One morning, Sam (who runs the PAWS Cattery) arrived at the shelter and found a box outside the gates with no lid and nothing in it. There was no animal in sight, so nothing could be done. Two days later, however, one of the international volunteers spotted a black and white cat in the rambla nearby and managed to get her into a cage.
She was bewildered but obviously not feral, so they and Sam took her to the vet as the Cattery was full. The vet checked her over and said that she was either heavily pregnant or had just had kittens. She stayed there to be monitored.
Two days later, kennel team members Daniela and Hélène were near the main shelter gate and heard a noise. They discovered 3 little black kittens emerging from the reeds nearby. They grabbed them and took them straight to the vet to be reunited with their mum, who was obviously delighted to see them.
The kittens were estimated to be 1 month old at the time and it was a miracle they survived two days without their mum’s milk – plus the fact that there are dogs, foxes and all manner of other dangers lurking in the countryside. All we can think is that when she was dumped in the lidless box, the mother moved the kittens to immediate safety in the reeds.
The happy ending is that mum, Claudia, and two of her three kittens have since been homed. Claudia herself has been very lucky.
Paul and Melanie, who live near Arboleas, were looking for a companion for their black tomcat – Leo. The one thing they knew was they didn’t want a kitten. When they saw Claudia, they were surprised at how well she responded to attention, despite her ordeal. But she was little more than a kitten herself.
Nevertheless, somehow she won Paul and Melanie over and off she went to to meet Leo. Nervous at first and hiding in the background, she gradually gained confidence and decided Leo was no threat. Indeed, she decided to keep him on his paws by the occasional ambush when he wasn’t looking! The two cats have become firm friends: Claudia is growing fast and is very affectionate, and has settled very happily into her new home.