Mother cat and kittens found in Amersham bird's nest in tree

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image copyrightCat Protection/PA
image captionThe mother had been traced back to the bird's nest on a Buckinghamshire industrial estate by a charity volunteer

A cat has been found living in an old bird's nest in a tree to raise her own three kittens.

The Cats Protection charity said the family in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, was also being watched over by a tomcat, which was "very unusual".

The cats now have bird-inspired names and have gone to a fosterer.

The clan was discovered after a week of searching by charity volunteer Ruth Goller, who said she was "so glad to have found them".

The mother, named Oriole, the male called Willet and kittens Bran, Jay and Lori were discovered after rescuers were alerted to cats living on an industrial estate.

image copyrightCATS PROTECTION
image captionRuth Goller said she was able to stand on the top of the grey container and see the cats in the bird nest
image copyrightCats Protection/PA
image captionThe litter of kittens (pictured) and their mother were being watched over by a doting tomcat

Ms Goller, from Cats Protection's Chiltern branch, said the charity spent a week searching gardens, leafleting and setting up cameras to try to trace the family after a new-born kitten was found dead.

She eventually spotted a pair and followed them to a tree after befriending them.

"I wanted to get a closer look, so clambered on some containers and reached up into the tall tree," she said.

"That's when I saw a nest with mum feeding three kittens right in front of me.

"The male was watching from nearby."

The cats were then caught, given medical attention and handed to a fosterer.

It is hoped the mother and male can be rehomed together due to their close bond.

Branch secretary Kathryn Graves said: "It is very unusual for a tomcat to stick around after kittens have been born.

"In fact, I've never seen it before."

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