Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Cat lover’s 200km charity run for moggies who saved her life

Josie Murrie from Canterbury says her three cats made life worth living after the loss of her father Bill.

Now Josie has set herself the challenge of running 200km around the city to raise money for other unwanted moggies who don’t have a home of their own. 

blonde woman wearing yellow Cats Protection running vest
Josie is hoping kind cat lovers with sponser her to run 200km

The 23-year-old will be running different 6-7km routes every day in October and hopes to raise £2,000 as well as take her message of hope for cats to as many people as possible. 

“I lost my dad to cancer a few years ago and I was really lonely and heartbroken,” said Josie. “My whole world felt like it had crumbled down. I come from a family that loves cats and my earliest memories are of being surrounded by feline friends, so it was natural for me to want to adopt two to help fix my empty home and mend my broken heart.”

two brown tabby cats sitting on top of gift-wrapped box
Josie's cats Jones and Ripley

Soon after making that decision, Josie learned of some local kittens in need of a new home, so she jumped to their rescue, adopting two while her mum took a third. 

“This was the best decision I've ever made. They are my world and make every day so much brighter just for having them in it. They brought joy into my life that I never thought possible again. It’s a cliché but I believe my two little darlings saved my life. They’re beautiful and I love them more than anything.”

two brown tabby kittens sitting inside pink box
Jones and Ripley when they were kittens

Soon after she adopted the two cats, named Jones and Ripley after characters from the Alien film franchise, she heard of another cat living rough so took him in and named him Noodle. “We’re lucky to have cat lovers next door who have a black cat called Marcel and the four have become a great friendship group,’ she said.

The loss of a beloved family pet who had been around since before Josie was born brought the work of Cats Protection to her attention.

black cat sticking its tongue out
Josie's cat Noodle

“When my childhood cat Peggy passed away due to old age 12 years ago, we were heartbroken. We knew we needed another bundle of joy to fill our home with personality and warmth so mum contacted Cats Protection to say that we wanted to adopt another loving kitty.

“Most of the cats we have had have been abandoned at some point and we were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time so that we could call them part of our family. 

“Sadly, lots of cats and kittens aren't so lucky and that's where Cats Protection come in. They do such wonderful work, I want to do whatever I can to ensure that other cats who are not as lucky as my three find their forever homes.”

The 200km challenge she has set herself will not only benefit thousands of cats in need, it will also be a personal achievement for Josie. 

one grey-haired man and two red-headed girls smiling at the camera
Josie's last photo with her father Bill before he passed away aged 60

She said: “I used to be quite athletic but I gained a lot of weight after falling ill and losing my dad. I’ve been trying to lose weight, exercising every day, but this will be the extra motivation I need to get in better shape.”

Efforts such as these are of great importance to Cats Protection, as COVID-19 restrictions mean most fundraising events large and small have been cancelled or postponed until 2021.  

Cats Protection’s Gina Rogers said: “When Josie approached our events team, we were blown away by the magnitude of her challenge and her immeasurable passion for cats. To say it’s been a challenging time for events is an understatement, but supporters like Josie are truly one of a kind.”

To support Josie in her mega fundraising challenge, visit her JustGiving page.

If you fancy taking on your own challenge for Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk/events for more information.


Monday, 28 September 2020

Charity worker plans month of walks to raise money for cats

Cats Protection charity worker Paul Hannant will take on Britain’s highest peaks and walk more than 200 miles in a month-long challenge to raise funds for cats and kittens. 

The Great British challenge is the brainchild of Paul, Manager at Cats Protection’s Dereham Adoption Centre, who has been working throughout lockdown for cats in care. 

man wearing blue Cats Protection t-shirt with cream-coloured flat-faced cat on his lap

“The team at our centre has continued to home cats during the pandemic, despite working in unique and often difficult circumstances,” said Paul. “We adapted well to the obstacles and have united many cats with their new owners via our hands-free homing process.”

Fundraising took a big hit when major charity events such as the London Marathon were cancelled and local fairs and sponsored challenges were called off. Thousands of pounds of goodwill donations were lost by Dereham Cats Protection, although running costs to support cats in care have remained high and the service to the community goes on.

man sitting on pile of rocks on top of hill and giving two thumbs up

Paul added: “The inability to hold many of our usual fundraising events has seen the charity’s income drop substantially this summer. I wanted to do what I could to offset a little of that loss and I came up with this series of Great British challenges.

“I signed up for the Slieve Donard trek but I wanted to do more. That’s when I came up with this crazy idea of climbing Britain’s highest peaks. What can I say; I like hills.

“As I’m not climbing an English mountain, I’ll climb Snowdon twice and walk a marathon. I live about 26 miles from the coast so with a route jiggled to get the correct mileage, I can walk to Beeston Bump. Running it would probably kill me. That should be enough for one month, don’t you think?” 

Paul’s challenge will be to:

  • walk 26.2 miles from his Dereham home to Beeston Bump on the Sheringham coast, on October 4, the Virtual London Marathon Day
  • climb Scotland’s Ben Nevis on his stairs; 8,810 stairs without rest to ascend the height of Britain’s highest mountain
  • climb Welsh mountain Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales, twice in one day
  • conquer Northern Ireland’s highest peak Slieve Donard, as part of Cats Protection’s sponsored event

You can follow Paul’s progress on our Dereham Adoption Centre’s Facebook page or donate via his JustGiving page.

To find out how you can take part in your own challenge event to raise much-needed funds for Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk/events 


Friday, 25 September 2020

Norfolk volunteers mark branch’s 5th birthday despite lockdown

Cats Protection’s Anglia Coastal Branch is marking five years of caring for cats, despite COVID-19 restrictions stopping their plans for a party and fundraising fair.

Celebrations might have been scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic - and they won’t even be able to share a cake - but the volunteering team has every right to feel proud of their achievements.

They’ve successfully helped nearly 1,500 cats since the branch opened in Waveney five years ago. This includes 1,111 adoptions, welfare support for 524 needy strays and 166 cats as part of the trap-neuter-return programme.

black cat laying on knitted blanket next to cuddly toys
Odin was the first cat rehomed by the branch five years ago

Odin was the first cat to be adopted from the Anglian Coastal Branch. This handsome black boy was mirrored by beautiful young stray Monty, who became the team’s 1,000th cat rehomed in December 2019.

It isn’t all about rehoming and neutering though. The branch works at the heart of the community and goes to great efforts to provide information and advice on better cat ownership with hundreds of local people attending their branch fairs and fundraising events.

Impressive numbers backed up by the commitment that has kept this small army of cat carers and fosterers who have worked tirelessly throughout lockdown. Even while volunteering was put on hold due to the government’s coronavirus restrictions, cats already in care were never overlooked and the team was on call for emergencies.

piece of string dangling in front of a black cat
Monty was the 1,000th cat rehomed by the branch in December 2019

Lynne Pothecary, Publicity Officer for Cats Protection Anglia Coastal Branch, said: “Sadly, we haven't been able to make any plans to celebrate because of the new rules about no more than six people. That was disappointing, of course, as we wanted to thank the whole community by involving everyone in our celebrations.

“We’ll give ourselves a pat on the back and then we’ll get on with what we do best; caring for local cats and supporting our community of cat owners with welfare information to improve the lives of all cats.”

The results wouldn’t have been possible without five volunteers who have been with the branch since it started; Christine Cutts, Charmaine Woods, Suzanne Hindes, Jackie Jones and Linda Holland, who has more than 25 years of experience with Cats Protection.

Cat Welfare Coordinator Christine Cutts, who was the branch’s first volunteer five years ago, said: “Better cat ownership that benefits the lives of cats and their families drives our work on welfare, support and education in the community. Our job doesn’t end when a cat finds a loving home. We help the cat and owner settle down together. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved and we look forward to the next five years.”

Acting Admin Coordinator Linda Holland, agreed: “This is a result of teamwork and the support of our community. Without local people who come to our events and notify us of cats in need, we wouldn’t be able to raise necessary funds and spread the word about better care for cats and their owners. We are an extended team and everyone should be part of our celebrations.”

If you would like to support our Anglian Coastal Branch, please visit their website for more information. If you’re interested in volunteering with Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk/volunteering to find an opportunity near you.  


Monday, 21 September 2020

Cat careers: Finding your purrfect job at Cats Protection

It’s the International Week of Happiness at Work and in our opinion there’s no better way to find job satisfaction than working with cats!

Our employees at Cats Protection can testify that a career with cats is truly rewarding so we asked them what makes their role positively purrfect…

Sue Dobbs – Bridgend Adoption Centre Manager

brunette woman in blue Cats Protection t-shirt holding tabby-and-white cat
Sue Dobbs with Cookie

“My role as Centre Manager is at the heart of the work Cats Protection does and has a direct benefit on cats through helping unwanted cats and kittens find their forever home. It also benefits cats by enabling me to share case studies from the centre, highlighting cat welfare issues and getting key messages out to the public, helping to improve cat welfare regionally and nationally. 

“I have been working for Cats Protection for 22 years and my favourite thing is making a real difference to people and cats on a daily basis. I find it very rewarding when a cat is admitted into our care bedraggled and in poor condition, and we nurse it back to full health and rehome it. I particularly love receiving videos and photos of them settled in their forever homes.

“I consider myself very fortunate to be able to say that I love my job. It is very varied and no two days are the same. The job can be challenging and stressful at times and there have been good times and bad times but I believe that it is a privilege to be the Bridgend Adoption Centre Manager and to head up our amazing team of employees and volunteers to help cats and people in our local community, I am extremely proud of team Bridgend.”

Helen Waterman – IT Project & Documentation Officer

fair-haired woman in blue Cats Protection fleece with tabby-and-white cat in cat pen
Helen Waterman with Willow

“My role provides Cats Protection employees with technology to improve their IT processes, ultimately giving them time back for the cats. My favourite thing about the role is knowing that the work I do in IT helps employees provide a more effective and efficient service to Cats Protection customers/adopters and suppliers, allowing more time to be focused on the cats in our care.”

Dr Jennifer McDonald BSc MSc PhD – Feline Epidemiologist

brunette woman holding tabby-and-white cat
Jennifer McDonald with Mac

"Although roles are diverse everyone at Cats Protection is working towards the common goal of improving cat welfare, so immediately we all share common values. I find immense enjoyment from applying my research skills to help understand more about cats to benefit their welfare.

“If I could have made up my perfect job, this would be it. I work for an organisation and within a department that shares my passion for cat welfare and I get to apply my academic skillset to help answer meaningful questions on all things cats, which have the potential to have a real positive impact on their welfare.”

Edward Blackwell – Dual-site Shop Manager (Wolverhampton and Stourbridge) 

tortoiseshell cat sitting on desk next to man typing on laptop
Edward Blackwell hard at work with his cat companion

“It's the people that make it purrfect for me. Cats Protection is very good at saying "thank you" and "well done". This is often forgotten in life. This means a lot to me, and I have huge respect for #TeamCP. We have knowledgeable and experienced senior retail leaders, who don't just talk the talk. They have been there and done it themselves so this also generates respect. 

“This is the first organisation where the head of retail has made the effort to engage with me and has personally thanked me on many occasions for my hard work. They are all approachable and we really are one big team. I will always be grateful to Cats Protection for giving me the chance to work for such an amazing organisation!”

SuiLi Weight – Cat Welfare Learning Officer 

brunette woman in blue Cats Protection top holding white-and-tabby cat
SuLi Weight with a Cats Protection cat

“My current role helps cats by teaching an understanding of good cat welfare to the employees and volunteers looking after them, to better understand the reasons for our policies and procedures. This benefits the cats directly in Cats Protection care and also the wider cat population, both owned and unowned, as these people educate and pass the good welfare messages out to the public too.

“I love the impact that this role has to help cat welfare, both for those in Cats Protection care and beyond. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to speak to the employees and volunteers working on the ‘front line’ and help them to learn and develop, and help with any issues they might have.”

Lizanne Frawley – Learning & Development Specialist

“My role supports the people who use their talents and skills to create the impact for cats. My favourite thing is when someone says they have had a ‘lightbulb’ moment on one of our courses. It’s re-motivating every time in knowing they have an impact. It’s my purrfect job because it matters.”

If you’re interested in a career with cats, visit careers.cats.org.uk to find the purrfect job for you. 


Friday, 18 September 2020

Purrfectly Imperfect: Three-legged Mylo is living life to the full

He may be missing a leg, but playful Mylo loves nothing more than chasing butterflies in the garden, jumping onto the bed for a cuddle and watching a bit of ‘Catflix’.

three-legged ginger-and-white cat sitting on navy blue sofa
Mylo doesn't let his disability hold him back

His owner Sarah Gooding adopted him from Cats Protection’s Birmingham Adoption Centre in 2018 and believes that #PurrfectlyImperfect cats have so much to give despite their disabilities.

I was looking at the local Cats Protection website for something for work (I work in charitable fundraising) and decided to have a look at the cats available with a colleague,” said Sarah.

blonde woman in burgundy jumper with ginger-and-white cat on her lap
Sarah with her cuddle buddy Mylo

“I'm a sucker for a sad animal story, and when I read the information on the website about how he had lost his leg something just clicked. I was living alone and had recently moved back to the area, and I thought Mylo could be the perfect companion for me, and I could help keep him safe and ensure he had the best possible life.”

Sarah hadn’t owned a cat since she was a child, let alone a disabled moggy, so she was happy to get some expert advice from the Cats Protection team.

three-legged ginger-and-white cat standing up at front door on welcome doormat
Mylo is loving his new home

“The staff at Cats Protection Birmingham were brilliant at explaining any additional care he would need which, it turns out, isn't a lot! He's just as mischievous as a four-legged cat.

“As it's one of his front legs missing he still has all the power of his back legs to jump etc, so he has no problem getting upstairs or jumping up on to furniture. Bringing him home was just like bringing home any other cat.

three-legged ginger-and-white cat sat on sofa with belly showing
Letting it all hang out 

“The main thing the staff pointed out was that I would need to monitor his weight, as being overweight could put a lot of extra pressure on his joints as it would be spread over only three legs.

“The staff also advised that he was very shy. He hadn't come out of his kitty castle much during his stay at Cats Protection, and would never go up into the display area of his pen, so I'd had to crawl in on my hands on knees when I went to see him! However, the day I took him home he curled up on the sofa next to me, but his head on my lap, and went to sleep!”

three-legged ginger-and-white cat laying in sunny spot on carpet
A sunny spot for a snooze

It didn’t take long for Mylo to settle into his forever home and he soon started to discover some new favourite hobbies.

“Mylo's favourite thing to do throughout the summer has been to visit our neighbour's garden which has a big buddleia bush and LOTS of butterflies. We didn't know this until our neighbour came round to let us know – luckily he hasn't been up to any mischief and our neighbour seems to have quite enjoyed watching him chase the butterflies!

“He likes to watch videos for cats on YouTube or, as we call it, 'Catflix'. His favourite is a Harry Potter-themed quidditch video where he tries to catch the golden snitch on the screen! 

three-legged ginger-and-white cat pawing at mouse on computer screen
Watching his favourite 'Catflix' show

“Mylo also has an incredible perception of time and our routine. He has worked out the signs for when we're about to go to bed, and always gets up from wherever he is sat and runs up the stairs ahead of us, and jumps on the bed before we get there. He does that every single night without fail.

“In the morning, he won't come downstairs until I do, even if my partner has been downstairs first. He is at my side all morning; next to the bed when I first wake up, laid next to me while I get ready, and even walks down the stairs with me. Most of the time my partner has already put his food out and called him, but he still won't go downstairs until I do.”

three-legged ginger-and-white cat laying upside down on a bed
'Helping' with the morning routine

Even a nationwide lockdown hasn’t phased lovely Mylo, as he’s still been as active as ever throughout 2020.

“Mylo is able to go out just like any normal cat, but he's certainly made the most of us being at home, as he has been coming home every 2-3 hours for a snack and a fuss before going out again.

“I do worry that he might find it strange when we go back to work, as having us both at home has certainly changed his routine, but I have found that he adjusts to changes in his surroundings amazingly well, especially given all he has been through in his short life so far!"

three-legged ginger-and-white cat sitting on desk next to laptop
The purrfect assistant while his owner works from home

Mylo has certainly proved that life on three legs can still be full of fun for a cat, and Sarah is keen for other potential cat owners to give a #PurrfectlyImperfect cat like Mylo a chance.

“It's just like owning an able-bodied cat! Just like all cats, Mylo can be aloof when he wants to, but most of the time he's very loving and I put this down to the experiences he's been through, and the time he's spent without a home. Other than keeping an eye on his weight, he has no additional needs to a 'normal' cat.

three-legged ginger-and-white cat laying on navy blue sofa
Mylo the #PurrfectlyImperfect three-legged cat

“The staff at Cats Protection were great at preparing me for what disabled cat ownership might look like, and really prepared me for the worst. The only thing is keeping an eye on his weight can be hard when he sits next to the treats cupboard and gives you 'the look'!”

You can follow Mylo’s antics on his Instagram page @MyloHops. He's also the cover star of the official Cats Protection 2021 calendar. You can get your paws on a copy from our online shop

For more help and advice on caring for #PurrfectlyImperfect cats with disabilities, visit www.cats.org.uk/disabled-cats

 

Thursday, 17 September 2020

The nation's favourite cute cat video is revealed in the Alternative Cat Awards

Cat-loving comedian Bob Mortimer has revealed the winner of Cats Protection’s Alternative Cat Awards. 

The awards, sponsored by PURINA®, were launched in August to celebrate the UK’s feline lockdown legends, after our annual National Cat Awards had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Grey-haired man holding black-and-white kitten

We asked you to send in cute and funny videos of your cat companions and after receiving thousands of entries, we got our panel of celebrity judges to pick the winners of five categories. 

However only one could be crowned the ‘People’s Purrfect Choice’ and so it was up to you to vote for your favourite.

The winner is… Cookie

The peaceful purring of 21-year-old Cookie from Romford won her the #SeniorKitizen award, which celebrates older cats over the age of 11. Definitely turn the volume up to watch this video!

Owner Holly Webb said: “When we rehomed Cookie the vets estimated we would have around six months with her, but three years later she still plays like a kitten. The vets are amazed and wonder what her secret is! 

black-and-white cat laying on grey sofa
Senior Kitizen winner Cookie.
Credit: Holly Webb. 

"She is well and truly enjoying her retirement and now spends the majority of her time either napping on laps, eating or purring. She will sit and wait at the door for us to come home, and meow at us all the time.”

brunette woman sitting on sofa with black-and-white cat on her lap
Cookie with her owner Holly Webb.
Credit: Holly Webb.

Radio presenter Justine Greene chose Cookie as the winner of the Senior Kitizen category. Justine said: “Cookie brings a lot to Holly’s home and is a great example of how a mature moggy can offer up a lot of love and support! I couldn’t resist that purr and the fact she is still going strong at the age of 21!” 

Here are the four fabulous runners up…


Purina Perfect Teamwork winner: Norbert

The excellent computer mouse skills of one-year-old Norbert (also known as Norbz) from Tewkesbury won him the #PurinaPerfectTeamwork award, which celebrates the bond between cats and their owners who were working or studying from home during the lockdown period. 

Norbert’s owner Leighanne James said: “We adopted Norbert from Cats Protection when he was just 12 weeks old and watching him grow has been such a joy. He is a really funny character with the longest tail and squeakiest meow ever. 

black cat sitting on paving slabs outdoors
Purina Purrfect Teamwork winner Norbert (aka Norbz).
Credit: Leighanne James.

“Although Norbert can be quite shy at times, he is becoming more confident by the day and quite happy to take part in an online video call, albeit he hasn’t learned to type yet!”

blonde woman wearing glasses with black cat
Norbert with his owner Leighanne James.
Credit: Leighanne James.

Norbert’s winning video was chosen by celebrity beauty expert and TV presenter Gina Akers. Gina said: “I know what Leighanne means about Norbert’s funny character, the way he carefully manoeuvred a computer mouse around with his paw and then swept it off the table really made me laugh.

“Cat capers like this really brighten up a dull working day and so Norbert was my winner from among three excellent finalists.”          

Purrfectly Imperfect winner: Charlie Roo

Despite having under-developed front legs, Charlie Roo’s fun-loving approach to life won him the #PurrfectlyImperfect category which celebrates cats living happy, healthy lives with a disability, health issue or superficial aesthetic deformity.

Charlie Roo, who is two years old and from Dumfries, has a condition called radial hypoplasia, which means the bones in his front legs did not grow properly. However, as you can see from his video, it doesn’t stop him from playing, sleeping and generally just being a cat.

white cat sitting with its arms crossed
Purrfectly Imperfect winner Charlie Roo.
Credit: Siobhan Webster.

Owner Siobhan Webster said: “Charlie Roo doesn’t let his disability or his bad start in life faze him. When he was rescued, he was very underweight, anaemic and had fleas and worms. Apart from being extremely cute, he just loves to play and makes us laugh every single day.”

Brunette woman holding white cat
Charlie Roo with his owner Siobhan Webster.
Credit: Siobhan Webster.

Charlie Roo was chosen by comedian and writer Jake Lambert who has a Purrfectly Imperfect cat of his own, one-eyed black moggy Richard Parker. 

Mischievous Moggy winner: Sid

Athletic seven-year-old Sid from Baldock won the #MischeviousMoggy category thanks to his jaw-dropping banister leaping act. 

The category celebrated cats with interesting and playful behaviours that have performed challenges or been a source of entertainment during lockdown.

close up of black cat looking at the camera
Mischievous Moggy winner Sid.
Credit: Philippa Beck. 

Owner Philippa Beck-Evans said: “Sid is the epitome of a mischievous moggy. From dipping his paw in his dad’s birthday cake, or opening a bag of pasta shells and batting them all over the floor, as well as jumping all the way up the bannisters during lockdown, he has kept us all entertained. He really is such a loveable character.”

brunette woman holding black cat
Sir with his owner Philippa Beck.
Credit: Philippa Beck.

Sid’s winning video was chosen by ex-England goalkeeper David Seaman and his wife, Dancing on Ice star Frankie Seaman. Frankie said: “David and I were incredibly impressed by Sid’s agility! Cats like Sid invariably surprise us with their quirky and unique ways of doing things and that’s one of the reasons why we love them so much!”    

Best Newcomer winner: Bean

Playful kitten Bean from Leeds has won the #BestNewcomer category after settling into her new home this year despite a tough start in life.

The category celebrates cats adopted from animal rescue organisations in 2020, and Bean’s scratch post climbing antics show she’s very happy to have found her new forever home. 

black-and-white kitten laying on grey patterned duvet with pink ball
Best Newcomer winner Bean.
Credit: Amy Hatton. 

Bean’s owner Amy Hatton said: “Bean didn’t have the best of starts in life, living on the streets with her feral mum. At first, she would try getting under the kitchen cupboards or sofa to sleep as she was too scared to let her guard down around us. But now she is a totally different kitten and loves sleeping on my lap for hours. She’s a massively loving cat and loves cuddles all the time.”

brunette woman holding black-and-white kitten
Bean with her owner Amy Hatton.
Credit: Amy Hatton. 

Bean’s winning video was chosen by category judge, dance choreographer and ex-Strictly judge Arlene Phillips.

Along with the People’s Purrfect Choice title, Cookie’s owner will be invited to attend Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards at London’s Savoy on 5 August 2021 and win a bundle of cat goodies. Congratulations Cookie!

To find out more about the Alternative Cat Awards, visit www.cats.org.uk/aca


Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Vet duo take on Alps adventure for cats

A husband and wife team are in training for a 46km trek through the Alps next year, all to help cats and kittens in need.

Fiona and Chris Coutts will jet off on the five-day adventure in September 2021, along with a small group of other cat-loving fundraisers.

selfie of a redhead woman and brunette man
Cat lovers Fiona and Chris are taking on the challenge of a lifetime

"We are both vets and we wanted to set ourselves a challenge as well as raising money for a charity we both support. I am a total cat lady so Cats Protection was the obvious choice.”

Starting in Italy, the trek will take our team of Cat Champions through the Mont Blanc region of the Alps, visiting three countries in just three days – France, Italy and Switzerland.

close-up of ginger cat's face asleep on person's lap
Fiona and Chris' cat will be cheering them on from home

The trip promises to showcase some of the most spectacular views this part of Europe has to offer, from stunning cliffs, to gorgeous waterfalls running from glaciers.

As well as being an incredible adventure, the challenge is set to raise thousands of pounds for the cats and kittens in the charity’s care. 

chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and chocolates on top
One of the delicious cakes the couple have sold at their bake sales

So far, Fiona and Chris have raised over £2,000 towards their pledge through bake sales, raffles, fun days and have made items such as hair bows and cat toys to sell.

“It has been great fun coming up with different ideas and you get a great sense of achievement as you see the totals start to creep up.”

If you fancy joining our team of Cat Champions in the Alps next September, you can find out more at www.cats.org.uk/alps 

A walker in front of the Alps mountain range with 'The Alps Trek 8-12 September 2021' wording

Monday, 7 September 2020

Meet the cats given a second chance by Cats Protection’s Cat Guardians service

Remember a Charity Week highlights how important leaving a gift in your will to charities such as Cats Protection really is. These generous gifts go such a long way in funding our work helping cats and kittens. In fact almost half of our essential work is funded by gifts in wills.   

Gifts in wills also help to fund schemes such as Cat Guardians, a free service that ensures cats are brought into a Cats Protection branch or centre in the event of their owner’s death. Here they will receive the best possible care until they are rehomed to a new, loving owner as quickly as possible. 

Meet some of the cats who have been helped by the Cat Guardians service…

Portia


brown tabby cat sitting inside cat pen

Sweet old lady Portia was very settled in her previous home of 17 years, where she had been devotedly cared for since kittenhood. Her owner had the forethought to register her with Cat Guardians to ensure that Portia would be looked after should the worst happen.

Sadly this day did come and Portia’s owner passed away. When Portia arrived into our Downham Market Adoption Centre, Manager Lindsay Tempest said: “Portia is such a lovely girl and was in such wonderful condition when she came to us, it is clear she came from a home where she was dotingly cared for. She settled in very quickly, was confident and very gentle and I didn’t think it would be too long before she found a new home.”

As Lindsay predicted, Portia was soon successfully rehomed to the Quince family. They said: “Within five minutes of bringing Portia home she had nestled down on the sofa. We absolutely love our Great Aunt Portia and she is so at home here, she loves receiving a fuss, her food and gives us a priceless greeting after a day at work.”

Portia’s late owner also remembered Cats Protection in her will when she registered to Cat Guardians; a generous thank you for looking after Portia and a kind gift to help fund our future work.

Jinky

tabby-and-white cat sitting inside cat bed

When Jinky’s owner sadly passed away he was brought in to our Glasgow Branch. He was very shy when he first arrived, and a little on the larger side! The team promptly put him on a diet to help him get down to a healthier size. Centre Receptionist Lynne said: “Jinky was quite shy when he first arrived, but he came out of his shell after a few days. He is quite a big boy and has made headlines locally due to his size.”

Thanks to the dedicated centre team, Jinky has gone from 10.9kg to a healthier 9.5kg, with a little way to go to his target weight of 8kg. He’ll continue his weight-loss journey is his cosy new home, as he has now been adopted by caring new owners. 

Bella and Sophie


tabby-and-white cat

Our Bredhurst Adoption Centre in Kent has been looking after two cats who were brought in under the Cat Guardians service. Deputy Manager Stacey said: “Bella is a delightful little lady and is ever so affectionate. She has been adopted by a gentleman who has been in search of a companion since he sadly lost his wife. We know she will be very loved and happy in her new home.

tortoiseshell-and-white cat sitting inside cat pen

“Sophie is very nervous bless her. We are continuing to slowly coax her out of her shell, but not pressuring her as it’s such a big change. We hope with time and patience she will gain our trust and once she has had her dental surgery we can begin to find her a new home where she can have plenty of tender love and care.”  

Sophie has now had all her dental surgery and found a new home where she can grow in confidence. 

What is Cat Guardians?

When you register with Cat Guardians, we provide a certificate and notification tools in the registration pack, which you can store along with your will and other personal documents. We also ask for as much information about your cat as possible, including their personality, likes and dislikes, so that we can take the best care of them and find them the perfect home that matches their needs. 

When you pass away, we are made aware by the next of kin. We then arrange for your cat to be taken in by one of our local branches or centres, where our dedicated teams will look after them and find them a new home as quickly as possible. 

To find out more about our Cat Guardians service and how to register, visit www.cats.org.uk/catguardians

How do I leave a gift to Cats Protection in my will?

Leaving a gift in you will, big or small, can help cats like Portia, Jinky, Bella and Sophie have a brighter future. Gifts in wills are used to help provide cats with a safe, loving environment where all their health needs will be met and they will be supplied with endless amounts of affection from our amazing teams before they go onto find a forever home.

If you would like to find out more about leaving a gift to Cats Protection and our free will offer, please visit www.cats.org.uk/giftsinwills email giftinwills@cats.org.uk or call us on 01825 741 271.


Sunday, 6 September 2020

Lockdown book raising children’s smiles and money for charity

Author Alison Wainwright put her talents to good use during lockdown to produce an illustrated children’s book that raises money for cats in need. 

Alison from Bingley had some time on her hands as she waited to start a new job, and decided she wanted to write a book that could also help her community, based on her real experience with Bingo the cat. 

As a committed cat lover, and not living too far from our Gildersome Homing Centre, Alison wanted her work to benefit a feline charity and chose Cats Protection to receive all of the profits from each book sale.

blonde woman holding black cat and Coco the Cat book
Alison with Bingo and her Coco the Cat book

Alison unexpectedly found Bingo when she moved in to her new home. The previous occupant of the house had left their cat with a neighbour. But Bingo did not understand the house was no longer his and kept letting himself in, following Alison around and helping her with gardening. 

Bingo has been transformed for Alison’s book into Coco the cat, a moggy who struggles to adjust to a family move, before kindly neighbours band together to help. 

A graduate in English, Scottish and Classical Literature, Alison has enjoyed creative writing since she was young, and has gone on to have poems and short stories published. 

To create Coco the Cat she drew on her marketing and design background to create stylised illustrations, allowing the reader to use their imagination to visualise Coco and his adventures.

Alison aimed the book at five to eight years olds, wanting it to be a story they could either read to themselves or have read to them. The idea of it being a shared story between children and adults really appealed.

Once she had completed the story, Alison set about navigating the new world of self-publishing, which involves getting it on to bookselling websites as well as promoting it.

“It has certainly been a challenge getting the book together,” said Alison. “Especially because I started a new job halfway through the process so ended up being extremely busy.”

“But it has also been a great experience turning what was a hobby into something bigger. My proudest moment was when a friend who has read the story to her daughter sent me a video of the child singing a made up song about Coco the Cat.” 

Alison has also penned another story, The Exchange Trip, which is raising money for The Donkey Sanctuary charity.

Coco the Cat and The Exchange Trip are available to buy on Amazon.

For more fun activities to keep young cat lovers entertained, visit www.cats.org.uk/education 


Saturday, 5 September 2020

Cuddle-loving cat Holly needs a home for her twilight years

A mature moggie with a heart of gold is looking for a home to call her own after battling life on the streets.

Cats Protection’s Blandford & Sturminster Newton Branch took in ex-stray Holly just before Christmas. 

black-and-white cat sitting on beige carpet

The 15-year-old black-and-white cat was found by a member of the public who saw how unwell she looked and took her to a local vet, who contacted the volunteer-run branch.  

In a sorry state, Holly was emaciated, had bad teeth and was struggling with cat flu. It was also discovered that she had an overactive thyroid, which was causing extreme weight-loss. 

After finding the right medication to manage her condition, removing five teeth and years of street grime, Holly soon began to show her loving character, enjoying regular cuddles with her fosterer. 

black-and-white cat sitting on beige blanket

Holly’s flu symptoms took a number of vet visits to get under control. Cat flu is a common illness that affects the upper respiratory tract of cats. It can be caused by a variety of infectious agents, including viruses and bacteria which, for some cats, can be life threatening. 

Because cat flu can be spread between cats, and it is likely Holly’s symptoms may flare up on occasions, she will be best suited to a home where she can be the only cat. 

Holly has had an extended stay with the branch owing to the veterinary care she needed, followed by lockdown restrictions which meant the branch had to temporarily pause adoptions. 

black-and-white cat laying on knitted blanket

Now the branch is able to rehome cats again through a contactless hand-free homing service, they’re hoping Holly can soon find a loving family and a home to call her own. 

Branch Coordinator Kate Bevan said: “Holly is an absolute darling of a cat and we would love her to find the perfect forever home. She particularly enjoys being outdoors so somewhere with a garden would give her the chance to enjoy the feel of the wind in her fur and sun on her whiskers. 

“Her hyperthyroidism is extremely easily controlled with a daily tablet that she happily takes hidden in a piece of cheese or some fish paste. We can chat to her new owners about it and we would encourage anyone looking for an affectionate, gentle, lap-loving cat to consider Holly. She’s a gorgeous, slightly older moggie and will make a fantastic companion.”

If you live in the Blandford area and would like to offer Holly a home, call 01258 858 644 or visit www.cats.org.uk/blandford  

To find cats ready for adoption in your area, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat


Friday, 4 September 2020

Dramatic four-cat rescue reveals 20 more cats needing help

Volunteers from Cats Protection’s Southampton Branch are appealing for donations after a call-out revealed many more cats needing urgent help than expected. 

The branch was alerted to a mother cat and her kittens sheltering from wind and rain in a hedge near a housing estate in Mansbridge by two concerned members of the public, Lisa Halls and Becky Jennings.

balck-and-white kitten sitting in human hand
Belle the kitten was rescued just in time

When volunteer Cathy Godden arrived on site she realised that not only were the mother and kittens in need of help but that there were around 20 more equally needy cats nearby.

Becky had managed to crawl through to reach the cat and kittens by finding a hole in the wire fence which surrounded the bushes in which they had hidden. 

Cathy, who specialises in trap, neuter and return work with feral cats, rushed the mum and kittens to foster care before returning to begin the process of humanely trapping the other cats, assisted by Lisa and Becky.

scruffy black-and-white kitten laying on blanket
Scruffy Belle just after being rescued by the branch

Among the 14 cats and kittens the trio has captured so far, two scared black-and-white kittens were among the worst affected. Alone, with no sign that their mother had visited them in recent days, Cathy realised the tiny pair were unlikely to survive much longer in windy and rainy conditions.

Thought to be around two weeks old, even the smallest of the duo soon began to thrive once she was inside a warm home, dried gently and enjoying a tummy full of food. Her name, Belle, was chosen by the branch’s Facebook followers.

Lisa explained: “I was told there were kittens born to a feral mother under some bushes and knew I had to try and help get them off the streets. After I called in Cats Protection, we soon found it was a bigger issue than we first thought, with at least 20 cats and kittens needing help.

black-and-white kitten being held in human hand
Belle in her cat pen just 36 hours after being rescued

“All the cats we have trapped so far need different types of care or help, but all have been neutered to stop the cycle of more and more kittens being born in the area.

“Some have been returned after their neutering procedure as they are feral and cannot tolerate human contact. Some older kittens will be best suited to life as farm cats helping with pest control, so we have taken four to a lovely farm where they will receive food and vet care but mainly live outside.

“Meanwhile, the tiniest of the kittens still need some TLC but will eventually be ready for rehoming where they will become family pets in loving homes.”

black-and-white kitten laying down
Belle is happy and healthy and growing stronger

Both Lisa and Becky have since joined Cats Protection’s Southampton Branch as trap, neuter and return volunteers after their experiences helping the feral colony.

Branch Coordinator Carolyne Kemp said: “Trap, neuter and return work, or TNR, is extremely rewarding, but at times like this we experience great rollercoasters of emotion too.

“It’s wonderful to trap feral cats and neuter them as there are many health benefits including the prevention of potentially dangerous pregnancies for females and less instinct to fight for males. However, when we see tiny kittens like Belle who are so much smaller than they should be, struggling to survive with no mother around, it shows how feral cats battle life and death every day.

“We are a volunteer-run branch and although we work closely with our local vets who give us excellent discounts on treatments, we certainly weren’t expecting to suddenly have 20 sets of vet bills ranging from neonatal care to neutering!

“We would therefore be so grateful for any donations either via our Facebook fundraiser or Amazon Wish List. It will really help us continue this vital work with the cats and kittens of Mansbridge.”

To find out more about how Cats Protection supports neutering, visit www.cats.org.uk/neutering