Two-Year Rehabilitation Journey for Nervous Cats Discovered Living Under Floorboards

Luke and Leia had been present in a boarded up property after their proprietor died

The RSPCA is on the lookout for a particular ‘5 star dwelling’ for 2 inseparable cats who had been discovered residing underneath the floorboards of a home after their proprietor died.

Luke and Leia had been rescued by the charity from the boarded up property close to Burnley again in February 2021. They had been left so traumatised by the expertise that it has taken two years to assist them overcome their nervousness and be taught to work together with people once more.

The duo, named after the Star Wars characters Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, had been initially taken to the RSPCA’s cattery at Stapeley Grange in Nantwich after the RSPCA was given entry to the property and put out traps to catch them.

Luke and Leia had been nervous and cautious of being approached and most well-liked to maintain their distance when workers approached their enclosure. It was subsequently determined to put them with an area fosterer to provide the cats the possibility to settle right into a extra home surroundings.

And now, over two years later, they’re lastly able to discover a everlasting dwelling.

The RSPCA says their story demonstrates the essential position foster carers play in serving to the charity to rehome the a whole lot of animals that come into its care.

In foster care, Luke and Leia rapidly discovered hidey holes to vanish into and weren’t seen a lot through the day, solely rising in a single day to eat and to play collectively. Leia was notably good at hide-and-seek, secreting herself in bookshelves and cabinets, behind kitchen unit fascia boards and down the facet of the washer.

Regularly the pair spent extra day trip within the open however they nonetheless preferred to know there was a secure area like a mattress or a espresso desk to retreat underneath.

At evening, when folks had been elsewhere, they may very well be heard dashing round, chasing toys and thundering up and down the steps after one another. They had been even captured on digital camera assembly a tender toy Ewok – one of many diminutive furry bipeds who debuted within the 1983 movie Return of the Jedi.

Over the weeks and months that adopted, additional progress was made. Leia turned assured sufficient to permit her foster carer to softly stroke her paws, chest and neck, whereas Luke began to take pleasure in cheek scratches and head and chin rubs.

Each cats will now take freshly cooked hen – which they’re quite a fan of – from an outstretched hand, and really feel relaxed sufficient to generally stretch out on the ground to point out off their tummies.

Nicola Chilton, Stapeley Grange’s cattery supervisor, stated: “It was a harrowing expertise for Luke and Leia so that they had been understandably very nervous once they first arrived in our care. They had been clearly snug in one another’s firm, however much less so with us, particularly once they wanted to be examined or handled.

“They might generally take treats from our arms, however they didn’t know the best way to work together with folks – once they noticed an enormous hand looming in direction of them they’d again away.

“Their foster carer has achieved a completely unbelievable job and their progress is testomony to her perseverance, time and persistence and the broader work of our unbelievable workforce of fosterers.

“It’s been a really lengthy journey for them and they’re going to want very understanding homeowners who’re going to be absolutely invested in serving to Luke and Leia with this subsequent stage of their restoration. We’d like to see them settled in a endlessly dwelling and we’re interesting to anybody who thinks they can present an appropriate dwelling to get in contact.”

The cats are nonetheless nervous by sudden actions and can take time to belief new homeowners. The RSPCA says a quiet, calm dwelling with individuals who will give them loads of area and allow them to do issues at their very own tempo will likely be important. Due to their nervous natures, a family with out younger kids or different pets is most well-liked.

To investigate about adopting Luke and Leia please phone the cattery on 0300 123 0748 between 11am and 3pm daily (closed Wednesday) or electronic mail To assist the cattery to proceed supporting cats like Luke and Leia, please contemplate a donation to the Cattery’s JustGiving web page.

Fostering is only one manner that individuals can volunteer with the RSPCA – and the charity is at the moment additionally recruiting ‘Wildlife Buddies’ as a part of the Large Assist Out, a mass group volunteering initiative within the lead as much as the Large Assist Out.

Wildlife Buddies features a alternative of straightforward concepts to assist wildlife on the doorstep both by yourself, or as a part of your loved ones or group of buddies, and even the broader group. Extra details about the best way to get entangled might be discovered on the RSPCA’s Large Assist Out web site.

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