We have foster homes doubled up, and kittens running riot: pooping and trashing their way into their human carers hearts. One foster mum (and staff member) commented on her Facebook page that 'we've had the worst week this year' for demands to take in unwanted and abandoned cats and kittens, and it's probably true.
On Thursday, in just 30 minutes, we took 4 calls in a row that amounted to 12 cats in need of refuge. For the first time ever unwanted cat calls has exceeded the number of calls we get enquiring about the RSPCA vets (we get mistaken for them all the time).
Just when we think it can't get any worse, it does. The national RSPCA has put a stop on collecting locally abandoned animals unless there is somewhere to take them to. This is because branch's like ours have simply run out of space. One such call this week was from a local vets who had just had 3 x 6 week old kittens brought to them.
A gentleman out on his bicycle spotted 3 abandoned kittens in a wooded area. He cycled them to the vets who in turn called to have them collected. With the national RSPCA being unable to help, and knowing their fate hung in the balance, we set off to collect them.The kittens played in our office for a while until one of the staff pointed out to me that I seemed remarkably unconcerned that we had nowhere for them to go. When asked why I wasn't worried about this I just shrugged. The truth was I'd just given up on worrying and opted for the defeated, roll over and give up approach.
|Woody and his friends rescued from a wooded area.|
Caring for kittens is no easy task. With kittens under 5 weeks there can be round the clock feeding and toilet stimulating/cleaning up. With kittens from 4-5 weeks there is typically poo on the go all the time, which means your house smells of poo, all the time. There are also the poorly kittens, like little Fry, who needs his bottom washing twice a day. And then there are the kittens that won't poop in the litter tray and leave 'gifts' around the house - typically on carpeted areas or up skirting boards.
|Kitty 'Small Fry' isn't developing and is half the size of his siblings and unable to clean himself.|
Kittens make for a madhouse too (just click on the link to see!). Their wild and wonderful playful antics both amuse and bemuse the onlooker but they also ruin your furniture, trash your nick-nacks and leave your legs scarred from being used as climbing posts!
|Young kittens, like Pablo, are weighed regularly to make sure they are developing well.|
It takes a really special person to look after multiples of kittens, and we are so lucky to have no shortage of such wonderful carers. I don't doubt many of them would say they love doing it but I know it also tests your patience to the max and looses you friends from having such a stinky home. And then of course there's all the sleepless nights from purrs, paws and baby elephant sounding antics! And let's not forget the 3am game of pounce they like to play on your feet when they poke out the end of the duvet.
But I also know that there is not a single foster mum that would dream of giving up their treasured role. They basque in the beauty of their furbabies and marvel at their magnificent personalities. While all the while I am incredibly grateful to them for all their hard work and for helping us get through the worst summer ever for cat and kitten abandonments.
|Hermes having a rare break from pestering for attention.|
The worry now is that we've got 30+ kittens all reaching weaning age and an empty cupboard of kitten food. Once these babies start munching they get through food like you wouldn't believe (hence the amount of pooping they do).Not only that but some are proving to be poorly, like Hermes above, who on Monday will start investigations and treatment at the vets. That means more work for the foster mum and more money for us to find.
|Pippa and her brother Pepper have gone to share the foster home of Poppy and her 5 kittens.|
Of course it stands to reason that the more animals you help, the more there are poorly ones and the vet bills increase. But our monthly vet bill has increased, for a second month running, by £2k. A ridiculous amount. We have just one major fundraiser left for the year and we're hoping it will really bring in the money through ticket sales, sponsorship and auction/raffle on the night - but we can't do it without your help.
We have also launched on our first ever rabbit photo competition for Rabbit Awareness Week. Whilst it isn't going to be a money maker we are hoping it will bring some much needed joy. I'm so relieved I'm not judging the categories because I'm such a sucker for a rabbit. (I guess that's why there's 7 sharing my house!)
But whether it be rabbits, kittens, cats, dogs, guinea pigs - we love them all but we've got more than enough now, thank you.
|Baby rabbits born in transit to us on Tuesday. 3 adult and 7 babies admitted from a multi animal household||.|