Three stray kittens plucked to safety after they were discovered trapped in a drainpipe are looking for new homes.
Joseph, Noah and Magdalena were just three weeks old when they were found huddled in a four-inch wide rainwater pipe, with their three littermates and feral mother close by.
Now eight-weeks old, the black-and-white siblings are looking for new owners after recovering from their ordeal at Cats Protection, Chelwood Gate.
The kittens were taken to the Centre after being rescued from the drainpipe in Hornchurch, Essex by Alison Gambles, a local animal charity worker.
She said: “A resident heard meowing from the drain, beneath the guttering and under the grate. I found three of the kittens with their mother hiding under the flowerbeds.
"A while later, there was still the sound of meowing and after a lot of rummaging around we found three more inside the drainpipe, one almost wedged inside the U-bend.
"We guess that they were born under the surrounding shrubbery and had fallen into the drain. Mother was a feral stray and was only around six months herself. She was a devoted mother and although she couldn’t get her kittens out of the drain she hadn’t left them.
"She had done a terrific job raising six kittens, as they were in remarkably good condition. They all needed flea treatment and lots of socialising to get them used to people, but now they are all happy, healthy kittens.
“Stray female cats always do their best to find a safe, quiet hiding spot to have their kittens, and that’s what their mother had tried to do. It is lucky it had not rained hard as water from the guttering could easily have drowned them.”
Three of the kittens were rehomed in Essex and the three remaining ones were transferred to Cats Protection’s Centre in Sussex for rehoming.
Their mother – named Amy by volunteers – was rehomed in Essex.
Cats Protection manager Karen Thompson said: “Like all stray mums, poor Amy have had a gruelling life on the streets. All her strength would have gone into keeping her kittens safe.
"Fortunately, these kittens were found while still young enough to be socialised and they are now lovely, fun-loving and friendly kittens who will all make wonderful pets.”
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.sussexexpress.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Sussex-Express/
3) Follow us on Twitter @sussex_express
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Sussex Express - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.