Late Thursday night Paul receives an email from a council worker to tell us that there are 2 kittens stuck in a boarded up property some 1.5 hrs drive from the Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue base.
The property was boarded up a week ago and mum cat has had no access to her babies in this time that they are aware of. The situation is critical, the kittens may even already be dead or dying.
First thing the next morning Paul heads out to the property with a series of traps and equipment and food not knowing what he will find when he gets there. He collects the keys of the property and then heads inside cautiously fearful that the kittens will in fact be dead already. Paul wanders round the property and looks for the most likely place they could be hiding. Wall vents, under the floor boards or… the fireplaces.
Paul thought he heard a sneeze but couldn’t quite tell where it was coming from. Then something drew him towards the upstairs fireplace. There were no footprints or marks in the dust but was that a little foot hanging out?? He looked a little closer and yes, it was a little foot. His first thought was it was dead and his heart sank but then its little foot moved.
He eagerly set up a couple of kitten traps to try and get the little ones safely by tempting them with some tasty foods. He went downstairs and heard the trap ping shut almost immediately, these little ones must be very hungry. He went back into the room cautiously to find 1 kitten in the trap and 1 kitten wavering by the trap. It froze in fear and tried to make a very slow run for it back up the chimney and Paul managed to grab it before it got there. His heart was literally in his mouth as he felt just how thin these little ones were. He had been able to grab this little fluffy kitten because she was so weak and thin. She was literally a little bag of bones and fluff and was very near death.
Paul transferred them to a smaller transport cage and slid in some food. They nearly took his hand off to get it. These guys were starving.
He left them eating and then went to see if there were any signs of the mum cat who had been heard calling the kittens from outside. He tried and searched for another 4 hours but he just could not find her anywhere. The longer time passed the more the kittens were in need of urgent attention and seeing how dehydrated and weak the kittens were he had no choice to make the decision to head back to Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue without the mum cat as he still had an hour and a half drive to get back to base. He left word with the council officials and the key holders and left food out for mum and that was mum to return they were to going to make efforts to catch her and then have mum transported to the safety of Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue.
With a heavy heart at leaving mum behind Paul rushed back as quickly as he could with the kittens. Once back at Sunny Harbour we realised just how thin and frail these littles ones were. We are sure that at most these kittens would have no more than 24 hours left to live if we hadn’t found them.
They are now safe at Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue and will need much care and socialisation before they will even begin to be ready to move onto a new home.
The sad thing is that several other rescue’s including national rescue’s with millions in funding were alerted to the trapped kittens. Most did not even attempt to help. 1 attended did a quick walk through and then left leaving the kittens to their fate yet their were clear signs that the little ones or at least something was there.
Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue travelled 1.5hrs out of our area to help these kittens knowing they were in grave danger. We didn’t get paid for doing this and we didn’t receive any recompense in any way for doing so either. Our reward is saving the lives of these 2 little kittens who would have otherwise died a slow agonising death in their cold, stone chimney.
If you would like to follow the recovery of the Chimney Kittens join our facebook community here: http://www.facebook.com/sunnyharbourcatrescue
You can also help us by donating to help us purchase the special foods and milks needed in their rehabilitation. To find out more please visit our main website here: http://sunnyharbour.org.uk/donate.html
Update 21 /08/2012
We are devastated to have to report that Ash, the little black and white male kitten has left us to join others at Rainbow Bridge. His sister, Cinders (long hair) remains with us still fighting to recover.
Ash collapsed on the morning of the 17th after taking a bad fit. We rushed him straight to our vets who fought to save him but couldn’t get his fits under control. Our vets believe the severe malnutrition and having eaten the rotting pigeon carcass has contributed to Ash’s death due to organ damage. We just hope and pray this won’t happen to Cinders too.
“RIP little man. Know you were loved by many and will never be forgotten.
Love you always, mum and dad xxxxxx”