Emily is one of the cats we have in foster care.  She was found last December with a broken leg and we decided to help her.  After a successful operation, Emily returned to her rescuer who had offered to foster her as she needed six weeks of cage rest.  We have asked Mary to tell us Emilie’s story:

“One Saturday morning just as we were leaving the house 3 youngsters about 10 or 11 years old came to the door holding a beautiful tabby & white kitte;, they asked me did I own her.  I didn’t and they said they would keep looking for the owner as she was very friendly. I told them to come back to me if they didn’t find her owner. Later that evening they arrived at the door still holding the kitten and told me that her leg was broken.  They said they had brought her to the local vet who had treated her with antibiotics and painkillers but as they didn’t know who the owner was the vet could not offer any more treatment. One of the youngsters’ father had told her to put the cat back where she had found her as they didn’t want to keep her. I rang the ACS (Katie) and told her the kitten’s story. Katie asked me to bring the kitten to The Cat Hospital in Glanmire where Clare would assess her. I took the kitten from the youngsters and brought her into my home. She was super friendly, never once growled or showed any aggression, even though her leg was broken.

The beautiful Emily (photo courtesy of Allan Meek)

When I came back in the house, there was major excitement: our own 2 dogs, another doggie I was doggies-sitting and our 4 cats (including our new addition 4 week old feral kitten) were very interested to know what I had in the carrier. My daughter and son were so excited and, not wanting to frighten this new kitten, we decided to bring her into the sitting room shut the door to keep all our nosey fur babies in the other room.  Unfortunately, when my son closed the door he didn’t realise my daughter’s fingers were in there and we ended up with a screaming 6 year old who had 2 very squished fingertips.  She only calmed down when my hubby asked her to bring the kitten with her very sore broken leg to the vet with mammy.

Emily at The Cat Hospital

On arriving at The Cat Hospital, Clare helped the squished fingertips by giving my daughter a yummy bar of chocolate.  As everyone knows chocolate is a fantastic healer! Claire assessed the kitten and told me she had a compound fracture, the bone sticking out the back and blood that was stuck around the wound would suggest that the injury had not happened that day or the day before.  This alone will show what a sweetheart this kitten is; she must have been in absolute agony, yet allowed youngsters to carry her around for most of the day in their arms, then allowed me to carry her and never complained once!  When we were leaving Clare asked my daughter to think of a name for this adorable kitten. On the drive home she told me she had decided on a name: Emily – after herself!

Emily is all set to go to her fosterer's

We went to visit Emily after her operation and Clare told us that Emily kitty would need approximately 6 weeks of cage rest.  I offered to foster her for this time.  I was nervous as I had never fostered a cat that needed cage rest.  I wanted to ensure I would do the best for her to heal.  The last time I fostered a kitten was over 2 years ago and I failed at that; I adopted her!

Emily in the arms of her fosterer (photo courtesy of Allan Meek)

Emily kitty is a very friendly kitten, which means she thinks every other cat/dog is the same.  Two of our cats gave her a shock when they hissed at her for trying to play with them through her cage when they went over to investigate. She loves everyone and plays with the feral kitten (Parmenion)  we have had now for about 9 weeks.  Parmenion will sit outside Emily’s cage and play with her through the bars.  Emily kitty had her stitches out three weeks ago and got her first vaccination.  She will have the implants in her leg removed next week, then she will be free from cage rest.  She can’t wait to come out of the cage to explore her surroundings.

If you are looking for a cat that will adore you, be very happy sitting on you lap being rubbed and enjoys playing, then Emily kitty is the cat for you. She would love a playmate as she really enjoys playing and company.  She’s very placid and really deserves a wonderful forever home.”

Emily (photo courtesy of Allan Meek)

We are delighted to say that Emily has a home waiting for her.  Magda, Lucasz and their cat, Blaszka, are getting ready to welcome Emily as soon as she has settled after the removal of her pins.

The ACS always tries to help as many animals as possible, but this can be difficult at times as we do not always have the resources.  Despite, the best efforts from the vets we work with, who offer fantastic discounts, such operations remain expensive.  The cost of Emily’s and Millie’s operations and treatment is over €1000; this is why we’re asking you for your help.  By donating a euro for each of these girls, you can help us to continue our work.  Do you think you could donate €2 towards their vet bills?  If so, please visit their special appeal page here.  Thanks!


World Animal Week in images

This week we were celebrating World Animal Week.  We had a few events planned; however, as always with animal welfare, you cannot plan and our week took on an unexpected turn; not necessarily for the best.

On Sunday evening, Rita from the sanctuary had to be rushed to Riverview Vet where she was put on a drip.

Rita at the vet's

On Monday, after looking for an hour for two sick cats we never found, we started the Ballycotton TNR project.  We trapped four cats (one female and three males) who were neutered by Sinead at the Cloyne Veterinary Clinic and returned the following day.

Ballycotton TNR

Ballycotton TNR

On Monday evening, we tackled putting together the second issue of Furry Tales and Meowsings.  We never got a chance to tell you about it, but I have a surprise for you and will tell you more later.  Distribution has started and the booklet should be available in the usual places next week.

Facing the pile

2nd issue of Furry Tales and Meowsings

Meanwhile, we also had to find a fosterer for Carlo, a cat victim of a road traffic accident who was brought to The Cat Hospital the previous week.  We thought Carlo would become blind, but he regained his sight.  However, he has forgotten how to eat.  Fortunately, a good soul offered him love and time to reeducate him.

Carlo in the arms of Clare Meade

On Tuesday, Anne and Zdenka went to the rescue of a dog who was found in an appalling condition.  Angel has since been treated at Riverview Vet Clinic in Bandon, where she will remain for at least two weeks.


I don’t have any photo for Wednesday.  Let’s just say that it was enquiry day.  The amount of lost and found animals reported that day was alarming.  Moreover, there were a few cat enquiries.  We would love to be able to take them all in, but how can we?

On Thursday, we had a fundraising gig in Mr Bradley’s.  Although it was quieter than we had hoped, we still manage to raise €285 and we all had a good night!

Kate Kirwan

1st prize winner

Friday was devoted to the first photo shoot by Diane Cusack (Strike a Paws) for the Christmas cards.  I also worked on the Christmas party tickets and they are now on sale (more information to follow).

Leo, the poser (photo by Diane Cusack)

Saturday, we had an information table in Maxi Zoo Ballincollig.  It was a great day, but some cat issues needed to be sorted at the same time.

Some of our volunteers at the Maxi Zoo table

I came back home with Mishka, a little kitten rescued the previous day.


As I turned on the computer, I discovered an email regarding a two-week old kitten and the search for kitten formula began.   Thankfully, Facebook proved to be very helpful and the matter was resolved quickly.  Katrina, who had found Minka, also offered to foster the kitten, which was a huge relief.  You can read about her experience here and here.

Minka, now called Mika

It seems that I am missing an important photo.  I’ve been told about a new arrival at the sanctuary: a baby pot-bellied pig!

As you can see we were busy and you might understand why we sometimes sound tired and grumpy…

We don’t know what next week has in store for us, but what we’re certsin of is that we will be preparing for National Feral Cat Awareness Week, which starts next Saturday.  We will be raising awareness about the feral cat situation in \ieland, but also carry a few TNR projects.  One of our priorities are Jennifers’s cats and we would appreciate if you could show your support to this thirteen year old who has decided to make a difference in the cat world.  If you would like more information about this very special week, do not hesitate to contact us.  We might even bring a few interested people with us on our outings!

A thank you from Little Red

It has been nearly a week since my first operation; I was so excited that I could eat again…..food yummy food! My belly started to hurt again so Clare did another operation on Monday night to fix me. She gave me cool leg warmers in pink and green colours and I had a thing called a drip attached. I have a lovely warm bed with a heat pad to keep me cosy.

Clare, Lesley and Nora in the Cat Hospital look after me and mind me so well; I love them all. My new mommy and daddy come to visit me and tell me that all my sisters miss me so much. My sister Tear has sent me her favourite toy to play with and to cuddle when I get lonely.

I need to eat more food ’cause it will make me big and strong so I can play with my sisters…but I’m not feeling too good.

Emilie and Albert put my story up on the web so everyone can see me and read my story… I’m just one little red kitten in a big, big world of many sick animals.

You can give me so much: food, shelter, healthcare, attention, etc. All I can offer in return is pure and simple… love. I will hang in there, I’ll try my best cause I can see that so many humans out there care.

I need to have a little sleep now, I’m really tired… But before I go to sleep, I want to say a big thanks to you for all your support…

Little Red x

A message from Little Red

My operation is over.

I’m in a funny place now; it’s called an oxygen tent because I can’t breathe for my self. My liver had attached itself to my lungs and Clare fixed me. My kidney, spleen and digestive system were all stuck up in my chest putting pressure on my little lungs. They are all back where they are supposed to be now thanks to Clare and her wonderful team at The Cat Hospital. I need to stay in my new tent for a few days until I can breathe on my own.

I did get a look at the rainbow bridge but Clare wouldn’t let me cross over just yet. I wanted to tell you all my story because I’m a little red kitten, who didn’t have a chance until I met humans. They didn’t eat me but who took the time to care about me, a little red kitten who will forever thank you.

Little Red is very grateful to all his supporters and so are we.  It is a very expensive operation and without you we wouldn’t have been able to afford the operation.  You can donate from our Facebook shop or from our website.

Many thanks!

Poor Tom

On Thursday, I received an email about a feral cat who was in a staircase in Cork city and needed help.  Natalie, who contacted us, explained that the cat had been there since the previous night.  He was very aggressive and looked quite poorly.  As a matter of fact, he hadn’t moved an inch since he had arrived there.

Poor Tom on the morning of his death

Her email alerted me and I immediately rang her back (thankfully, Natalie had left her number in the email).  After a quick chat to assess the situation, I called Trevor, our emergency rescuer.  I am still amazed at how fast Trevor reached the location.  Soon after, I received another call from him: “This cat is very wild and strong and seems very sick, but I’ve managed to catch him”.

Trevor rushed Poor Tom to The Cat Hospital where he was delivered into the good hands of Clare Meade.

However, sometimes, there is nothing we can do to save a life.  Even the most expensive treatment could not have saved Poor Tom’s life.  Clare rang Albert and explained the situation: Poor Tom had been tested positive to FeLV (leukemia) and FIV (feline aids), moreover, he had an enlarged spleen.  His leukemia was far too advanced to be possibly treated.  Poor Tom would have only be able to live a couple more weeks and in extreme suffering.

It is a difficult decision to take, but sometimes we do not have another choice than euthanasia.  This is part of animal welfare.  We do our best to offer animals a happy life and to put an end to their sufferings.  Although we practice a non-euthanasia policy, here, there was only one way to stop the extreme pain endured by Poor Tom.

Poor Tom at The Cat Hospital. His face expresses the tough life he has been through.

Poor Tom was sadly put to sleep on Thursday afternoon and his sufferings came to an end.  The only consolation he might have had is that he received more love and care in the last hours of his life than he must have had before.  If it had not been for Natalie, Poor Tom would probably still be suffering in his staircase waiting for a sure and painful death all alone.

Had Poor Tom been noticed and looked after a long time ago, he would have probably been able to enjoy a better life, but it was already too late when Natalie found him.  Natalie showed humanity and compassion, but these are rare qualities to find in so-called “humanity”.  Feral cats are often given the bad eye.  They are rarely offered the opportunity to live the happy life every one of them deserves.  They do carry diseases and transmit them to other cats, which is why we insist so much on having all cats, even ferals, neutered and spayed (as well as to help controlling the cat population, which is increasing every year).

There are many cats like Poor Tom.  I hope that the next time you meet one of them you will stop to give him a bit of affection and love, as well as food and veterinary treatment.  Maybe you could also offer him/her a little place in your heart and your garden shed?  The theme of this year’s National Feral Cat Awareness Week is “Spay that Stray” (15th to 22nd of October).  Think about it, think about the difference you can make.  If each of us take the responsibility to have one feral neutered and checked by a vet, this world will be a much happier place for cats.

Thank you Natalie, Trevor and Clare for being there for Poor Tom.