Cats Protection Inverurie
Cat and kittens

Jean Wood

Their unconditional love and affection makes them one of the most adored pets in Britain, but as people move home and circumstances change hundreds are left behind or forgotten.

Laybys, gardens and even car engines are some of the places stray cats and kittens have been found as they struggle to find food and warmth.

Wallace and MacGregor, who were found roaming near Alford and Inverurie respectively, are just two young felines who were lucky enough to be rescued by the Cats Protection.

The pair are now being fostered by the charity's Jean Wood at her home, near Alford, as they wait to be rehomed.


But with pens overcrowded at the Inverurie and Alford branch and others up and down the country, there are many more cats and kittens in desperate need of attention.

The Cats Protection can only take them in if more people volunteer to foster the animals on a temporary basis, which in turn will free up space to allow the charity to cope with the backlog of emergency cases.

Mrs Wood, who has fostered 124 cats and kittens over the last four years, said: "It is a commitment but it is very worthwhile.

"When it's wet you know you have to go out there (to the pens) and you get so much unconditional love back from the cats.

"I love fostering the kittens as well. When they first come to you they hiss and spit but, with intensive handling, by the time they go they are well socialised and used to all the household noises, the cats, dogs and even the vacuum-cleaner.

"It's very rewarding. It gives you a buzz."

Wallace, an affectionate lap cat, and MacGregor, who has an attractive long pale ginger coat, are the only two felines in her foster care at the moment, but as soon as they are rehomed, others will take their place.

Homing officer

Gill Sutherland, homing officer for the Inverurie and Alford branch, said: "At the moment we have 20 cats and kittens but there are plenty more out there waiting to come in. But we haven't got the space to taken them.

"When we are really stuck we use other branches but they are in the same position.

"We are desperately needing new fosterers. They are a vital part of our organisation.

"If we don't have any fosterers we can't take other cats into our care.

"I get quite upset when I pick up a wet and soggy cat and it has got no where to live," she added.

Often, she said, they will get calls from people who have found a stranded cat in their garden and the charity has no choice but to ask them to feed it for a little while until they have space to take it in themselves.

With the dark winter nights fast approaching, however, there is concern about the wellbeing of these cats being left outside in the cold and wet weather.

A top priority for the branch at the moment is a six- month-old kitten which has been fending for itself in a garden for most of the summer.

However, the kitten, which appears to have been abandoned, cannot be brought in until there is more space.

The charity provides foster carers with the pens, the food, bedding, cat litter, and pays for any vet bills while the cat is in care.

Ms Sutherland said: "The pens are about the size of a garden shed so fosterers have got to have the space to keep one and have the dedication to feed the cats and spend time with them and give them the love that they need."

Anyone interested in fostering can contact the branch helpline on 01467 625695.

Kitten fostering can be very rewarding.


09:00 - 01 October 2005
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