CAT rescue founder Christine Bayka has spoken of the pain and distress for her and her volunteer staff after all 26 kittens dumped on The Moggery doorstep died.
The kittens, all just a few weeks old, were left in a Moses Basket outside Longmead Avenue, Bishopston, in August.
But despite staff hand-feeding them round the clock, and Christine taking nine home to care for herself, they all died within 16 days.
Christine, who founded The Moggery in 1997, told the Voice it was very sad news.
“The Moses Basket 26, as we called them, received loving care and vet treatment from the moment they were left on our doorstep.
“On Thursday September 7, the last kitten, a ginger and white called Jeremiah, died while being held by one of our volunteers. The Moses Basket 26 have given the volunteers a traumatic few weeks.”
She begged anyone who knew any owner of a multi-cat household of un-neutered pets to get in touch with The Moggery, which offers financial assistance to neuter cats.
She said The Moggery would help anyone who needed support with neutering, until its Assisted Neutering Account was empty.
“My volunteers and myself would not want to live through such an experience again, when it can be so easily prevented.”
She said she believed from the similar brown and tortoiseshell colourings and ages of the kittens, that they were the result of two or three generations of in breeding, which caused defects including incomplete internal organs.
She said while she took home nine of the older kittens and bottle fed them every three hours round the clock, one of her volunteers syringe-fed the remaining 17 through the day and night.
“The nine babies I took home appeared to be thriving but sadly started to die after the first week at rate of one a day. Tragically the younger kittens began to die also, often in the hands of distraught volunteers.”
She said when they first arrived, the Moses basket and all the kittens were filthy and the kittens were all riddled with fleas.
“This is a perfect example of things getting out of hand so quickly when a person obtains a kitten without having any backup support.
“Every person who adopts from The Moggery has to sign on the adoption form that they will have their kittens neutered and chipped by the date given and I expect to see the proof of the neutering promptly.”
“A pet is a luxury – many people look to online sites for kittens and have no idea that there is more to cat care than putting food down.
“Many people this summer have called The Moggery within days or even hours of buying a kitten online. After realising they have made a mistake because the child is allergic or frightened of the new scratchy kitten.”
There’s more about the work of The Moggery, and how you can help by giving a cat a home, or making a donation here: www.themoggery.org.uk/