At Hillfields we have 50 cats, 10 are which you would term as "House Cats" - that is cats who allow Lyn, the Sanctuary owner, to live in the same house. The rest are feral who live a life of their choosing on the Sanctuary site with all the other animals.
We get requests from various people to help cats they know to be in distress. Often they have been referred to us by bigger organisations concerned with the plight of our feline friends, these organisations are just overburdened with domesticated cats - no place for those considered feral - no time to undertake the work needed to help these poor victims of man's uncaring greedy world.
Time to us with over 300 animals to care for is also very limited. When we can we help with the rescue of feral cats, always a time consuming task, often undertaken in appalling weather, and sometimes on dangerous sites.
Such an occasion was a recent rescue under taken in Birmingham, it was on a demolition site now left unattended until new building work starts.
A feral mother had given birth to four black kittens in a storm drain broken open by the demolition work. The pipe was luckily dry at the time; unusually for the time of year we'd had a few dry days. But at any minute it could rain and a torrent of water would rush down the pipe - it was still connected to the drains in a nearby car park.
After crawling quite a way up the narrow and silted pipe we were able to rescue the four little Kittens. Then a six and a half hour attempt to catch the poor half staved mother took place which, thankfully, was successful.
Once back at the Sanctuary the work begins of looking after mother and kittens. All our cats are spayed and given a permanent home at the Sanctuary. These little ones were very lucky - a sudden spring shower would have drowned the kittens before their mother could move them. The mother was also in a very poor condition, weakened by giving birth and feeding her young.