On the wettest and coldest day of October, the Cats Protection helpline received a call from a gentleman in Mitcheldean who had found a cat and five kittens under his garden shed. He asked if they could be collected because they seemed to be in dire need.

The charity sprang into action to help. A spokesperson for Cats Protection said: “It was fairly easy to catch the mother but it took three days to trap the kittens. The first day saw three kittens caught, the second, another one and the third, the last kitten.”

The little family was taken to the warmth and safety of a local foster carer’s home in Mitcheldean. The fosterer, Celia O’Keeffe, said: “It was lovely to see the last kitten, hungry, cold and frightened, united with the rest of her family. She had been calling for her mum but was soon warm, dry and well fed.”

The kittens have progressed well under the expert eye of Celia. The mother has been named Betty. She is black and white and very pretty, a devoted mother and very protective. She has shown no aggressive tendencies and has responded well to the care and affection shown to her.

All the kittens, two torties, two black and one black and white, tended at first to scatter if anyone approached them but the cuddles are working and they are now about seven weeks old and will be ready for homing at twelve weeks. They are still sleeping a lot but, when they are awake they spend a lot of time galloping round the room together. If you are interested in any of the cats at Cats Protection, please ring the helpline on 01594 841511.See this week’s paper for more stories like this, available in shops and as a Digital Edition now.