Three of the kittens lying in a blue and grey bed looking to camera

Mum and kittens abandoned in the cold are safe now

At just a couple of weeks old, a litter of kittens found themselves abandoned in the cold on Christmas Eve.

Thankfully, Apple, Clementine, Apricot, Pomegranate and Fig had their doting mum there to care for them, until a kind passerby picked the abandoned family up and took them to a nearby vet practice.

The new year then rang in a fresh start for the kittens and their mum, Honeydew, when the family arrived at Blue Cross to continue their recovery and find a new home.

Honeydew in the bed beside one of her kittens looking to camera

Honeydew was stressed, thin and suffering from partial alopecia due to her bad coat condition but the kittens were healthy despite their ordeal.

Wendy Penfold, Volunteer Foster Carer for Blue Cross, immediately stepped in to give them the care and the safe space they needed to thrive.

She says: “Honeydew was a very attentive mum. It’s like she had let herself go while her priority was her kittens. 

Two of the kittens playing in their cat chalet with a feather rod toy

“The kittens were so lucky to have such a fantastic mum, so they had stability – when the kittens have no mum, it’s much tougher. Honeydew took the brunt of all the struggling.”

Wendy, who has been volunteering for Blue Cross for 10 years, has three specially designed and heated ‘cat chalets’ in her garden, which provided the perfect sanctuary for nervous Honeydew and her litter.

Wendy continues: “We had no history on Honeydew and her kittens, so the chalets gave us the perfect environment to assess them.

Four of the kittens lined up looking to camera, lying in their blue and grey bed

“Initially Honeydew was always on the go, calling and looking for a way out – but her kittens were never far from her mind or sight.

"She didn’t know that she was finally in a safe place, because, since being abandoned, she’d been moved four times in the space of two weeks.”

Due to the stress that she had endured, Honeydew started suffering with cystitis, for which she needed vet treatment. But with treatment and a secure environment, she recovered.

A tabby kitten lying down in bed looking forwards

“By about the second week, the kittens were all exploring, playing and toilet trained, and Honeydew would sit up high, watching her brood, then jump down chirping and calling her kittens, checking and nursing them. She was an excellent mum,” says Wendy.

She continues: “With me, she was a very affectionate girl, coming to me for cuddles, treats and strokes. Her trust in me helped the kittens to build confidence and they would follow her to me.”

Once the kittens were weaned, Wendy opened the door to a connecting chalet so that Honeydew could take herself off for a nap and some alone time.

One of the tabby kittens lying down looking up in the air

And soon, her kittens had all flown the nest to happy, warm and loving homes, with Clementine and Fig starting their new life together.

Wendy adds: “It was sad to see them go but Honeydew stayed with me for another two weeks, to make sure her coat and cystitis were all settled.

"It was nice to see her revert back to the playful young cat she was, purring and headbutting me – that is the biggest reward.” 

— Page last updated 06/04/2022