Meet Foster Cats No’s 24 – 26, more affectionately known as Doris, Edward and Peter. Doris and her 12-week-old sons Edward (black) and Peter (tabby) were rescued by the Celia Hammond Animal Trust from a car park behind a block of flats in South London. Another small group of cats had been rescued from the same location a few days previously; sadly this group included a kitten with a broken leg. A dead kitten was also found at the scene.
No one knows for sure how these cats ended up in the car park, but it’s most likely that they were dumped there. A kind resident of the block of flats had been leaving food and water out for the homeless cats and kittens, but other residents objected to their presence and were removing the food and water and chasing the cats away.
We’ll never know what Doris and sons went through prior to being rescued, but whatever it was has left them absolutely traumatised. They were so utterly exhausted and shell-shocked that they barely moved for the first few days they were here; toys remained untouched and bedding completely unruffled. When you consider how lively a pair of 12-week-old kittens should be, it really puts the extent of the family’s trauma into perspective. Edward and Peter just didn’t seem to know how to play, and poor Doris was permanently rigid with fear.
The family has been here for eight days now, and I’m pleased to report that they’re making progress. Yesterday evening Edward and Peter were coaxed into a game with a feather stick, and this morning their bedding was all over the place and the water bowl had been upturned – a sign that they’d probably been wrestling each other overnight. So it looks as if the two boys have learned how to play! Doris (pictured above) no longer tries to hide behind her sons when I enter the room, and is now either sprawled out relaxing, or right at the front of the pen waiting for some food. She’s also started to tolerate being stroked, and even stuck her head forward for a chin rub today! No purrs yet, but I suspect she’s been on the verge a couple of times.
This family of three have got quite a long way to go before they can learn to trust us humans, but they’ve make good progress in the last eight days, and I’m confident that they’ll be ready for their forever home in a few weeks. So far young Peter is proving to be the bravest member of the family – even though he’s the smallest!