Sibling 3-week-old kittens rescued from bird’s nest up 15 foot tree

Firefighters Chris Woodland and Ben Buckley with one of the rescued kittens. Photo:  RSPCA SUFFOLK EAST AND IPSWICH.

Firefighters Chris Woodland and Ben Buckley with one of the rescued kittens. Photo: RSPCA SUFFOLK EAST AND IPSWICH.

A mother took her two 3-week-old kittens to a bird’s nest up a 15 foot tree for their safety and then for some reason abandoned them (or she gave birth to them in the tree). There are many potential reasons two of which is that she lost her life or was frightened by something.

As the kittens were crying with no sign of their mother the RSPCA stepped in to rescue them. They had to call the fire service, Chris Woodland and Ben Buckley, who cut some branches, put up a ladder and recovered them.

Antoinette Shearsby of the RSPCA said:

“I drove up there from Norwich and, when I got to the road, I could hear the miaowing….I can only assume their mother was probably either wild or feral.”

They have named them Ethel and Edward. They are rusty red black cats with a hint of tabby. They are doing well despite both having colds. They are getting on well with Antoinettes dog which is a good sign. The rusty colouring may be due to a dietary deficiency or maybe normal for kittens of this age.

As expected they will be put up for adoption when older.

Ethel and Edward

Ethel and Edward

They have been separated from their mother before weaning. This can result in behavioural issues such as compulsive suckling on clothes and people’s ears etc.. Let’s home they turn out to be well balanced adults living in loving homes.

The mother found a den, a safe place, and it happened to be 15 feet up a tree in a bird’s nest. I can see her in my mind’s eye carrying her kids up the tree in her mouth holding them by the scruff of their necks. Mother cats are very impressive. But why was she not there? Perhaps she was killed somewhere.

Source: Ipswich Star. This happened in the southeast of England, UK.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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1 Response

  1. Albert Schepis says:

    I was given a kitten once who was apparently taken from her mother too soon, and she did not develop well. She did have (and still has) a suckling compulsion (she’s 8 years old now) and other behavior problems like an inability to get along with other cats, an unwillingness to acclimate to life indoors, won’t come when called (not even when temped with food), but after confined (in the garage) she’ll get very affectionate. For the first few years she never uttered a peep, but finally learned to meow with me and it’s so rare. She’s very weird, all because she missed some initial socialization training with mom, siblings and humans who didn’t know what they were doing.

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