Bracken & The Hollow Tree

During the heavy rain at the beginning of Autumn, a homeless and heavily pregnant cat gave birth to four little kittens in a hollow tree, partially covered in vegetation.

She was searching for food when a family dog, Ruffles, enjoying a walk heard the crying of kittens and eagerly showed his Mum what he had found – four tiny hungry babies. When she looked closer, she realised that if not all, at least one of the kittens was very sick. Thankfully, this conscientious lady called us and we were able to bring them and their starving mother into our care.

Once with us we immediately realised how malnourished they were and one kitten was suffering from hypothermia and although still alive, was unconscious. We did all we could and immediately, but sadly, despite all of our efforts to save him, this poor little baby passed away.

Bracken,  the name we gave to the dear little mother cat, needed to be given small meals throughout the day and the kittens desperately needed extra milk, as their mum had been unable to produce enough to feed them properly. This was due to her own lack of nourishment and exhaustion.

It was a stressful situation and we were worried about this little family, but after weeks of regular feeding, warmth and care, Bracken and her remaining three kittens - Berry, Beauty and Banksy, were much healthier. We could see that she was an extremely sweet and friendly girl and now that her kittens were stronger, they were trusting and playful.

We are in no doubt that it hadn’t been for Ruffles the dog and the kindness of his owner, this story would not have had a happy ending.

Homeless cats struggle to survive and many die of starvation and cold. With the onset of winter and temperatures dropping, more cats will gravitate towards humans for help. Please don’t ignore them or assume they will be alright as all too often this is not the case.

 If you see a cat at your door, sheltering in your garden or nearby, please offer them food, water and warmth and let us or your local cat rescue know.  If they are chipped and/or have been reported missing, they will be reunited with their owners and if not, they will find a loving home. Either way, just like Ruffles and his owner, you will have saved them.

We are so happy that Bracken and her kittens are living life safely in their new, loving homes, having gone from near death to wonderfully happy and devoted pets.