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Elderly cat discovered in car park found new home by Downham Market feline charity




A 21-year-old cat taken into the care of Cats Protection's Downham Market Adoption Centre has been found a forever home to live out her twilight years.

Officials at the centre said they were "overwhelmed" by people offering to help the feline, named Great Aunt Ethel, who was discovered sleeping rough on a discarded sofa in a Wisbech car park.

Cat care assistant Leah Snowden cared for Ethel when she was brought in as an emergency admission. Her microchip noted that she had been born in 1999, but contact details had not been kept up to date, so her last owner could not be traced.

Ethel, 21, has been rehomed after being taken in by Cats Protection's Downham Market Adoption Centre. Picture: SUBMITTED. (38956465)
Ethel, 21, has been rehomed after being taken in by Cats Protection's Downham Market Adoption Centre. Picture: SUBMITTED. (38956465)

Leah said: “From the moment Ethel arrived it was clear she needed our help. You could almost sense the relief in her.

"It was clear that she had previously known a life of home comforts before she fell on hard times, and she cried out for a chance at that cosy life once more.

“We have been overwhelmed by the love shown by people offering to help Ethel and to enquire about other cats in our care.

Ethel, 21, has been rehomed after being taken in by Cats Protection's Downham Market Adoption Centre. Picture: SUBMITTED. (38956467)
Ethel, 21, has been rehomed after being taken in by Cats Protection's Downham Market Adoption Centre. Picture: SUBMITTED. (38956467)

"It hasn’t always been easy to keep going during lockdown and it’s a story like this, with such an out-pouring of compassion from Norfolk people, that makes it all worthwhile.”

It wasn't long before Ethel was found a suitable new home and matched with a family under Cats Protection's new Hands-Free Homing process.

Alison Westgate and her family gave Ethel a chance to enjoy the autumn of her life at their home in the countryside near East Harling.

Alison said: “I can’t believe how well Ethel has settled in to her new home. The moment the travel crate was opened, she was off exploring, jumping onto window sills and worktops.

“Within an hour we had made friends and she was sat on my lap purring. It already feels as if we have been together for ages.

"I am so pleased I was able to offer her somewhere safe and warm to spend her twilight years. She’s a dear little thing – you would never know she is a grand old lady of 21.”

Officials say Great Aunt Ethel is one of the lucky ones, as many cats are unwanted after their owner passes away, so Cats Protection established Cat Guardians (https://www.cats.org.uk/catguardians), a free service to give peace of mind to cat owners concerned about what might happen when they pass away.

A simple clause in a will enables people to plan for their cat’s future so that, in the event of death, Cats Protection takes care of their cat and finds it a loving new home.

Cat Guardians marketing manager Becky Tichband said: “We know your cat means the world to you, which is why Cats Protection promises to be there for them after you’re gone.

"By registering with our free Cat Guardians service you can be assured that, after you pass away, our caring staff and volunteers will look after your cat until we find them a loving new home.”



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