A cat has been found feeding its kittens in a bird’s nest up a tree after being located on an Amersham industrial estate.
Volunteers from the Chiltern and High Wycombe branches of the Cats Protection charity found the felines after several weeks of trying to track them down near the estate, which had become home to a colony of cats.
There were reports of a male and female cat, the latter of which was believed to be having litters.
After volunteers spent weeks searching gardens, leafleting and setting up cameras to try to trace the family after a new-born kitten was found dead, they tracked down the female cat and watched her to see if she could lead them to the remaining kittens.
Ruth Goller, the volunteer who found them last month, explained: “I saw that she was climbing a tree and I thought, ‘Surely they aren’t up there’.
“Luckily, there was a container next to the tree, so I climbed a ladder and got on top of it for a better view – then there was a proper nest with loads of ivy around it, and the cat was feeding her three kittens in there.”
More surprising yet was the fact that a tomcat, who is believed to be the father of the kittens, was regularly watching over the family.
“It’s very unusual that a tomcat will stick around and form a relationship with the family”, Ruth added.
“We set food traps for the parents later that day, but we had to go and get the kittens from the tree because they weren’t able to get down themselves yet. We then got them to a vet, had them neutered and have been caring for them since.”
The cats have been affectionately named after birds – the mother is called Oriole, the male is Willet and the kittens are Bran, Jay and Lori.
Ruth, who has volunteered at the Chiltern branch for four years, said Oriole and Willet will be rehomed together due to their close bond, and that the kittens will also have new homes soon.