Abandoned kittens in London rescued! A tale of two kitties

Finding the black kitten

I was strolling along Bedford Row in Holborn, London between my work place and the lunch I was intending to buy, when I heard a mewling from a pile of
rubbish.

I thought it was a rat, and the rubbish wobbled a bit, but it sounded cat-scared-like, rather than ratty.

So I found the right bin-bag, and untied it (extremely cautiously) to find it empty apart from a dead (definitely dead) kitten, and a live black kitten, howling quietly with distress.

I took it home to my flat, which isn't far away, and discovered it was seriously dehydrated but wouldn't lap, so I dipped a sock in water and it sucked that.

I was worried about his health, and so looked up local vets in the yellow pages, in those far-off days when the internet wasn't automatically used...


Elijah, soon after being found, ignoring a toy mouse
Elijah, soon after being found, ignoring a toy mouse
and playing with a crinkly cat bag
and playing with a crinkly cat bag

Rescue kittens need to see a vet!

I took it the vet, who said it was a boy-kitten, approximately 8 weeks old, and in good health. He wormed it and got rid of some ear mites.

Taking him to the vet was fun, because I didn't have a cat basket. I had to fence him in at the back, and hope he didn't escape!

The odd thing was that the vet was pretty sure that until the previous 24-48 hours he was well looked after, and after taking him back home that seemed even more likely.

He developed properly, he was not malnourished, he had no obvious signs of worms or any other parasites, and no obvious fleas.

Back in my flat, he ate and lapped kitten milk quite happily, maybe he had been just shocked earlier (being tied up in a black bin bag with a dead sibling would be quite a nasty experience!) And he used a litter tray with no need for training or encouraging him to do so.

He seemed bright and curious, and he liked people - he purred when he was stroked, and climbed all over people to check them out.

He was not actually a black kitten either - when we washed him at the vet's,
he turned out to be a white kitten all over apart from a tabby-black tail
and a small black splodge between his ears; he's the whitest cat I'd
seen.

It seems that he was socialised, so must have spent his early weeks being nicely looked after by people - yet suddenly he is tied in a sack with his sibling and left to die.

I wonder what tale of human heartache might lie behind Elijah's brush with death?

The night he arrived - skinny and scared Yossie
The night he arrived - skinny and scared Yossie
but he managed to get some sleep on a sheepskin rug
but he managed to get some sleep on a sheepskin rug

The second kitten

We decided, as far as Elijah was concerned, to keep him for the moment.

The vet said almost all cats can and are happy kept indoors, but if Elijah turned out not to be one of them, he would go to my sisters in Kent, where he could come and go.

I registered Elijah as found with the police and RSPCA on the off-chance that he was lost, not dumped.

There seemed a slight chance of that, because he was in generally good health and liked people so much.

I got a call at the weekend, which I returned in trepidation <FX "MINE! GERROF!> However, no-one had claimed him, but rather another kitten had been found on Bedford Row.

The new kitten came to us too. Very similar to Elijah in colouring, he was white, almost all over, with a grey stripy bit between his ears, and a white tail. Elijah was very white too, with the black tail, black ear spot, and two 5p-sized black bits on two of his legs.

We called him “Yossie”, to match the old-Testament name of Elijah.


Checking out Yossie

The vet opined that it was very likely Yossie's grey stripe will grow out, and he will be pure white, which makes his dumping odder. Apparently, pure white or almost so kittens are quite valuable, even if not pedigree.

And, he says, someone chopped Yossie's whiskers off, they have scissor marks on them. I just thought they were stubby (about 1/2 inch long).There are some cruel people out there!

asleep together on the sofa
asleep together on the sofa
awake together on an armchair
awake together on an armchair
both cats consenting to being "loved" by a mate's daughter...
both cats consenting to being "loved" by a mate's daughter...

Introducing the kittens to each other

After 10 days apart, they had forgotten each other.

It wasn't love at first sight, sadly.

I put the closed box near Elijah, so that he could smell it, but he didn't appear interested.

Eventually, we opened it, and my flatmate held Elijah and I held Yossie, and we wandered around the living room, gradually passing a bit closer.

Suddenly, Elijah seemed to twig - his body turned instantly to steel, and he started the deep throated growl. We held them nearer, they sniffed noses, then Elijah spat.

So we separated them for a bit, and tried again later, and Yossie shrank into a corner with Elijah smelling him, growling, and with the occasional hissy-spit. Then Elijah swiped at his nose, so I separated them again.

They managed to get on better over the next week, and then we lost both of them for the first time.

We called Elijah, and he woke up and came out, and looking under the sofa there was another smaller white ball curled up there!

Mock fighting
Mock fighting
Playing on their cat tree
Playing on their cat tree

Life as house cats

We decided to keep them both.

My family had had cats as a child, but they'd always been free to come and go as they please, via the cat-flap set in the back door. I'd always thought previously that it was cruel to keep cats indoors, that they needed to go out.

The vet said it was fine to try, and we did. I decided to keep them, and my other half eventually agreed.

One of my friends said that having gone from no cats and no intention of having one to having two in just 3 weeks, I'd better watch out I didn't start having children....

And 5 months later, I was pregnant with my now three year old son.

The cat cubs were inseparable. Where one was, the other was. Elijah was definitely the boss cat, and led the way, washing Yossie when he thought hygenie standards were slipping.

When we stayed with my parents in Kent, we took the cubs, and they did wander outside there.

Elijah always thought that the outside was over-rated, and rarely poked his nose out of the door. Yossie did a little more often, but was always happy to return to the flat.

They adapted well to the birth of Isaac - in fact, they seemed to enjoy it, because it meant there were more people in the flat, more often.

As he started sitting and crawling and walking, Isaac adored them. They were a little less keen to have their tails pulled - Elijah kept his distance, and Yossie just ignored it.

Isaac, his father, and Yossie
Isaac, his father, and Yossie

Easter 2007

We went down to my parents' house in Kent for Easter, when the cubs were about three years old. Both were fine in the flat, but when we arrived in mid-Kent 90 minutes later, Elijah was having trouble breathing.

We took him to a vet, and he was diagnosed with sudden heart failure, and he died 2 days later.

Yossie now

After Elijah died, Yossie was distraught. After a week or two, we decided that he should go and live with my parents, who had, at the time, a tortoise shell cat and a border collie.

He settled in there, got on well with Little Cat, and taught Polly who was boss. He's still there now, nearly 2 years later, and has taught my parents' new collie puppy his place as well.

Yossie has turned into a Mighty Hunter. My father calls him "Poll Puss" and "Chairman Miao" because of the vast quantities of rodents he catches - including rabbits and the odd squirrel.

They both had a pretty rough start in life, but being rescued wasn't all bad!

More by this Author


Comments 61 comments

Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Nice story, you have big, warm heart LG. I am sorry because you lost Elijah. I also adore cats. My bf and me adopted few months ago one cat, she is now very, very pregnant...

Great pictures and so special cats...

Thumbs up!!!


agentmango 7 years ago

Good thing that cats were rescued. If that happen in the Phillipines, they might even kill the cats. They eat dog meats here. Sucks people. So barbaric


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Beautiful story. Thank goodness you opened that bag.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Hi Tatjana - glad you adopted a cat too! Kittens are fun as well, let us know when she has them.

AgentMango - I couldn't eat cat or dog, just couldn't do it!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Frieda - glad you enjoyed it; I was thankful I opened it, too!


Christa Dovel profile image

Christa Dovel 7 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

Curiosity pays! I'm glad you ended up with some wonderful pets. Too bad about poor Elijah. :( My favorite pets were all wandering animals.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

I think pretty much all pets in my family just sort of turned up and stayed!


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Seems it's cat day for me today, I'm just coming from another wonderful "cat hub" from Frieda Babbley. Heartwarming story. LG, and the photos are very pretty. I particularly like the one with Isaac and the cat. I wonder if he thinks he's boss around Isaac? :-)


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Yossie thinks he's boss around everyone. He isn't aggressive, just purposeful.


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Not aggressive but purposeful!! LG, can I borrow that line for the next biz meeting when I'm being called aggressive?!? Laugh!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

it's a good line, feel free!


SirDent 7 years ago

Nice hub. I like the details of how you let the kittens get used to one another. I have a suggestion for the title. A Tale of Two Kitties. ????


BrianS profile image

BrianS 7 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

Still a happy ending at least you gave both cats a happy home and even if Elijah died prematurely at least he was happy with you for a short time.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Cats are a lot of fun -- these two were gorgeous. The idea of someone actually putting them in bin bags makes me ill. Glad you were able to give them a home.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Hi Sir Dent - what a brilliant title! Damn, I should have asked you before I published.

Brian - thanks for reading and commenting, and it was a happy ending, for all of us, I think.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

HI Teresa - I don't know why someone would do that, or cut Yossie's whiskers off, either. It's not like a man having his hair cut, it must have hurt him, and made him unstable as well, as I think cats use whiskers to get around safely.


pgrundy 7 years ago

What a touching story. I have always kept a cat. I think they are wonderful creatures. It's so horrible that someone would just toss them away in a bag like that. I'm glad that even though Elijah had a short life, it was a good one with a nice family like yours. :o)


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 7 years ago from West Virginia

I just love cats and so glad that you rescued those you had. I love white cats and never had one. I better be quiet on that because I now have 8 outdoor cats that call my place home and 5 indoor cats. Some of those go in and out, but two are strictly indoor cats. I have hubs about some of the ones that I have. They are so precious.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

Very pretty kitties and a lovely story! Thanks! :)


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

hi Pam - I think Elijah had a fairly good life, and was always keen to be picked up and cuddled. The only dark spot in his life, apart from on his head, was Isaac trying to learn to stand and walk by hanging on to his tail.

Hi LG - I've read some of your cat hubs, and loved them!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Hi Suzanne - glad you enjoyed it!


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 7 years ago

Love your hub. I've resuced some kitties myself, good for you!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

I hope you were as lucky with your rescue cats as we've been.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I know how sad it feels when a pet dies. Although we never had cats but we had a Pomeranian when we were kids.  And when it died a part of me died with it. I never wanted to ever go through that pain. But last week during a casual discussion we were hypothetically discussing what pet to adopt I wanted a cute Pomeranian and my husband wanted a German Shephard (as they had one when they were kids). But still there is time before we decide to buy a house and raise the pet as part of our family.

I am sure Isaac must have had good time with Yossie as long as it was with you all. Does your son miss yossie now? They make wonderful companions for kids. Thumbs up for a wonderful hub. I admire your kind generous heart. May their be more of your kind in this world.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it. I don't think Isaac now remembers Yossie used to live with us, but he's always glad to see him and my parents' collie puppy. He might be glad to see their Little Cat, too, but we can't tell as Little Cat legs it as soon as Isaac turns up (-:


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Is your parents house nearby that you all get to have family get together often. I really envy you LG. It would be so wonderful if I could meet my parents every weekend. Yes it is good to hear that Isaac has a good time when he visits his grand parents. Maybe once he is a little older he can have a kitten/puppy as a regular companion. Btw I didn't get what you exactly meant by "we can't tell as Little Cat legs it as soon as Isaac turns up".


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

my parents' cat, called the Little Cat, legs it (runs away) as soon as she hears Isaac's voice or footsteps.

I'm lucky - my parents live about 6 miles away, and my Dad works 3 minutes away from our flat. My brother lives with my parents, and my sisters live in their country house 60 miles from here, in Kent.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

Sweet tale of two kitties (nice one, sir Dent!) They were very lucky little fellas to be taken in to a kind and loving environment. Cats are not my most favourite animals, but I'd never want to see them deliberately hurt or injured. There are some very unkind people in the world, and it's lucky for Elijah and Yossie that you weren't one of them!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

I love cats - and these two are particularly loveable. I've just added another photo, showing them tolerating being held tightly by an enthusiastic 8 year old. Not many cats would wear that one!


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

Beautiful story.WONDERFUL hub


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

thanks Lgali - glad you enjoyed it


Laila Rajaratnam profile image

Laila Rajaratnam 7 years ago from India

I just loved this adorable tale and your large heart!:)My fav cat is however 'Garfield'! I adore his movies!Thanks for all these cute pics and a beautiful hub!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

thanks Laila - glad you enjoyed it. There would be certain advantages to having a cartoon pet, no vet's bills, no mess, no getting someone to look after him if you go away....


ryan0257 profile image

ryan0257 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Lovely story. good read


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

glad you enjoyed the hub, and thanks for reading


nightbear 7 years ago

Fabulous story, So happy they were rescued and even though they were separated later in life. The one still ended up in a good place. Thank God for rescuers.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

thanks for reading - and Yossie at least is happy and content (if the rodents aren't.....)


funride profile image

funride 7 years ago from Portugal

Nice hub, I love cats too. Right now we have a white cat called Bobby who adopt us and stayed lol. He is pretty much like your Yossie just a little older.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

cats do just seem to turn up and stay! I love cats, too.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Cats have been a part of my life for years. We had a cat years ago, and then we cared for my daughter's two cats for a few years. Now I live with my other daughter and her two cats. They are very endearing. Yours is a touching story, and the pictures are very nice.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

thanks - glad you enjoyed it! Cats are a great addition to the family, so long as one remembers that dogs have owners, cats have staff....


packerpack profile image

packerpack 7 years ago from India, Calcutta

Good story LG. I liked the pictures of the cat. I am more inclined towards dogs then cats but then I know what is the feeling for a pet, be it a cat or a dog.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

glad you enjoyed it! We had both cats and dogs when I was a child, and my parents still have both.


maanju profile image

maanju 7 years ago from India

Your story is good .I really enjoy reading it. Your article is a good piece of work.The pictures of cat and dog are really gorgeous to look at.

GREAT HUB


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Thank you so much for this heart-warming and beautifully illustrated story. For sure, these special kitties had wonderful lives with you.

My first two cats were "found" cats as well. Two charcoal black, one boy, one girl. I followed in your footsteps when I read your words about taking Elijah to the vet on the day you found him. Our George was a mess when we found him, too. Greasy, banged and bitten up, pieces of fur missing. When we got him to the vet, we were prepared to pay to have him humanely euthanized on the spot. But the vet examined him and said, "George will be with you for quite a while. He's completely healthy despite the mess he looks, probably because he's been on the street for so long that he's immune to everything." So instead of having him euthanized, we had him neutered, and he lived with us for more than 20 years after that.

I think you gave Elijah a wonderful life. If you hadn't found him and acted, he'd have had no life at all. As for Yossie, I wish him the good long life George had.

Thumbs up!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

HI Maanju - glad you enjoyed it.

Sally's Trove - sounds as if you gave George a wonderful life! I wish we could have enjoyed his company for longer than 3 years, but 3 years was a lot better than nothing.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

I very much enjoyed this story. When I grew up we always had cats, but my wife is allergic, so not since.

One of the cats I grew up with used to leave every dusk. This was a period when we only had one cat. I wondered where he went every day, so one day I followed him. It was revealed that he had a daily supper route in which he stopped at the houses of three separate senior single women, where he received a second, third, and fourth supper after the one we gave him! He was quite a hunter, too, but a rabbit! That's impressive.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

The squirrel was particularly troublesome, because he only injured it, then got bored and wandered off. My brother had to deal with it (and wasn't happy)


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Lovely story - really glad that you opened that bag. It is sad when they die, but at least you gave Elijah a good life for a while.

One of ours is being a complete pain in the backside today - do you want us to send you a Greek cat? ;)


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA

Very nice story. I had a kitten for two months when I was 8 years old and it was absolutely white, besides one (one!) black hair by her ear and I cut this hair off to make the kitten completely white, as she had a name Whitie. The kitten was very young and when we got her we even fed her from a baby bottle. She liked to watch ice hockey on TV and was following the players with her eyes (her head was going left-right, left-right). When my mother was washing the floor Whitie always used to climb on the edge of a pail with water and never was able to keep her balance. I had to rescue her from the water every time. She was lots of fun. She was playing a role game with her own self- she was boxing a curtain, then crawling behind the curtain and boxing it back from another side, then again coming out and slapping the curtain from outside.

Sadly, one day when she was outside (with me and my friends) she ran away (silly, silly cub) and we never found her. All the kids of my neighborhood were looking for her, but in vain. I think somebody had just stolen her, so specially white she was. I cried for weeks.

When I was 14 I got a dog (a pincher mix), who lived with us till she died at an old age. Now we have an 11 year old again pincher-mix, this one was rescued from the street as a 2 month old puppy by my friend and we adopted her.

I am a dog person, but I can’t forget my first pet, Whitie.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Your white kitten sounds lovely, and very like Yossie in looks. Sorry she vanished!I think it's possible to be a dog person and a cat person - I reckon I am both (-:


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA

May be I will adopt a cat next...:-)


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

go for it! My parents have, at the moment, a border collie puppy, Yossie, and their own Little Cat (species obvious....)


BrianS profile image

BrianS 7 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

We have rescued dogs rather than cats in the past but it always seems more gratifying taking on a pet that has been abandoned by someone else.

Our experience in doing it is that yes it can be hard work but it is always very rewarding. I don't imagine that feeling would diminish with a kitten especially if you have rescued him from what sounds like certain death had he been there much longer.

Well done and enjoy your new pet.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

thanks Brian - Yossie is indeed a wonderful cat, we are lucky to have him. He kills rats in the stables, so my sisters adore him (-:


Angel52 profile image

Angel52 7 years ago

OH THT POOR LIL KITTEN IM A HUMUNGOUSE FAN OF CATS & KITTENS I WAS CRYIN WHEN I READ THT STORY BUT THTS LIFE ISNT IT ......

I ALSO DO CAT NOISES RLY GD MEOW MEOW MA BF DOES DAT TOO WE R 12 YRS GOIN INTO YR 3 NST WEEK


Angel52 profile image

Angel52 7 years ago

YR 8 NXT WEEK I MEEN I HV 2 TABBYS SNOOPY JUNIOR ND RODNEY PODNEY LOL


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Your cats sound lovely - tabbies are gorgeous! How old are they?


David Fallon profile image

David Fallon 7 years ago from Pomona, CA

these two are SOO adorable :) losing a cat is very difficult, but at least you still have one of them with you..if you like reading about cats, check out my hubs :) all about my cat Paco


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London Author

Thanks David, Yossie is going strong (-: Off to check yours, now!

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