5 Amazing CatCuddles Rescue Transformations - in Pictures — Catcuddles London Cat Sanctuary

After over a decade of rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming cats in need, the CatCuddles Sanctuary has seen cats in some truly heartbreaking circumstances. And whilst it is always tough to witness cats living on the streets or suffering from poor health, injuries, or trauma, the knowledge that we can transform their lives for the better is what sustains and compels us to continue our work.

Rescue does not consist of a single act, but rather, it is a journey for each and every cat. The pictures below show five cats at the start of that journey, and then at the end; after they’ve been restored to health and happiness, and have found loving new homes.

In December 2016, CatCuddles learned of a suspected stray cat on a Woolwich council estate.

London had been hit by a cold snap, with temperatures plummeting below zero and snowfall predicted any day. In spite of this icy weather, locals reported that the cat had been sleeping out in the open every night, and were growing increasingly concerned for his wellbeing. After receiving a pitiful photo of the cat, huddled against the cold, we decided to act.

In preparation for the cat’s arrival at CatCuddles, an appeal was put on social media, asking for donations towards his upkeep and veterinary treatment. The response from one supporter was swift - they covered his full care costs with a single donation, but had just one stipulation; that we would name the cat Kylo, after Star Wars villain, Kylo Ren.

Volunteers quickly found the newly-named Kylo huddled in the bushes that he was so often seen sleeping in. He was ravenously hungry, and so was easily lured into a cat trap, before being whisked to the home of an emergency foster carer. Just like that, his ordeal out in the cold was over.

For the first two days, Kylo did little more than sleep, waking to enthusiastically polish off meals before collapsing once more under a hot radiator. He was shy, but friendly and sweet, and became increasingly confident around people as the days passed. He sadly had no microchip.

Kylo spent Christmas warm, comfortable and fed in foster care, and in the New Year was adopted by a couple who doted on him immediately.

He hasn’t spent another night out in the cold since.

Morty was found in an area of Plumstead, SE18, that is notorious for unneutered cats.

He appeared in the garden of a long-term CatCuddles supporter one day in the Summer of 2019. He had a gaping, quite visibly infected wound on his face - a burst abscess that would be a magnet for flies in the hot weather. This is a common injury among unneutered Tomcats, as their hormones compel them to fight, and bite wounds quickly become infected to form abscesses. It’s just one in a long line of compelling reasons that .

Morty’s condition was clearly urgent, so he was quickly collected by a CatCuddles’ volunteer and rushed to our collaborating vet, where the wound was debrided, and he was neutered, vastly reducing the likelihood that he would ever suffer such an injury again. He was then was fostered at our SE2 rehoming hub, where volunteers administered antibiotics and bathed his wound daily to keep further infection at bay. Being an incredibly gentle cat, Morty accepted this wound cleaning without complaint.

It took many weeks of care and attention from volunteers, but at last, Morty’s wound healed enough for him to be considered for adoption. It didn’t take long for him to catch someone’s eye, and soon, he had his fresh start in a loving home.

Early in the summer of 2020, a lady was passing through a busy high street during her regular commute to work, when she spotted a cat.

Upon approaching, she was shocked to see that the cat had a large growth protruding from his bottom jaw. Before she could get close however, the cat grew startled and vanished from sight.

This cat was Hodge, and thankfully, the lady was able to locate him again within a matter of days. She discovered that he had an owner, a local business who had obtained him to help rid their shop of mice and rats, but who had neglected to get him veterinary treatment for the growth. They agreed to sign Hodge over into the care of CatCuddles, so we could treat him at our North London cat clinic.

To the immense relief of the Catcuddles team, biopsies revealed that Hodge’s growth was non-cancerous. It was, however, the result of a very serious infection, so he was immediately put on antibiotics, with surgery scheduled at a later date to remove the extra tissue.

Week by week, the growth shrank, and as Hodge’s surgery date approached, it became clear that antibiotics alone were enough to treat the infection. The growth was barely visible anymore, and Hodge would soon look like an ordinary, healthy cat.

It was no surprise when Hodge was reserved for adoption. He is an extremely friendly and affectionate cat, with a bottomless appetite and a huge aptitude for play. His adopters were also very special people indeed - but we will have an update on that at a later date.

In 2016, clever stray Miley found the perfect place to give birth to three kittens - an abandoned fox burrow, safe from predators and from rough weather. Unfortunately, this posed quite a dilemma for the volunteers trying to rescue her little family.

The fox set ran under a block of flats on a Belvedere housing estate, making it completely inaccessible to CatCuddles volunteers. The only way to capture Miley and her three kittens was to therefore set up cat traps outside the burrow - and wait.

It took five consecutive days, with shifts of up to eight hours, for volunteers to rescue all four cats. A single kitten, Bubba, was caught on the first night. The next four days dragged on without any progress until on the final day, ALL THREE remaining cats entered the trap at once, and were caught in one fell swoop. The last two kittens were named Gatsby and Zazzie.

In spite of how difficult it was to capture her, Miley seemed extremely relieved to be at our SE2 hub, and to have a full bowl and warm bed in place of a muddy fox burrow. Her future, had she not been rescued, would’ve consisted of litter after litter of kittens, born on the streets. Her offspring, if any had survived to adulthood, would have suffered similar fates.

The entire family were quickly adopted. Over the years, we have received dozens of updates from Miley’s new family. It’s safe to say that she is absolutely adored in her adoptive home, which she shares with a brother, Freddie, another rescued stray.

Mumya was once apart of Egypt’s vast street cat population, which often falls victim to mass poisoning, shooting, and general mistreatment and cruelty. She was discovered with metal wire deliberately wound around her waist, which had cut into her flesh as her body grew.

In 2015, CatCuddles was regularly collaborating with Egyptian rescue contacts, accepting transports of cats with complex health needs or disabilities into the charity’s care, due to their more positive adoption prospects in the UK.

Mumya was one of these cats, with by far the most challenging medical needs we have ever encountered. Not only was Mumya’s wound deeply infected, it also spanned the entire lower part of her abdomen and was incredibly difficult to heal by any conventional means. To complicate matters further, Mumya had been born on the streets, with little positive human contact in her early weeks of life, and so was semi-feral.

Our North London cat clinic launched in 2020, so in 2015, CatCuddles worked on Mumya’s treatment plan in conjunction with our fantastic collaborating vets in Greenwich, who charged the charity remarkably little considering the extent of the care needed. Both this treatment and Mumya’s passage to the UK were funded by our Egyptian rescue contacts and their support network, and by CatCuddles’ volunteer Maureen.

A number of innovative surgeries were performed, which involved maneuvering flaps of skin to cover the gaping wound. In total, Mumya spent three months in veterinary care, and there were many occasions when her treatment failed to yield any results, and we feared recovery was impossible. Had this been the case, euthanasia would have been the only option.

Thankfully, after a long, long road, those fears proved to be unfounded. Against all odds, Mumya made a full and total recovery. She even learned to trust and enjoy the company of humans.

After enduring months of pain and suffering on the streets, traveling over 2000 miles, undergoing three complex surgeries, six months of veterinary treatment, and overcoming a sea of doubts that she’d ever make it, Mumya got to go home at last. She was adopted by a long-time supporter of the charity, and these days, is an ordinary, playful, happy cat.

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