AN animal-loving South Tyneside couple believe cat fostering is just purr-fect.
Lynne and Andy Buddin came to the rescue of Maria Harrison, owner of Willows Cat Adoption Centre in Wantage Street, South Shields, who appealed for help through the Gazette after being swamped with stray cats and kittens.
The Buddins, from Ashbourne Road in Jarrow, read the story and called up to offer their services.
And for the last fortnight they’ve cared for Heathcliffe – a lively three-month-old ginger tom.
Mrs Buddin, 49, said: “After a telephone interview with Maria, we realised that taking on one of the very young kittens was going to require more time than we could give, as they still needed two-and-a-half hourly feeds.
“We were then asked if we could consider a more socialising role with a slightly older cat, and then two days later, we were collecting Heathcliffe.”
The couple were given all the things the kitten would need, including a cage for him to sleep in,
Within his first few hours of arrival, a timid Heathcliffe discovered a hiding hole down the side of the fridge – and even found three of Mrs Buddin’s lost pegs – before he soon came out of his shell.
However, after 10 days it was time to take Healthcliffe back to Willows so he could be rehomed with his ‘forever family’.
Mrs Buddin said: “Over the 10 days. his confidence gradually built up.
“He’s now used to being handled, jumping into a lap, and when it was time to return him back to Willows we did so happily, knowing we have helped the little fella along and made him ready for his real family.
“Everyone should try it – we loved it.”
Maria said: “We are always so grateful to families like the Buddins. They offer a lifeline for homeless cats and kittens, especially at this time of year when it’s our busiest time.
“Anyone who has a little bit space to give can foster, and we offer round-the-clock care and support.
“We’d love for more families to get in touch.”
For more information on cat fostering, call 456 8511 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.