Introducing Ethel

Young Ethel is the newest recruit here at HQ.  Poor Ethel didn’t have a very good start in life: she was born into a colony of cats living in some underground garages on a South London housing estate.  The colony was suffering regular hostility from humans and dogs, and so all the cats were trapped and removed for rehoming by the Celia Hammond Animal Trust.

Ethel when she was 6 months old & friendlier!

I took Ethel, and her brother Alfie, on as foster kittens when they were around 4 or 5 months old and completely feral.  After a few months they’d become sufficiently confident for rehoming and were adopted by a couple with a nice house and garden.  Sadly, 3 months later I received a phone call from their new owner asking me to come and collect them: she’d discovered she was pregnant, and felt unable to cope with two cats and a baby.


On their return it became apparent that Alfie – the friendlier of the two – had continued to receive plenty of attention in his new home, but Ethel had not, and consequently had regressed to the point where she would no longer allow herself to be touched.  Ethel was a year old at this stage, which meant that her behaviour was unlikely to change a great deal, and this would make her very difficult to rehome a second time.  So I made the decision to split her from her brother, as there wasn’t a strong bond between them anyway, and being paired with Ethel would’ve made it far more difficult for Alfie to find another home.

Alfie was paired up with Stuart, another young male, which has proved a roaring success – they love chasing each other around and play-fighting.

Alfie(left) with BFF, Stuart

And young Ethel is going to stay with me.  I doubt she’ll ever be a lap cat, or even enjoy being stroked, but that’s fine by me and she’ll always have a home here.

8 responses to “Introducing Ethel

  1. What a kind hearted soul you are… and many congrats Ethel on making your carer so happy! (dare I say owner, no, because cats own us …) Lovely pics and I look forward to more updates. The cats that own me, (Smokey & Bandit) were hand reared and chose me after they had found their way to Saxmundham Cats Protection. Feel blessed to have them 🙂

    • Haha – you’re right there, no one ever ‘owns’ a cat! Smokey and Bandit sound like they had a tricky start in life too – so many cats owe their lives to charities such as Cats Protection and the Celia Hammond Animal Trust.

  2. oooooh…..female orange tabby….they can be quite…er….well, they are a genetic oddity and have the personality to go with it ~ which happens to be my favorite kind of cat!! [= Lovely photos . Keep us posted as she finds her way into the family…we look forward to reading all about it!

    • Thanks! Yes I’ll keep you updated. She made a bit of progress this week actually – she’s started to sleep on the furniture instead of hiding underneath it!

  3. I too read it first that it was the cat that was pregnant, not the new owner! Sad that she didn’t think that far ahead about how her life might change in the near future. But very happy that Ethel had you to go back to. She’s lovely !

    • Apologies for the confusion – I’ve ammended the offending sentence, so hopeful that should clarify things! Yes, I did point out to her that taking on 2 nervous cats when she was planning a family wasn’t exactly sensible, but she maintained that she’d done nothing wrong. I politely advised her to stick to goldfish in the future!

  4. what a pretty girl! Sad that she hadn’t been spayed by the rescue group 🙁

    • She is a little cutey! And don’t worry, Ethel and all the other cats in the colony were neutered and vaccinated by the Celia Hammond Animal Trust before they were rehomed.

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