02:48AM, Friday 08 February 2013
A cat and her three kittens who were cruelly trapped in a box and left out for refuse collectors used up one of their 'nine lives' by being rescued at the last minute.
The family of four had been forced into a taped up cardboard box with 'careful – glass' written on it, before being dumped in a communal bin shed in Stanwell.
Luckily for the felines, a passer-by heard their cries before the box could be taken away by a bin lorry.
The cats were taken to Battersea’s Old Windsor centre, in Priest Hill, where they were quickly checked over by staff and given a clean and warm cat pen, food and water.
Senior rehomer Vicky Snook said: "All the cats are very friendly and healthy, so they clearly aren’t feral and have lived in a home. It appears someone owned this family and deliberately dumped them in an incredibly irresponsible manner.
"All four cats would have died come bin day if their cries hadn’t been heard, whereas we would have been able to help the owner if only they’d contacted us."
The cats have all been named after US cities, including mum Atlanta, who is believed to be between one to two years old, and kittens Miami, Phoenix and Austin, who are about eight weeks old.
The centre is looking for new homes for the cat and kittens who can be rehomed separately. Call 01784 494460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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Residents and councillors alike are disgusted with the hit-and-miss bin collections in the borough, which have left some residents with rotting, maggot-filled bins for weeks on end.