Four sick kittens were tied in plastic carrier bags and dumped like rubbish on a Surrey common within a few days of each other.
On 23 July, a dog walker saw strange movement coming from a shopping bag near the Canadian war memorial on Bramshott Common. Closer inspection revealed a pair of tiny whimpering kittens inside.
The frightened kittens were rushed to Cats Protection’s nearby Haslemere Adoption Centre where staff alerted a local vet. They were in a sorry state; barely four weeks old and malnourished with stomach upsets and sticky eyes.
As if that were not shocking enough, the same man spotted a second bag of discarded kittens while out walking on the common just a few days later. These two kittens, found only metres away from the first pair, were also taken to the charity’s centre in Haslemere for urgent care.
Sadly, only one kitten survives. Despite the best efforts of vets, its three siblings were already too sick to live more than a few days after being found. Named Bramble by carers, the tiny warriors are being cared for by an experienced kitten fosterer.
Adoption Centre Manager Suzie Zyta said: “The kittens were in a really bad way and in need of urgent vet attention. They were lucky to be found that night, but even that wasn’t enough. Three kittens perished unnecessarily.
“Bramble is quite spirited and has a lot of fight in him, which is probably what’s kept him alive. He’s a noisy little thing and already causing mischief. We’re far from out of the woods yet, but we’re doing everything we can to give him a good chance of recovery.”
Bramble is a little fighter and will be kept under the close watch of the kitten fosterer until it builds up some strength and has a real chance of a better life. All being well, Bramble will remain in care for a few months, receiving vaccinations at nine and 12 weeks old, before being neutered and microchipped ready to be homed.
While Cats Protection cannot yet accept offers to home this delightful kitten, the team at Haslemere is inviting supporters to help in another valuable way.
Cats Protection’s Regional Fundraising Manager Hannah Ashwell, said: “Bramble will receive the best possible care to thrive and then find a loving new home, but this comes at a cost. We have already been contacted by local people wanting to contribute, which shows how the story of these kittens has struck at the heart of the Haslemere community.”
Donations can be made via a JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/haslemere-cats-protection-abandoned-kitten-bramble
Cats Protection’s dedicated carers have remained #HereForTheCats throughout COVID-19 restrictions. During this time, cats from Haslemere have been adopted through the neighbouring Mitcham Homing Centre, but the centre hopes to begin rehoming its own cats by the contactless Hands-Free Homing process in September.
Cat carers fear that an increase in abandoned kittens could point to a summer kitten crisis. A recent Cats Protection survey of one thousand cat owners showed a lack of awareness about neutering, with 77 per cent unaware that a female cat can become pregnant at four months of age and 86 per cent not knowing that a cat can have as many as 18 kittens a year.