The incredible generosity of legacies that are left to International Cat Care is hugely important in allowing us to continually push forward feline welfare around the world, and be at the cutting edge of feline medicine. To fully understand the significant role that they play, we must look at the history of the charity.
The charity was founded in 1958 by Joan Judd and a few dedicated volunteers and was then called the Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB). At that time, very little was known about cat health or welfare and there was no central fund or pot of money that could be tapped into. Diving into this vast unknown field and unravelling the endless threads surrounding cat disease was a formidable task, made even more difficult by the lack of available resources.
In the early days, money was so tight that special thanks were given for the sale of felt mice at village fetes in the charity’s journal, and donations of stamps were frequently requested to ease the pressure of distributing news and information.
Even to buy office essentials such as a long-armed stapler, a special raffle had to be organised.
During the first few years, the charity was inundated with people requesting help and advice and leaps forward were being made in the established knowledge base. Despite the charity being of use to many people, few people were willing to help with fundraising and in a 1965 fundraising appeal, only £5 was raised between all 500 members. For an organisation with such ambitious aims, this was a serious issue and it threatened to bring an end to its work a number of times.
Despite the progress that had been made in the first 25 years, including funding a research fellowship for concerted study into feline disease, money continued to be in short supply, but things began to turn around in 1983 when a legacy was received. Receiving legacies helped to alleviate the precarious financial situation of the charity. In the mid-1990s Mr Budgen, a hotel owner and FAB member, left a large residual legacy that was a turning point in the charity and allowed for the expansion that has made iCatCare what it is today.
Thanks to the belief that people have placed, and continue to place, in us, iCatCare has a professional staff that develop and distribute information to vets, breeders, owners and anyone with an interest in cats. Our website provides information to millions of cat owners worldwide and vets and nurses all around the world use our training and resources to help cats get the best possible treatment. It’s estimated that annually, the charity improves the lives of 25 million cats internationally.
We’re writing this as a special thank you to all those who have left a legacy to the charity, and particularly to Joyce and Ian Dent. All of us at iCatCare would like to thank Joyce and Ian for their generosity in leaving a legacy, which will be used to improve the lives of cats all around the world. Below is a short piece written by their son Julian.
Ian and Joyce Dent were life-long cat lovers. Joyce spent some years in Persia (Iran) with the Foreign Office and from then on only a Persian cat would do, no matter where in the world they subsequently lived. They were adopted by a cat called “Puss” that came with their house in Nairobi. Puss moved with them to Kampala and continued to enjoy torturing their little dachshund by springing out on him whenever he was comfortably settled. On their eventual return to England, they had a series of Persian cats, including a blue and pair of tortoiseshells named after the Persian kings, Darius and Xerxes. Joyce and Ian were very familiar with the issues typical of this breed and were keen to support research into feline medicine for all types of cats. They would be delighted to know that their legacy is being put to such good use.