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Terry Pratchett wrote, ‘In Ancient Times, cats were worshipped as gods. And they haven’t forgotten this…”

That’s very true, Mr Pratchett. Ever since Puddy, a beefy squirrel-skinning tabby (honestly) strayed into my house years ago I’ve been besotted.

After Puddy came the suave Claude. His mother was an elegant Burmese called Fenella, his father a rampant nameless and toothless Tom from a farm. Then came tabby sisters, Kato and Mook, spoilt rotten, and living with us for 18 and 19 years respectively.

But cat-less now, I was delighted when my son’s family adopted two kittens called Maggie and Pumpkin (See picture below).

Sarah of Chester Kitty Cat Rescue had fostered them until ready for their permanent home. And this week I met lovely Sarah and had my eyes opened wide.

Three kittens meet me at the door. They’re tiny, eight weeks old and full of life. Their poorly sibling lay on a rug, having just visited the vet. The three leapt on my knees, inspected my toes, all of them gorgeous…the cats, not the toes…and they pulled at my heartstrings as well as my trousers. If they could speak, they’d have said, ‘Please find us a caring home!’

Sarah’s always been animal crazy As a child, she’d escape from her mum in the supermarket by running outside to hug dogs awaiting their owners. Now she has horses, cats of her own as well as fostered ones, and with her Zoology degree, she lectures in Animal Care at College Cambria in Wales.

Sarah’s been a stalwart of CKCR for several years, helping to house over 100 cats, kittens and feral cats since just 2017. She’s built a 3-pen cattery in her garden, (see picture below) presently homing 7 kittens and 2 mums, and she’s clearly dedicated to her work.

So amid miaows and squeaks, Sarah tells me about CKCR.

It‘s a registered charity with no premises of its own. Seven people run it, but volunteers are essential. CKCR get so many calls they could be rescuing cats constantly. In one place, as many as 40 kittens were found. Some cats are sick, others maltreated or neglected. There are colonies of feral cats living in Chester gardens and all these cats deserve protection and security. These feral cats are neutered and often released on a farm. The trapping is done safely and humanely and after this, cats are fostered prior to re-homing. Foster families are always needed.

Caring and re-homing are expensive as is neutering, microchipping, health care and food. Sarah reckons their main expense is vets fees. The poorly kitten I met may need an operation and this is costly, so fundraising is vital. CKCR appeared at Upton Festival and plan to man the gates at Christleton Fair on June 30th and run a stall at Blacon Festival on July 7th. Supporters have zip wired in Wales and joined in the Chester Half Marathon. Lots of these things are fun as well as vital for CKCR.

If you’d like to adopt a kitten, cat or volunteer, see: www.chesterkittycatrescue.org And then think on Leonardo da Vinci’s words:“ The smallest feline is a masterpiece!”