Cat's mothering urges save kittens
Published 04/10/2011 | 15:27
A cat's instincts helped animal inspectors trace a litter of kittens left alone in a barn.
Now the mothering moggy has been named Jolie - after the famously maternal actress Angelina Jolie.
Jolie had been rescued by RSPCA officers after she was spotted being thrown from a car last month.
After nursing the cat back to health the charity returned her to the roadside in March, Cambridgeshire, where she was found as it was clear she had recently given birth and would need to get back to her kittens.
But when she was released she meowed insistently until inspector Jon Knight followed her - at which point she led him directly to her four kittens in a nearby barn.
It is believed she had given birth since being dumped and had nursed her litter as best she could in the wild.
Mr Knight said: "When she started to get really vocal at first I thought she was calling to the kittens, but then it became clear that she was actually calling to me.
"I began to follow her and she took me through the rear garden, across a ploughed field and into a farm yard. All the time she was calling me and waiting for me to follow. She then took me into an old farm machinery barn and led me to behind a stack of old wood and there were her four kittens.
"In my 15 years as an inspector I have never had this happen before and I was quite shocked by it all. But this little cat knew exactly what she wanted to do, and she made sure that I followed her and brought her kittens to safety."
Laura Prince, cattery supervisor at Block Fen animal centre, said the kittens, two male and two female, are now very healthy and fat. She said: "You can tell how pleased she is to have a nice warm home and lots of food on tap."