing, worms, fleas, etc. This all made him so angry, and when he returned from the vet I left him in the bedroom to decompress and listen to the sounds of my house and surroundings. A few days later, the house was put on lockdown and introduction, which wasn’t easy for him or my other cats when it began.

Meant to be

On becoming a Pinkham with HUGE progress in three weeks, he got his supervised “freedom” to roam. Jumping to the next three weeks, I have one amazing, strong-willed, talkative, entertaining, inquisitive and demanding boy.

He gets what he wants. Every day he routinely conducts his “wilderness trail” walk around the house and garden, checking on EVERYTHING. He’s doubled in size, his paws are huge – he’s now a true Pinkham “fluff”. A great entertainer, too, and very wise for his fluff! He gets on famously with the cats and dogs – so it’s all worked out well to be a Pinkham.

So, Judd Pinkham unexpectedly came into my life and my love for him exceeds words. Judd, Juddley, Juddelton – whatever – he’s just the most adorable rescue!

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