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Socks looking happy
The cat with nine lives
Animal charities report more people dumping their pets since the credit crunch began. But things turned out purr-fectly for this Caversham cat, who was rescued by a passerby.
More animals are being dumped because their owners fear they cannot afford to look after them, according to the Cats Protection League in Reading.
One cat who was dumped in a plastic bag by a canal towpath had a happier ending than most, after being taken in by a kind Caversham resident who found him shivering in a plastic bag during a canal walk.
The Berkshire-based woman, Joanna, was out walking when she spotted a plastic carrier bag on the towpath. It appeared to be moving so she nervously peeped into the bag.
A small ginger kitten was shivering inside. The cat's eyes had stuck together and he also had a runny nose.
Kittens are found abandoned
Joanna, who already owned a cat, carried the tiny kitten home and called the Cats Protection League for help. She thought the kitten might have cat flu and was keen to have him checked over by a vet.
As Joanna was not working due to illness, the Cats Protection League paid for a vet to look at the kitten, and he confirmed that there were no signs of cat flu. The tiny moggy had just got cold out by the waterside.
Now the kitten, named Socks by his new-found owner, is settling in happily to his new home, and getting to know the other cat which lives there.
Yola Mealing is the Cats Protection League's spokeswoman and has volunteered for the charity since 2001. She said they were struggling to cope with the numbers of abandoned cats.
Yola said: "This is a heartwarming story indeed; but many kittens and cats aren’t so lucky.
"We've had more animals being left on the doorsteps of our centre than usual, and we think that is because people think they can't afford to feed them or pay their vets bills.
Increase in abandoned animals
"We often see an increase in abandoned animals at this time of year. Sometimes because people are getting a new pet for Christmas, so they get rid of their old cat for the new arrival. But we've had more than normal and I think it's because of the credit crunch.
Kittens are at risk
"This time of year is very bad for abandoned animals. The weather is terrible, so they find it harder to survive outside."
"We have over 70 cats waiting for homes in Reading and the surrounding areas.
"We have a disproportionate number of kittens also waiting to come in, not uncommon for this time of year but nevertheless there are more than usual.
Young kittens are vulnerable
"It’s only thanks to eagle-eyed members of the public acting quickly that some are saved - young kittens are especially vulnerable during the long, cold nights."
For those struggling with vets bills during the credit crunch, the Cats Protection League offers a limited free neutering service at some of its branches.
Contact your local branch to find out more.
last updated: 19/11/2008 at 15:31