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27th April 2023

Comedian and cat-lover Lucy Porter took time out from her nationwide tour to officially open a new facility which will care for some of Birmingham’s most unwell cats and kittens.

Lucy visited Cats Protection’s Birmingham Adoption Centre along with her husband, actor and writer Justin Edwards, to open the centre’s new isolation unit on Packhorse Lane in Hollywood before taking to the stage at The Old Rep as part of her Wake Up Call tour.

Lucy is best known for her feel-good gigs, two series of IQ, Mock the Week and Argumental as well as Have I Got News for You, Clive Anderson’s Chat Room, What the Dickens? and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. On Radio 4 she has been heard on Life - An Idiot’s Guide, Heresy, The Personality Test, The News Quiz, Dilemma and The Unbelievable Truth and is a regular guest on BBC 6Music’s The Radcliffe & Maconie Show. Away from the stage, Lucy has two beloved cats of her own called Midnight and Daisy.

The state-of-the-art isolation unit is able to house 12 individual cats or those with litters of kittens. It has been made possible thanks to a legacy from Barbara and Richard Davies who became long-term supporters of the centre after the adoption of their cat Hovis. Mr and Mrs Davies’ legacy also provided the centre with a new van and a range of cat care equipment.

Lucy says: "It was great to see the work Cats Protection is doing to support and rehome local cats and find out about the difference the isolation unit will make to their ability to take in cats from all walks of life. I met some fabulous new kitties in need of new homes, including long-haired Frankie and also Paula with her kitten Paul who probably knew I wasn't a vet when I took part in their admittance check!"

The unit is a £500,000 investment in cat care excellence in the West Midlands and was built by Sheffield-based Douglas Construction working in conjunction with veterinary and animal welfare design and build experts from Suffolk, ACD Projects. Among the first cats benefitting from the isolation unit is two-year-old Dolly who arrived as a stray with her four-day-old kittens, Deano, Daydream, Daisy and Danny, who all had respiratory infections but are now on the road to recovery and have grown into typical friendly, curious young cats.

Adoption Centre Manager Alison Dickenson says: “We are extremely excited and grateful to now have such a remarkable space to treat our most vulnerable admissions. Cats and kittens need to be kept in isolation for a variety of reasons but most commonly they are the cats who not only need lots of TLC but expert veterinary care in an environment where they cannot transmit any illnesses they may have to our healthy cats.

“Dolly and her kittens are a perfect example of the kind of cat who will need to spend time in the unit. As a stray we have no veterinary history for Dolly so needed a full overview of her health to be able to treat her respiratory symptoms and also rule out anything more sinister.

“Although we would isolate any cat with flu-like symptoms, it is especially important that we isolate kittens or any cats with decreased immunity. While her respiratory infection might be unpleasant, it is easily treatable for Dolly but for her kittens, who have no immunity and need round-the-clock care, it could prove fatal. It’s extremely unlikely they would have survived if they hadn’t been brought to us and now we have the ideal space to make sure they get the very best care in a tailormade setting.”

Anyone wishing to view cats in need of homes and find out about the centre’s work as well as opportunities for volunteering will be able to do so on Monday 8 May between 11am and 2pm when the centre will be open to the public for the day. There will be guided tours of the facilities as well as tea, coffee and cake.

If you missed Lucy at The Old Rep, further details of the tour can be found on her website

To find out more about Birmingham Adoption Centre, please visit their website

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