by Ruth

My sister Barbara and I were at one time volunteers at our local Cats Protection branch and as there weren't many of us we had all the job titles.

This particular day we were called on by the co-ordinator in our role as Feral Officers because someone had phoned in about a cat which was in a bonfire built of old bits of wood, empty boxes and other rubbish, in a builder's yard.

The man was about to set the fire alight when he spotted a pair of shiny eyes staring out at him.
That was when he phoned to say he wanted someone there quickly!

When we arrived we saw a huge bonfire piled up and the man said he feared the cat had kittens in there as there had been a pregnant cat hanging around a while ago but she had vanished for a while only to start hanging around again recently, but now he hadn't seen her for a few days.

We managed to move some of the stuff and sure enough, there was a little kitten around a month old in a cardboard tube. He hissed at us but Babz reached in and lifted him out with no trouble, only to discover another 3 kittens behind him. We popped all 4 into a basket and then between us we dismantled the whole bonfire to make sure the mother cat wasn't in there too or any more kittens.

The kittens were warm and looked healthy but they were starving hungry.

We presumed something must have happened to the mother cat in the past few days, but we set up the trap cage which the man said he would keep an eye on.

We took the kittens to the co-ordinator who pronounced them to be around 5 weeks old, small for their age but healthy.

Such brave little souls they were, hissing and spitting at us. With being so young they were soon tamed and then each one went to a good home.

Sadly the mother cat was never seen again.

We shuddered to think that if that man hadn't seen those eyes shining those 4 little kittens would have been burned alive.

Sorry the photos aren't very good quality but they are all we have of them.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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Mar 31, 2011 Aw those little faces!
by: Leah (England)

It amazes me no matter how small a feral kitten if their eyes are open they certainly know how to spit!

They are just adorable! Thank goodness that guy (sorry no pun intended) found them in time! Its awful to think what may have happened if he hadn't.

I wonder what happend to mum? She probably put them there because she thought it was a nice, dry safe place.

Lovely story thanks so much for sharing, Ruth; I love a happy ending.

Mar 04, 2011 Happy kittens
by: Angel O

A happy ending for the kittens if not the mother cat.
It could have been a different story but I suppose no one would ever have known if they had been burned alive.

Mar 03, 2011 Close call!
by: Maggie

Wow, that was indeed an extremely close call! I can't imagine what would have happened if those little kittens hadn't been spotted, what a horrible way to die. I'm glad you and Babz saved them!

It's sad to hear that no one found the kittens' mum. 🙁

The two black and white kittens look like your boys. 🙂

Mar 03, 2011 Light relief
by: Fran

Oh dear the little ginger one does not look happy lol

It doesn't bear thinking about they might have been burned alive!
Poor mother cat though.

I enjoyed your story Ruth.
A bit of light relief for you from writing about saving claws.

Mar 02, 2011 A struggle for ferals
by: Kath

Poor litle kittens,I'm so happy they got good homes.
The mother wouldn't have left them if she could help it would she?
It's sad she was never found.I feel so sorry for ferals especially mothers,it must be a struggle to bring a family up outdoors.
Thank you for telling us the story Ruth and well done to you and Barbara for caring.

Mar 02, 2011 A lovely story
by: Mrs Mottram

Thanks for that lovely story Ruth.
I'm so glad the kittens were OK.
Sad about the mother though.
I love your articles,your declawing ones are very educational and I'd love to read more rescue ones too.
I'm a huge fan of yours for all you do.

Mar 02, 2011 Bonfires
by: Ruth

I'm glad the bunnies were saved Ruth.
Thinking of bonfires most people tend to think about hedgehogs sleeping in them, you don't expect to find kittens and rabbits, do you !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Mar 01, 2011 Bunnies saved from a campfire
by: Ruth (Monty's Mom)

My aunt and uncle live in an outlying suburb where you can have a fire pit out behind your house and they occasionally use theirs. The wood and kindling had been piled in there, ready to go, for some weeks before they got around to finally having a fire one night. Uncle Ray lit the fire and it wasn't long before they heard shrieking coming from the center of the fire pit. There were a bunch of baby bunnies in there! Uncle Ray got pretty badly burned saving them, but he got them all out. They were all o.k. except one which had a badly burned ear. That bunny they took to the vet who treated the burns and told them they'd have to keep him inside in a cage until he healed. Their cat was terrified of the baby bunny, which was quite funny to see. Finally the little rabbit, which had never been afraid of them, started to react more like a wild animal, with fear of humans. The ear was healed so then they knew it was time to let him go. For years my aunt would watch out her window for a rabbit with a scarred ear but she never saw him again.

Mar 01, 2011 Happy days!
by: Barbara

I'd forgotten all about these little mites, I hope they're all still alive and enjoying their lives, it was sad about their mum. We had some good times rescuing, as well as some sad times, plenty of smiles but some tears too.

Barbara avatar

Mar 01, 2011 Thanks Michael
by: Ruth

Sadly I think something must have happened to the mother cat, she must have left her babies where she thought they were safe and gone looking for food but couldn't get back for some reason.
We kept in touch with the man who had the builders yard and he didn't see her around any more.
I wish he'd seen her going in to her kittens before the day he was lighting the bonfire as we could have saved her too.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Mar 01, 2011 Nice work
by: Michael

I liked this story. The kittens look pretty healthy as you say. The mother did a good job of raising them. It is sad that she couldn't be found. Perhaps she came back and her kittens were rescued by then.

Bonfires make good dens for cats who have kittens to look after, or who are pregnant.

There are probably cases of cats being killed in bonfires for that reason.

Thanks for the story, Ruth.

Michael Avatar

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