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14 June 2022

So many recipes for success in catering for feline care and protection come our way, but here’s a rather tasty one somewhat inspired by renowned chef Ainsley Harriott MBE, of TV’s ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ fame.

Main ingredients in this special production are two kittens from an unwanted litter delivered to Crawley, Reigate & District Branch back in those dismal lockdown days of 2021.

Fosterer Ruth took on the task of caring for these feeble felines (including flea and worm treatments, veterinary vaccinations) and nurturing them until fit enough for re-homing.

Ultimately, an enquiry came from Heather and family from East Grinstead. “Did we,” they asked, “have any kittens available for adoption?” The Branch certainly did and the usual adoption procedures were put into place. Heather adopted one of the male kittens known as ‘Mo,’ plus a female called ‘Rosie.’

Clearly, Heather and family were huge fans of our aforementioned superstar chef and TV personality, because after a while at home in East Grinstead the lucky kittens were later re-named ‘Ainsley’ and ‘Harriet,’ respectively.

Telling us about the name changes, Heather initially reported that the lovely kittens were fine. Ainsley was a big boy who liked lazing around, while Harriet was slight, looked permanently surprised and loved being outside.

In a more recent up-date Heather stated: “They’ve both grown into wonderful cats. Ainsley is like a panther, has a sassy walk and a huge appetite. He loves playing 'fetch' with his toy mouse or being outside if the weather's good. If it's raining, he's much happier inside, chilling out in the room where I work.

“Harriet is a petite cat with huge eyes. She loves being cuddled and will keep coming back for more. During the day she likes to be outside and if we go into the garden she'll always come back over the fence to greet us with a face bump. In the evenings she can be found snuggling down on a bed upstairs.

“Both Ainsley and Harriet have the loveliest of temperaments, are very gentle and we feel very lucky to have them.”

As the near-namesake of these pusses might say, this story is indeed a recipe for success and puts the icing firmly on the cake …..

By Ann Judge