The tiny kitten that wouldn't give up on life
Charlie the kitten did not have a good start to life.
He was rescued several weeks ago, after he was found clinging to a rock in the middle of the Mangati Stream near the underpass.
SPCA spokeswoman Jackie Poles Smith said he was about five weeks old at the time and so small there was no way he got there by anything but sinister means.
"There were no other kittens to be seen so we don't know if he was abandoned by himself or others that we just couldn't find," she said.
"We don't know if he was thrown on to the rock or the river or dumped in a sack and managed to escape."
He was not as big as normal kittens his age, he was clearly afraid of humans and Charlie's fur was rife with fleas.
SPCA volunteer animal fosterer Lisa Ryan took him in.
"We spent two days clearing him of it, cleaning his ears and cleaning dirt caked on his nose.
"During this time he started getting a little sick, diarrhoea and a little vomiting. I wonder if it wasn't from the trauma as well as taking in so much water."
But now he is on the mend and will be available for adoption in the coming weeks. He has learnt to trust humans and loves being cradled like a baby in a blanket.
"He became a totally different kitten, playful and extremely loving," Mrs Ryan said.
Mrs Poles Smith said Charlie's story was nothing new.
"It happens with horrendously monotonous regularity and it's so unnecessary.
"It's that same old message; if you can't afford to spay or neuter or care for your cats do not have them.
"If you do end up with unwanted kittens contact the SPCA. Don't be cowardly and dump them to die," she said.
- His plight highlights SPCA appeal week which started at the weekend and finishes on Friday with street collectors dotted around town. The big day is on Thursday and features street collectors and their pets. There’ll be llamas, dogs and miniature horses. ‘‘If everyone would just put a couple of gold coins in the bucket it would be a huge help,’’ SPCA spokeswoman Jackie Poles Smith said. There’ll also be a limited postal drop but people can send donations to PO Box 181 New Plymouth. All funds raised here will stay here and go towards helping animals through the SPCA. Donations over $5 are tax-deductible.