'Stinky' stray Suffolk cat now ruling rescue centre roost

Sardine the cat with facial injury and after recuperation Image copyright Mick Smith/Joanne Evans
Image caption Sardine the cat when he was first found and as he is six months later

Six months after a stray with "stinking rotting flesh" from a wound was rescued, the cat has made his presence felt at his new home in Suffolk.

"Sardine" was trapped by volunteers in Newmarket who had seen his injuries.

After treatment, also partly paid for by volunteers, he was taken to a rescue centre for care and eventual rehoming.

However, centre owner Joanne Evans said Sardine "won her heart" and made himself so at home that she could not bear to be parted from him.

About 15 people helped to rescue Sardine after Mick Smith, who runs a Newmarket lost and found pet page on Facebook, became aware of the cat's plight.

Image copyright Mick Smith
Image caption Concerned animal lovers spent four days trying to get close to the stray

It took them four days to lure the injured animal into a cage using tinned sardines as bait.

'Furry panther'

He was treated by a vet for an abscess on a bite. His flesh had rotted down to his jawbone.

At the time a veterinary nurse treating him said the cat "stank the surgery out, bless him".

Instead of naming him Stinky they called him Sardine.

Image copyright Mick Smith
Image caption Sardine was taken to the rescue centre which has now become his permanent home

Miss Evans took the cat to her rescue centre, Animal Craziness, in Ashley to care for him until he was well enough to be rehomed.

However, she said she "fell in love" with Sardine.

"He just fitted in so well here and gets on with almost all the other animals we have," Miss Evans said.

Image copyright Joanne Evans
Image caption Sardine won Joanne Evans' heart, she said

She described the once very poorly cat as "like a big furry panther, now".

Sardine sleeps on her bed but his presence is not welcomed by two of her other pets.

Image copyright Joanne Evans
Image caption Sardine sleeps on the family's beds and frightens away their pet dogs

"My Jack Russell terrier and big Labrador are a little scared by Sardine. When he's sitting in a doorway they won't cross his path," Miss Evans said.

"But when I look at him now, and think this time last year he out there in the cold all alone, I just think how lucky I am to have him here with me now."

Image copyright Joanne Evans

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