21-year-old Cat Rescued From Desperate Life in a Norfolk Car Park

If Great Aunt Ethel were a human she would receive a 100th birthday card from The Queen, but all this affectionate 21-year-old cat wants is a warm home to live out her golden years.

Elderly Ethel has clocked up a century in human years, but life hasn’t given her much to celebrate of late. This old girl’s story has tugged at the heartstrings of carers at Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre when they were alerted to a cat sleeping rough on an abandoned sofa in a car park in Wisbech.

Leah Snowden, Cat Care Assistant, was first on the scene when responding to the emergency call. “Someone called and said there was a cat fending for herself in the corner of a car park,” she said. “Residents in a nearby block of flats had been feeding her, which was very kind, but it was clear she needed our help.

“Cats can be nervous when approached but not Ethel. As soon as she saw me she cried out. It was as if she knew that I was there with a helping hand, to bring her to a better life. It was obvious that she was a cat who had previously enjoyed human love and home comforts.”

Ethel’s microchip showed that she was born in 1999 but the excitement was short-lived when Ethel’s sad story unfolded. She had been living in Kent when her owner died but, as the database details had not been updated, carers could not trace Ethel’s last owner.

Local people who had been feeding her in the car park believed that Ethel had been taken to live with family in Wisbech after the death of her previous owner and she either ran off or was left to roam without a home.

Great Aunt Ethel is one of the lucky ones. As the Norfolk cat centre’s oldest temporary resident, Ethel is enjoying fuss and attention while she waits for someone to give her another chance in life.

Many cats are abandoned after their owner passes away, so Cats Protection established Cat Guardians (https://www.cats.org.uk/catguardians) to ensure that a cat is taken care of in the event of its owner’s death.

Cat Guardians is a free service to give peace of mind to cat owners concerned about what might happen when they pass away. A simple clause in a will enables people to plan for their cat’s future so that, in the event of death, Cats Protection takes care of their cat and finds it a loving new home.

Cat Guardians Marketing Manager Becky Tichband said: “We know your cat means the world to you, which is why Cats Protection promises to be there for them after you’re gone. By registering with our free Cat Guardians service you can be assured that, after you pass away, our caring staff and volunteers will look after your cat until we find them a loving new home.”

Great Aunt Ethel is a friendly, loving lady in fine condition, especially for a cat of her grand old age. Having received a clean bill of health and some dental work, she can enjoy the rest of her life in a calm home without any other pets or children. A garden in which to sun herself would be a welcome bonus.

Cats Protection is adapting to new ways of homing within Covid-19 guidelines and Great Aunt Ethel is available via the charity’s contactless Hands-Free Homing scheme. Anyone interested in giving Great Aunt Ethel a loving home can get in touch via downham@cats.org.uk (www.cats.org.uk/downhammarket).

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11 thoughts on “21-year-old Cat Rescued From Desperate Life in a Norfolk Car Park

  1. Willow Croft says:

    Oh, poor love. I hope someone falls in love with her and takes her home. Older cats are the best!

  2. zodiacimmortal says:

    Is there something like this in the states or can we get it done in the states.

    as for how to adopt/rehome.. check out Best Friends ANimal Sanctuary from Utah. I remember on Instagram or a video somewhere they did virtual visits. I think they had videos of the animals and then you could do ‘visits’ with them virtually then when you were sure you could arrange for an in person meeting.
    https://bestfriends.org/

    I was looking on the site and they have a ‘personality’ test for you to get the cat or dog whose personality best suits yours. (not sure if that is part of the process but for me I’d rather meet all the cats at once to see iwho stanads out or better yet…. WHICH ONE CHOOSES ME!
    My first cat Chose me followed me all over my pop pop’s yard and stood in front of my dad’s car tire like take me home or run me over.
    Sully did as well cause while we were at the local rescue, she stuck her tongue out which always gives me a laugh…
    the other 2 cats I’ve had in my life tiffany was sort of chosen for us… then Jonathan we were fostering for a bit and mom liked how spunky he was. he thought he owned the house… the first time he was aloud in the apartment, it was like he knew the place already. Didn’t explore, just went to the dining room and fell asleep under the desk as if he always lived with us.

      • zodiacimmortal says:

        I’m jealous👹 I wish I could but if they wanted me to help with the sick or hurt animals I couldn’t… I live animals don’t think I could hurt one to save my life (minus snakes)
        Cats (just not sphinx they creep me the he’ll out and that’s saying something…. horses fine, dogs wolf birds hac3bt been around a farm in years so n9t sure h9w I feel about them…rather watch baby goats… Don’t trust the look im their eyes… Lol.

        When I volunteer do you stay over and sleep at the sanctuary? Or u need to find housing?

        • Authoress51 says:

          Most of the animals they have there are retired and older, at least the horses. I got to brush them and hold their heads when they gave them shots, hauled hay and fed goats, walked tons of dogs and cleaned cat kennels while playing with cats.
          They have lodging there and you can even let an animal stay with you in your cabin at night. That’s what I am going to do if/whenever I go back. The younger animals are most all adoptable.

  3. Rohvannyn says:

    So happy for Ethel! She looks like a lovely old girl. My oldest cat was in a similar situation too. His owner died and he had to go live with family. He never quite had to live in a car park but he did have to deal with rough cirumstances. Now he’s doing great and is helping me raise two very energetic kittens. We figure he’s somewhere between fourteen and seventeen years old now, and he’s become very loving and loyal. It took a while for him to open up, though.

  4. chrisscatmeow says:

    Im sure Ethel will find a forever home. I would always go for an older cat as I use to volunteer at the cats protection and the sadness in the elderly cats was so sad. I loved working with them.x😻💜🐾🌈

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