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6th December 2023

A cat caught in part of a rat trap was rescued from a motorway service area along with her tiny kittens after being spotted by eagle-eyed staff.

The scared white-and-tortoiseshell moggy was noticed by staff from WHSmith at the Roadchef services located near Magor at Junction 23A of the M4. She was seen walking around with a wide black ring of plastic stuck on her neck from which she was trying to break free.

Quick-thinking employees called Cats Protection’s Gwent Branch for help and the charity’s volunteers quickly arrived to try and coax the cat to safety. 

Glynis Davies, coordinator for the branch, says: “When we arrived at the services we could see the cat, who has now been named Twix, walking about with something around her neck. She was at the back of the main buildings and understandably extremely frightened. She would not let anybody near her so we loaned a humane trap to the team at WHSmith. They were so helpful and were able to catch Twix by lunchtime the following day. Once she was safely with us we were able to keep her calm and very gently wriggle her head out.”
When the immediate danger was over, the charity’s volunteers were able to get closer to Twix. They discovered she had no microchip and was thought to be around two years old, however they quickly noticed she was also producing milk and had recently given birth. Knowing that young kittens cannot survive for long without their mothers, it was a race against time to find Twix’s babies. 

Glynis adds: “Once again the staff were brilliant and helped us search for the kittens, who we found in the bushes behind WHSmith after a member of staff spotted them. There were three kittens - two boys now named Aero and Wispa and one girl now named Fudge, all around four weeks old. They were all underweight as Twix was producing very little milk, most likely because she had been struggling to not only hunt for food but to eat and keep hydrated. We are so grateful to the team at WHSmith, without them it’s likely all four cats would have died. 

“As Twix needs to build her strength up, we are bottle-feeding the kittens round the clock and keeping them separate from her so they can all have the best care and to give the kittens the best chance of survival.”   

Gary Lumsden, Site Director at Roadchef’s Magor site, said: "I am incredibly proud of the swift action taken by our WHSmith team. Their quick thinking and compassion saved a distressed cat and her kittens from a dangerous situation. The team’s commitment to helping out in this scenario is a reflection of the core values we uphold at Roadchef, making a positive impact in unexpected situations."

The kittens have now begun weaning onto solid food and anyone wishing to help the branch with caring for Twix and her kittens can purchase items including much-needed kitten food from its wishlist or make a donation direct to the branch.

Once Twix has been given the all-clear and her kittens are old enough to find new homes their details will be posted on Gwent branch website, alternatively the branch can be contacted by calling 0345 371 2747.   

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