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Kind Chris saves the shoe-box kittens ...

03 August 2019
Kind Chris saves the shoe-box kittens ...

A kind charity volunteer at St Vincent de Paul’s, who adores his dog, is now keen on promoting the work of Cats Protection – after their help in saving the lives of four tiny kittens he found whimpering in a shoebox in the loo of an Erdington cafe. 

Chris Lanfear and a fellow Golden cafe customer, Dave Bryant, quickly ‘bodged holes in the shoe box with car keys so the kittens could breathe’ and rushed them round to the Cats Protection shop on the High Street. Kathy Porter, the volunteer on the day, was also the saviour of the day saying ‘Don’t worry, we’ll sort it’. But the kittens were tiny and she could see they were only a week or two old. So she realised they would need hand-rearing – which means a lot of bottle feeding – day and night! 
And the volunteer who took that job on was Jenny Reynolds – eminently qualified for the rearing role as a long-time CP volunteer and a retired GP. As Jenny says, this involved 2-hourly for the first 3 feeds then ‘stretching it out’ to 3-hourly as they grew stronger. So – a very big job indeed to take on! 

Chris Lanfear returned to the Erdington Cats Protection shop for a photo-shoot with volunteer Margaret Dillon and Relief Manager Karen Willis - and the shoe-box in which he found 4 abandoned kittens. The fluffy toy kittens are just for effect! Three of the saved kittens (Otis, Merlin and Winnie) are now thriving with Cats Protection shop manager Anita Byers - more on how they're doing in a later story! 

Of course, there is a happy ending – though a bit of an unexpected one!  Anita Byers, manager of the Cats Protection shop, had already secretly set her heart on adopting two of the kittens. But after they were transferred to the Adoption Centre and just one was reserved, she called them and said ‘Please can I adopt the other three - altogether?’ Again, someone eminently qualified as an adopter!

Kitten-finder Chris expressed his concerns about the ‘Mom cat’. Says Chris: “Imagine what it was like for the Mom cat, giving birth then wondering where her kittens had gone? And, of course, if the owner has kept her and doesn’t get her spayed, in a few months she will have another litter of unwanted kittens. Will they end up dumped with the rubbish in a box in a cafe toilet again? Just now Cats Protection is running a ‘spay, snip and microchip’ campaign – just £5 – for owned cats for those who can’t afford the vet. I’m a great animal lover and I hope whoever dumped these kittens will take advantage of this offer – and get Mom done.”

*Below is more info on the joint RSPCA/Cats protection spay, snip and microchip offer from the National Cat Centre’s  Neutering Officer, Jane Clements: 

“The West Midlands campaign launched at the beginning of July and will help cat owners to protect their pets by ensuring they are neutered (or spayed/castrated) and microchipped. Neutering is so important to prevent accidental litters and protect females from certain cancers. Neutering also helps to protect against Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukaemia Virus. Males will roam less and females don’t need a first litter before getting neutered – that’s an old myth! By working together, the two charities will be able to help even more cats across the West Midlands.”