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Tunbridge Wells Rescue Work
cat

Tunbridge Wells Branch - Tel: 01892 783367

Our Tunbridge Wells Branch is open by appointment only. The cats in the care of the Trust in Tunbridge Wells are looked after by staff and volunteers in their own homes, some with cattery units in their gardens, others utilising a spare room in their homes. Our dream would be to have a small purpose built shelter - but that means winning big on the lottery!

If you would like to adopt a cat or two please give us a call, but be patient, we do not have someone by the phone all day!. If we can help we will get back to you as soon as we can. If you drop us an email, please do include a contact phone number. We look forward to hearing from you.
zeigfried looking for a home December 08

Credit Crunch hits homes

Every day, we receive requests to take in cats, even more so since the Credit Crunch has hit. Though many of these are stray and in desperate need, we are particularly saddened and disappointed where owners simply cant be bothered to care for their cat anymore, also when we are asked to take in kittens from homes where it could so easily have been avoided.

Sadly, there are still many who adopt the view that it is kind to allow their cat to have a litter of kittens, without any thought on how cruel it is to then seperate the mum from her kittens whent they are 8 weeks old. These are often the owners who, when the kittens are starting to need regular feeding and clean litter trays provided, then decide that they want to be rid of the 'nuisance' and the expense. As one lady put it, when asking us to take her 6 week old kittens (who should not have been leaving their mother at that age anyway), - 'If you dont take them, I'll take them to the pet shop or put them outside to fend for themselves.' Emotional blackmail really. In a case like this, as in so many others, we must just try and find the space somewhere and are consequently always overstretched.


Dibley cat

A Very Lucky Cat

We rescued 'Dibley'from a building site together with over twenty other cats and kittens, she was just four weeks old. Dibley was freezing cold, covered in thick slime from living in a redundant sewer pipe and as you can imagine she smelt appalling. Sarah, one of our team cared for Dibley round the clock and hand reared her for three weeks until she was strong enough to start feedng on her own. Our vet was not hopeful for Dibley's survival.

However, thanks to intensive TLC, as you can see, Dibley did survive and is now very happy in a new home together with two other C.H.A.T. cats. All the other cats rescued with Dibley also found new homes.

Help Needed

The Tunbridge Wells team of C.H.A.T. are always looking to increase our pool of volunteers, who may be able to help in someway, however, small.

Apart from our Sanctuary in Brede, East Sussex, where we are always happy to accept an extra pair of helping hands, we do not generally need help with the daily care of the animals who are otherwise cared for in foster homes. However, help is always greatly needed in a variety of other ways such as transport, the collection/delivery of items, home visits and of course, most importantly, fundraising. If you are interested and feel you may have something to offer, even if it is not something mentioned here, do please contact us as we would love to hear from you.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who supports us by donations, saleable items, cat food, toys and beds and giving of their time. With so many unwanted cats to care for your donations really do make the world of difference.


Dad

A Night on the Tiles - A report from a member of our rescue team

A Friday night in November. It is bitterly cold. As I open the front door and step outside, the wind comes howling to meet me.

Driving to my destination, a rundown estate, I wonder ruefully what it might be like to have a normal life, to sit in watching telly with a nice cup of tea, and my feet up.


HOW MANY CATS?

This morning, the Trust received a desperate phone call from a lady who had been feeding a little cat family. I was asked to go to rescue a mum and three kittens which were living in a block of derelict garages full of junk that were due for demolition the next day as children kept setting fire to them. They have arranged space at the Sanctuary and it is up to me to bring them to safety. Fortunately, as the lady had been putting food out at the same time each evening, I knew the cat and her kittens would appear at about 9pm. When they crept out from one of the garages, I watched for a while to see if there really were only three kittens and, sure enough, after about half an hour, a fourth kitten turned up together with Dad and two adolescent cats, doubtless from a previous litter. It just shows how important it is to establish how many cats there are to ensure that none are left behind.

Thank heavens it is not raining. Even the most famished of cats will hole up when it is wet. But tonight, although the wind is piercing, it is dry so I am keeping my fingers crossed. It is sardines al fresco on the menu tonight, hopefully the strong smell will whet the feral catappetite of the little group. Dad, a huge and rather tatty ginger, boldly walks into the trap and begins to demolish his supper. We use manually operated traps, not automatic ones, which often cause more problems than they solve, and it is such a temptation to catch him now - at least one cat would be secure. But to do so would be fatal, it would certainly mean the other cats watching from the shadows would become 'trap shy' making it very difficult to catch them. The golden rule is to trap the most nervous first and finally the boldest. So I have to watch Dad finish his meal and wander back out of the trap again. From the corner of my eye I can see Mum leading her kittens towards the trap. I groan inwardly. I really wanted the young adolescents first, they are both very nervous and jumpy. Too bad. I watch Mum and kittens play around the trap, jumping up and over it before disappearing into the back of the garage again. Ah, here at last are the adolescents, cautiously they enter the trap and within a short time, they are safely transferred to a travelling basket in the van. I put more food in the trap, and am hoping for Mum and her little quartet next -mottled brindles, I think, under the muck and grime. But, oh no, here comes Dad back for a leisurely second helping. Off he goes again, licking his lips.

kittens

Two Hours Later

Two hours later, the aroma of sardines tempts Mum and kittens back and, thank goodness, all four kittens follow her into the trap. Soon they are joining the teenagers in the warmth of the van. Only Dad left now, but guess what? He has eaten so well tonight he is probably not that fussed about a third helping and has more than likely gone off to sleep somewhere. I wait for what seems like an age and my fingers and feet are freezing. Just at the point when I think my fingers are going to drop off, he saunters back again and sits just outside the trap. Please, please, please I mutter under my breath. I watch him contemplate the sardines indifferently. Will he? Won't he? Oh joy, he can't resist a third helping and I've got him.

An hour later, I am settling the cats in - it is so lovely to see them on a nice clean blanket. Dad appears thrilled with the arrangements. Although he is battered and covered in abscesses, he is not wild, and was probably once someone's pet. I think I can even hear a little half-hearted purr. Was he abandoned? More likely he just got himself lost. Had he been neutered, he would no doubt be safely by his own fireside now. Mum, protecting her kittens, is more nervous but it is clear that she also has at some time had human contact. The kittens are only about six weeks old, their tiny stomachs bloated with worms. We can soon sort that out for them. They are drowsy but, ever playful, cannot resist dabbing at each others tails. They look quite content and even mum looks a little more relaxed. Mum, Dad and babies will definitely be tame enough to rehome into domestic homes and become beloved pets. The two adolescents seem quite feral. Born in the wild, they have never known human contact until now. If the staff and volunteers cannot get through to them, they will be found a safe home on a farm or stable.

TOMORROW

Tomorrow the adults and the adolescent ferals will be neutered. Tomorrow? I look at the clock, it is 3:15am. Later today they will be neutered, and I am off to get some sleep, happy in the knowledge that when the bulldozers arrive, this little family will not be there.




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