During March, Cats Protection's Downham Market Adoption Centre is naming all incoming female cats and kittens after famous authors, as part of Women’s History Month. Literary luminaries including A-cat-tha Christie, Margaret Cat-wood and Moggie O’Farrell are all being considered as purr-fect candidates to represent best-selling women writers to be honoured with cats named after them to mark International Women’s Day (8 March).
The initiative is the brainchild of the centre's Deputy Manager Stacey Ely, after the national animal welfare charity noticed that cats across its network seemed to enjoy a good book. During lockdown, Cats Protection's Haslemere Adoption Centre attracted many young people to its regular bedtime stories with cats on YouTube.
To kick off, the team opted for Emily Bronte, Jane Austen and Agatha Christie as their first felines with literary namechecks.
Not that they are literary snobs; these cultured cats won’t turn up their noses to a bit of Cat-erine Cookson or Cat-lin Moran if they’re in the mood for a reading.
For people who have spent the past year caring for cats while under lockdown measures, a little light-hearted inspiration was easy to come by.
Lindsay Tempest, Downham Market Adoption Centre Manager, said: “Every year, we're challenged to come up with thousands of names for the cats in our care, so as this is our 30th anniversary, we thought we should go all out. That’s when we decided to celebrate fabulous females of the past. For March, it is world class authors.
“We have an amazing team of clever, hard-working and strong women working at the centre, so it seemed a great way to celebrate our achievements, with a nod to fabulous females of the past.”
Jane Austen was first to be named by the team; a young stray cat found in a rural area and taken in by a family who contacted the centre for help.
Then there was Emily Bronte, an 18-month-old tabby girl who came from an owner who could no longer provide the care she needed. When she came to the Centre Emily had already given birth to her first litter, all female.
Now aged four weeks old, the kittens have also taken on literary names. Becky said: “The theme is for mums to be called after the writer but for their kittens to take the names of characters from the books of these authors. So we have Catherine, Eliza, Celine and Isabella.”
A poorly stray was the most recently female to come into care at the centre. With an unknown health record, she is currently housed in an isolation unit. And what better name for a cat with a mysterious backstory; Agatha Christie, of course.
Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre is marking 30 years of caring for Norfolk cats with a summer of fundraising activities and events, building up to a virtual balloon launch on 19 July and online cat show in August.
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Media.Office@Cats.org.uk / 01825 741 911
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