Anyway, I have since moved and as I have said have had Freddie for four years and his pelt is now a purrfect picture, he is a pure black cat and his coat is now nice and thick with a lustrous sheen.
His flea allergy is kept under control with regular application of Frontline.
He is so happy with me that he rarely strays far and the thought of having him micro-chipped never entered my mind. However, I saw an advertisement that offered micro-chipping at a reduced rate and decided to take him along. Horror of horrors... he was already micro-chipped! And all his details were made out to the previous owners!
They had had him neutered at the RSPCA and a micrcochip was inserted as a matter of routine. I entered a state of panic tinged with paranoia. I didn't want to go back to the original owners as they were quite rough (well you would be if you let a cat live in a garage!), and panicked at the thought of Freddie wandering about with a silly chip in his neck that said he didn't belong to me. I decided to do nothing.
About two weeks later the people from Cats Protection (Ealing Branch) rang me, and to cut a long story short, were extremely helpful once I explained the situation. Within a week I had the updated micro-chip certificate which had me down as the rightful owner.
This is my first hand experience of the Cats Protection, although my mother adopted a beautiful tortoiseshell, Louise, from them several years back, and I have to say I was very impressed with them.