A young cat who spent last Christmas fighting to survive as a stray kitten outside in the freezing cold will this year enjoy the festive season in a warm and love-filled home.

Thomas was at death’s door when he arrived at our Victoria animal hospital in central London in early January after being found in a back garden struggling to keep up with his mother and sibling.

He was riddled with fleas and worms and had a nasty stomach infection which left him emaciated, dehydrated and weak. The then eight-week-old kitten had just days, perhaps hours, to live.

Thomas when he was fighting to survive in the care of our Victoria animal hospital.

Our Veterinary Team put him straight onto antibiotics to treat his bad tummy and gave him fluids as well as a special diet on top of plenty of TLC as they desperately tried to save the ginger tabby’s life.

Thomas was so poorly that for more than two weeks we weren’t sure if he would pull through. But he proved to be a little fighter and the brave boy slowly started to build strength and gain an appetite, much to the delight of the team that had been caring for him round-the-clock.

Amanda Marrington, London Welfare Officer, said: “It was touch and go for a few weeks. Thomas was so ill with the bacterial infection in his gut, and we had lots of ups and downs in his treatment.

“But he was determined to get better and we did everything in our power to help him. And when he started to show signs of improvement, it was so wonderful to see his cheeky kitten character shine through.”

Once Thomas was out of the woods he went into foster care to recover fully before setting off for our Cambridge rehoming centre in search of a second chance in life.

Not long after that, Graham and Lauren Cone met Thomas and fell in love instantly. They had lost their previous cat Henry, who died after a long illness on the day that Thomas arrived at Blue Cross, and were already missing the presence of a pet in their Cambridgeshire home.

Lauren and Graham hold Thomas in their arms
Graham and Lauren fell in love with Thomas instantly and wouldn't be without him now.

So in March, after 60 days in our care, Thomas, who is now one, left for his new life and wasted no time settling in.

“He was at home straight away,” said Graham. “He’s very affectionate and comes and sits with us every evening for a cuddle, and then follows us to bed. He likes to be included in everything.”

But while Thomas’ terrible start to life is well and truly behind him, he remains very wary of setting foot outside – likely due to the memories of his cold first winter trying to keep warm and stay alive.

“He still seems to be scared of going out in the garden. He will go out sometimes, but then he will stand there shivering for a bit and then wants to come straight back inside,” explained Graham.

One of Thomas’s favourite pastimes is to watch the rescue chickens that Lauren and Graham keep in their back garden from the window, or when he’s feeling brave enough, from the lawn itself.

Lauren said: “Having Thomas is made extra rewarding because of what he had been through before he was taken to Blue Cross. It’s scary to think how close he was to not making it.

Thomas is looking forward to his first Christmas in a love-filled home.

“He has changed our lives in many ways. He is full of energy, loves to play and absolutely loves being nice and warm in bed. He is also incredibly loving.

“He is still incredibly naughty and cheeky - we have to be careful with any food that’s left out as he will shamelessly steal it. But he’s absolutely adorable and we love him lots.”

“He is so far being a good boy with the Christmas decorations and he loves it when the fire is on.”

Amanda said: “After everything he had gone through, it’s so lovely to hear that little Thomas is thriving in his new home and is getting all the love he deserves. Everyone at Victoria was very fond of him, and we are so relieved that all of our care to save him paid off and that he is getting to enjoy his first Christmas in a home.”

“We’re looking forward to our first Christmas with Thomas. He’ll be spoilt rotten with presents and is likely to get a special dinner of his own. We couldn’t be without him now,” Graham added.

— Page last updated 21/12/2017