Four kittens who were found dumped in a bin have made an amazing recovery with the help of a dedicated RSPCA worker.
Serena Grimes, the centre manager at Worcester and Mid Worcestershire RSPCA branch, took the two-day-old kittens into her care when they were found abandoned in freezing temperatures in Birmingham on Saturday December 15.
She cared for the kittens at her home and every hour for two weeks – including over the Christmas period – she bottle-fed the tiny kittens.
Now the four kittens, two boys and two girls, named Olive, Fern, Jacob and Bowie, are thriving and have since been rehomed.
Serena, who has worked for the animal welfare charity for two-years, said: “They are now 14 weeks old and after their bad start it is amazing that all four have survived. But every hour or two for the first two weeks I was feeding them on special formula milk from a bottle.
“I didn’t get much sleep at all, but it was all worth it because they are so adorable. Hand-rearing is hard and there is no guarantee it will work, you could put all the hours in and still lose them as nothing is as good as what a mother can provide naturally. You also have to be very tactile – it can’t be done as well in sterile veterinary environment as they need to feel heartbeat and warmth and hear and smell you for comfort.
“I spent a lot of time with them in my jumper asleep so they could feel my heart and also did lots of nuzzling and purring. Then after that I was feeding them every three to four hours until they were five weeks old and I was able to wean them.”
Serena even created a creche in her spare bedroom to initially keep the kittens away from her two pet cats, Paddy and Neko, but also so she could carry our ‘socialisation work’ with the kittens.
She said: “I used the spare room to fed my babies in a relaxed space and it also gave them chance to explore in a safe environment. I would give them objects and toys with different textures to explore. It also helped me to carry out socialisation work with them, so they got used to various household noises such as a baby crying or a telephone ringing.”
The kittens have this week been rehomed by the Worcester branch of the RSPA and Serena is able to keep in touch with the new owners so she can see them thrive in their new environment.
They have been adopted in pairs with the boys going together and the girls staying together.
Serena added: “I am delighted they have thrived, and the sleepless and nerve-wracking nights and long days have paid off, not just because they are adorable but what really motivates me is my passion to rehabilitate and give animals the opportunity of a life away from cruelty.”
It is an amazing turnaround for the kittens after they were dumped in a carrier bag and thrown in an industrial bin. It was only by chance that a woman was walking past and heard their cries.
She alerted the RSPCA who rescued the cats and launched an investigation to find who was responsible. No one has been traced so far.
Animal collection officer (ACO) Vic Hurr, said: “To hand-rear four kittens from such a young age is so very difficult – Serena is so dedicated and caring, she has done an amazing job. It is great these adorable kittens have been given a chance in life after they were so cruelly abandoned and thrown away like rubbish.
“The kittens were obviously put in a plastic bag and thrown in the bin on purpose and were left to either freeze or starve to death. It was a bitterly cold morning and there was frost on the ground so they could have easily perished and I’m still keen to trace the callous person who is responsible.”
Anyone with any information about who dumped the kittens should call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.