It had already been a very hectic week at Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue and on dropping our non furry child at nursery I was caught by the head teacher who began to tell me a tale of a mother cat who had given birth in the attic of the children’s nursery in Kelty.
It transpired at before the Easter break the mother cat had gone in through the boiler house and up into the attic whilst pregnant and reappeared days later no longer pregnant and with milk. She had given birth in the attic.
At first it didn’t seem too bad as mum was coming and going to feed them and staff were trying to find out where the kittens were in the meantime, in the vast space of the attic. However things took a turn for the worst when on the morning of Tuesday 5th May mum cat was found deceased in the grounds of the nursery, possibly having been there from the night before it was unclear when the kittens, estimated around 4 weeks old, may last have had a feed.
The nursery had called another rescue charity on the Tuesday who after hours of searching had come up with no leads and said they could do no more. But after talking to the teacher on the Wednesday I knew we had to go out and see if we could find anything. At around 48 hours in a hot environment with no food and water the kittens would not survive much longer.
I returned home and told Paul the situation and he immediately got our rescue equipment ready and headed out the door to the nursery. Paul re traced the mum cats path into the boiler house and up through a cupboard into the attic. After 10 to 15 minutes of searching he found her nest site in the attic but the kittens had gone. Now the hard part searching an enormous buildings attic to find little 3 to 4 week old kittens who could be anywhere!
Paul systematically worked his way through the building going up into the attic to look for tracks or even squeaks from the kittens. It didn’t take him long and he found a track that he could follow through the building to above the front office.
This is where he found the kittens hiding, laying low, waiting on mum.
Now for the hard part. Catching them. He could count 3 kittens alive in total and no sign of any more. With a few tricks and quick thinking Paul pulled the insulation with a kitten on it to get it towards him and caught the first kitten. The 2nd was more tricky and that took a combination of trickery and our catch net, but he got the kitten. The 3rd was more afraid and it decided to take itself off to the back of the building into a tiny hard to reach space. This kitten took a bit longer to catch but was finally out smarted by Paul. 🙂 He had all 3 much to the delight of the nursery staff.
The kittens were clean but their weight had clearly dropped significantly and all 3 were very dehydrated. 2 were nice and bright but the 3rd was quiet and very withdrawn. They would not have survived another 48 hours up there alone. Paul returned back to Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue with the kittens and we immediately prepared them some kitten formula. We estimated the kittens age to be 3.5 weeks old and they were too young for solid food so out came our bottle feeding equipment and small incubator house for the little ones.
We are now a few days into their care and they are feeding OK. Not brilliantly, but OK. The 3rd kitten is still giving us cause for concern and we are worried, but will just have to see what lies ahead for them. Obviously without fluids for so long in such a hot environment was bad for them. However they have also been living and crawling around in glass fibre insulation for 3 weeks and that worries us that there may be future complications due to them ingesting and breathing in the fibres.
Time will tell I suppose but for now all we can do is our best and that is to provide them with appropriate nutrition and round the clock care. Until we know more all we can do is keep our fingers and paws crossed and hope for a positive outcome for them all.
If you would like to help these 3 little babies by donating to their care you can do so by donating online via our online donation provider Virgin Money Giving.
In the meantime please send them healing wishes and vibes. They need them.