When people said that Jenny lived on her own, that was not strictly accurate. It was true, she didn’t share her house or her life with other people, but she was never lonely, she had her cats. Nobody was ever sure just how many of these furry creatures there were. She’d been taking in strays, injured and rescued members of the feline community for over twenty years. Every day the cats would come and go from her house via a cat flap in the back door.
Jenny hadn’t always been a recluse. This obsession with the feline fraternity had begun shortly after the sudden death of her husband. As the cat population in her home increased and took over her life so her human friends slowly stopped visiting. Since she’d discovered online grocery shopping she no longer had the need to leave the house. She could spend all day, every day, with her beloved friends. The supermarket van would arrive at her house every Thursday afternoon and leave seven plastic carrier bags on her doorstep. One contained the few meagre provisions she needed to keep going the other six were full of cat food and treats.
When Jenny died nobody noticed, well nobody except the cats. She’d been trying to fix the cat flap that had jammed shut, when she collapsed with a massive heart attack. She cried out for help but only her feline friends heard her.
They finally found Jenny six months later. A neighbour complained to the local council about the terrible noise of screeching cats coming from number 13. The local council officer noticed a strange smell when he lifted Jenny’s letterbox to try to get her attention. The policeman, who was called to break in, was violently sick when he opened the front door and the stench of cats and rotting flesh hit him.
A team of RSPCA officers, in protective clothing, had to be called in to deal with the cats, all 103 of them. They all looked remarkably fit and healthy but were completely feral and extremely dangerous. It took nearly two days to trap each animal and sedate it.
The almost stripped bare carcase of their owner, their food supply for the last six months, lay by the cat flap where she had fallen.