Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Anne Box­hall Email abox­hall@big­

IN the mid­dle of Fe­bru­ary, an un­known per­son or people aban­doned a young cat to fend for her­self in the bush near El­len­dale.

Hav­ing been badly let down by one hu­man, a more car­ing per­son crossed her path shortly af­ter.

While gath­er­ing a load of fi re­wood, she was res­cued by a bushie.

Com­fort­able around people, the young cat went home in the ute with her white knight.

Sev­eral phone calls to lo­cals and a chat with the Ho­bart Cat Cen­tre confi rmed no one had reg­is­tered the cat as lost.

A few days later, a visit to the vet found no microchip but did re­veal the tiny mite was about to be­come a mother, which was prob­a­bly the rea­son she was cru­elly dumped in the fi rst place.

The vet es­ti­mated she was 10 months old and the gods had fi nally smiled on the cat, who has since been named Ellen.

Her new home is one where ev­ery life is val­ued – whether they have two legs or four.

Ellen set­tled right in to the home that al­ready had four dogs and three cats, and on March 22 gave birth to fi ve kit­tens in­side in a soft bed.

Ginger­nut, Ebony, Mia, Monty and Gin­ger-meggs were put in a mesh kit­ten en­clo­sure in the lounge room where they thrived.

This house­hold with a big heart then set about fi nd­ing homes for the fi ve kit­tens the old- fash­ioned way: word of mouth.

Within days, all fi ve of the kit­tens had found new happy homes.

Ellen, mean­while, continues to love life with her white knight in her new home. There are two things to note here. First, kit­tens can re­pro­duce from as young as four to fi ve months of age.

Sec­ond, kit­tens can be de­sexed from a very young age.

Don’t wait un­til your cat is preg­nant and then de­cide it’s all too hard – as Ellen’s fi rst owner most likely did.

Ad­vances in vet­eri­nary tech­niques make it safe and to­tally ac­cept­able to de­sex kit­tens be­fore they are four months old.

For more de­tails on early age de­sex­ing, talk to your vet or con­tact the Ho­bart Com­mu­nity Vet­eri­nary Hospi­tal on 6228 0205.

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