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House Fire Cats in Need of Home

20 February 2015

UK - Five cats who narrowly escaped a house fire are looking for new homes after their elderly owner went into care.

Sheena, Susu and Xipil, Aodhan and Hazel [top picture] lived with their elderly owner in a house in Yorkshire. Following the fire, the 92-year old had to move into care and his cats were not allowed to follow – leaving these five companions with nowhere to go.

When Yorkshire Cat Rescue heard of their plight, the charity immediately stepped in to help.

“We don’t know exactly what happened other than the fact that all the cats and their owner managed to escape the fire,” explains Sara Atkinson, Founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue.

“It broke my heart when I heard about this unfortunate little family. I knew the cats would be distressed and I really wanted to help them. We are currently renovating one of our large pen blocks so there isn’t much room at the centre. But after a brief spell in a cattery, we were able to place them in foster homes under our care.”

Sam Davies, Centre Manager at Yorkshire Cat Rescue, says: “Although we don’t know much about the cats, we suspect they were used to a quiet life and the traumatic experience left them rather timid. In one fell swoop, they lost their owner and became homeless.

"Thankfully our network of foster carers have been able to provide much-needed kindness and reassurance in a cosy home environment which has worked wonders.”

Before the cats could be put up for adoption, the centre’s experienced foster carers worked with each of them to help ease their anxiety and assess their personalities.

“When they arrived it was clear that the experience had spooked them.

"They are all quite young – most of them around a year old – and at this age, we know that most cats are capable of re-adjusting if given the chance. So we decided to split them up and place them into individual foster homes to make sure each got lots of one-to-one attention,” explains Sam.

While the cats have been in foster care, their personalities have started to shine through and because the charity didn’t know their names when they arrived, their foster carers named them all.

yorkshire cat rescueRachel and Geoff Collier from Oakworth came to the rescue of Sheena as her temporary foster carers. When they first brought her home, she was absolutely terrified, as Rachel recalls: “She was very quiet and always hid from us.

"It took a week before we heard the first meow but now she lets us stroke her and we are hopeful that we will get a purr soon.

"I suspect it will take some time before she recovers completely from such a traumatic experience but she is so sweet that I truly hope she finds a nice quiet home soon.”

Kaytie-Leigh Baker‎ from Far Headingley looks after Susu. She says: “When Susu arrived and I opened her carrier, she dashed out and hid behind a box before I could even blink. For a while, whenever I was walking around, all I could see were these big yellow eyes peering out of a black fuzzy ball.

"But before long her personality started to show, at first I was able to tickle her chin and now I know for sure that she loves head rubs as she keeps head-butting my hands. She even rolls around on the sofa and watches telly with me; I just took my time and let her come around in her own time.”

yorkshire cat rescue

Millie Sparrow is currently fostering Hazel at her home in Yorkshire. When Hazel first arrived at Millie’s house, she was very timid – constantly hissing and growling when approached. She has made great progress since though.

“Throughout the first week, I was going at a steady pace, talking to her in a soft voice and stroking her head whilst giving having treats. Then one morning, I stroked her and she let out her first purr. With a little patience and a lot of love, she has made a fantastic progress and has become a very friendly cat already. There is still progress to be made but once she finds a loving and cosy home, Hazel will settle in fast I’m sure,” says Millie.

Can you help?

All five cats have been neutered, vaccinated, chipped and given the all clear by a vet. Anyone who wants to offer one of the fire five a home should call the rescue centre on 01535 647184.

Girls Sheena, Susu and Xipil are all around one year old. Aodhan is a 1-year old male and Hazel is around five years old. All the cats are black and white except from Hazel who is a tabby.

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