Friday, 21 September 2012

Lucky escape for car kitten

A Cats Protection adoption centre is caring for a tiny kitten that was trapped in a car engine for three days.

The black-and-white cat, dubbed Shell by Bridgend Adoption Centre staff, was discovered by local resident Caroline Roberts earlier in September, after she heard meowing. Caroline had searched her area trying to track down the source of the noise without success.
Shell is in better health, thanks to Cats Protection

One evening, she was standing next to her neighbour’s car when she realised the meows were coming from the vehicle.

Caroline’s neighbour was shocked – she’d recently taken the car on a 14-mile journey.

Luckily, Caroline’s husband Norman is a car mechanic and he set about trying to free the tiny creature. It was something of a challenge; taking an hour and needing the help of four neighbours. Finally, the 10-week-old kitten was freed.

Norman said: “It’s great to have been involved with my wife in the rescue of this little kitten.”

The kitten, named Shell by staff at the centre because of the oil covering her coat, is very fortunate to have survived her ordeal. She was terrified, dehydrated, and underweight when admitted to the centre, but after a warm bath and lots of care she is well on the way to recovery.

Best of all, Shell has a new home. Centre manager Sue Dobbs said: “Norman and Caroline Roberts are going to adopt Shell, once she is well enough and a home visit is done.”

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Yorkshire cat found safe in Suffolk

A cat from Yorkshire has been reunited with her owner after being found 170 miles away in Suffolk.

Ginger tabby Kitz was discovered among a group of stray and feral cats by Alison Lardner, a volunteer for Cats Protection’s Breckland branch.

An elderly lady had been feeding the cats that passed through her Mildenhall garden. The charity was called in to help trap, neuter and return them to help control the population and prevent the spread of disease.

Kitz: safe and well after her journey. Photo: Judith Wakelam

Something about Kitz’s healthy appearance and friendly manner convinced Alison that she was not a feral or long-term stray. As the cats were taken to a local vet, Alison continued to wonder about her. “Something made me ring back and ask whether they could check whether the ginger cat had a microchip,” she said.

The cat did have a microchip – showing that she was registered to an address in Leeds!

“I was so happy to hear that they’d found her,” said Kitz’s owner, dance teacher Jason Williams. “But I didn’t expect them to say Kitz was in Suffolk – that’s a three-hour drive!”

Jason had never before visited Suffolk and has no idea how Kitz ended up in the county.

“She’d gone missing in May,” said Jason. “We’d moved to a new area of Leeds and kept her inside for four or five months before we let her out…Then she started going for little walks and we thought that was ok. But one day, she went off and didn’t return.”

Jason and Kitz were reunited in Suffolk. Photo: Judith Wakelam

Jason and his partner searched everywhere for their cat; putting up posters, phoning veterinary surgeries, pacing the neighbourhood at night while calling her name. “We still had hope that she was all right because she was microchipped.”

And Jason was correct – so in August, after getting the call about Kitz, he travelled down to Suffolk to be reunited with her at Alison Lardner’s home.

Now back in Leeds, Kitz is doing well. “She constantly wants to go out,” said Jason. “I think she’s more used to being outside than inside now.”

Jason admitted he’d had initial reservations about getting Kitz microchipped but a friend changed his mind. He added: “I’m really glad I got her microchipped.”

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Fresh start for dumped forest felines

A cat and her three kittens abandoned in a forest have been given a second chance at life, thanks to Cats Protection.

Mother cat Lucy and her three eight-day-old kittens were tied up in a bin bag and dumped in a wood.

“The intention was clear; they were to be given no chance of survival at all,” said Cilla Bartlett, Branch Volunteer at Cats Protection’s Reading & District Branch based in Berkshire, England.

By chance, the abandoned cats were found by a passer-by who took them to the nearest vet. CP’s Reading & District Branch took the cats into their care and set about finding them new homes. With the branch's care, the cats blossomed.

“Despite being naturally wary of people at first, Lucy proved to be a brilliant mother, and gradually gained the confidence to become a very loving, affectionate and vocal cat,” said Cilla.
Lucy was a brilliant mother, despite her ordeal

Two of Lucy's kittens were homed together when they were 10 weeks old which left Lucy – only about a year old herself – and her remaining kitten, Olive, still looking for a new home.

Mother and daughter appeared to be exceptionally close and the branch wanted to rehome them together.

Luckily for the pair, a couple who were looking for a mother cat and kitten contacted the branch.

“All four are being spoiled rotten in their new homes,” says Cilla. “Every now and again a story like this restores our faith in the power of good over evil.”

Thursday, 6 September 2012

New homes for hotel kittens

Cats Protection has found new homes for some unwanted hotel guests – a mother cat and her eight kittens.

The charity’s Fareham & Waterlooville Districts Branch in Hampshire, England, was called out to a hotel in July to catch the stray cat and her kittens, who were living in the eaves.

The hotel’s caretaker climbed in to the roof space and handed each kitten to Branch Trapping Volunteer Eric Silverberg. “Imagine my surprise when I received eight kittens estimated at about eight to 10 days old,” said Eric.

Eric and Inga looked after the tiny kittens at home
Eric took the tiny kittens home and they were bottle-fed by his wife Inga, a Kitten Fosterer for the branch. Luckily, volunteers caught the mother cat soon after and the feline family was reunited at Eric and Inga’s home.

Inga said: “She was a lovely mother, a beautiful, gentle cat who never put her claws out once. But she didn’t have enough milk to feed all eight kittens so I was helping her all the time.” While Inga is used to looking after kittens she admits that eight was a bit like a herd.

A local newspaper, the Portsmouth News, ran three stories on the hotel kittens and soon the branch had a “queue of people” interested in rehoming them. All the kittens will go to their new homes in mid September once they’re nine weeks old, the minimum age for rehoming.

With no owner forthcoming their mother, Molly, has a new home too; she’s also been neutered, saving her from the hard work and health risks of having another litter. And the branch had so many enquiries from the newspaper coverage that other cats and kittens in their care were rehomed.
Mother Molly has also found a new home

While Inga admitted it would be a wrench to let the kittens she’s cared for go, she’s pleased they’ve all found great new homes. “There’s always another litter looking for a rescue,” she said. “And if I kept them, I wouldn’t be able to help any others.”

She added: “It feels brilliant that this has had such a happy ending, it’s absolutely wonderful.”

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Posh pad for fortunate ferals

Four feral kittens found a stylish new home, thanks to a Cats Protection branch in the south-east of England.

“It all started with a phone call asking if we would be able to acquire two outdoor cats or kittens for a house with a two-acre garden on the outskirts of Slough,” said Ray Janes, volunteer field worker for Maidenhead, Slough & District Branch.

The kittens are settling in to their new home
Later that day, Ray took another call – this time from a local home owner asking the charity to rehome a feral mother and five kittens he’d been feeding in his garden.

The owner agreed to keep and look after the mother cat and one kitten, leaving Ray with the challenge of how to rehome the remaining four kittens. Luckily, the lady who’d phoned earlier asking for two outdoor cats agreed to take four!

Ray fed the feral mother and her kittens. Within five days they'd been checked over by a vet, treated for minor conditions and neutered.
And four of the kittens were taken to their new home which has two acres of lawn surrounded by trees and hedges, far from any road.

They will soon be released from their specially-designed holding pen into the gardens, with access to snug sleeping quarters between the hedgerows.

Feral cats are those either born wild or that have lived so long away from humans that they can no longer be found new homes as pets. An uncontrolled feral colony will grow quickly; the cats will be susceptible to disease and may also become a nuisance.

Simply removing the cats is not a long-term solution, as a new colony will soon move in. Cats Protection will usually neuter the resident feral cats and return them to their original location.

If that area is inappropriate or unsafe, then the charity will aim to rehome them to another suitable place, such as a farm or stables, where they can be fed regularly and provide a useful role as mousers!