WATCH: Tiny kittens abandoned by mum cat saved from treetop by firefighters in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:14 17 April 2019
Firefighters have rescued two adorable three-week-old kittens from the top of a tree in Ipswich, after they were left there by their mother.
The RSPCA was called in after worried neighbours heard cries from the tiny pair.
With no sign of the mother cat in the area, the charity decided to step in and rescue the cold and hungry kittens. They have now been named Ethel and Edward.
RSPCA animal collection officer Antoinette Shearsby said: “I drove up there from Norwich and, when I got to the road, I could hear the miaowing.
“The conifer tree was 12 to 15ft tall, so, due to the height, we had to call on firefighters for help. They came very quickly.
“They had to cut off some branches so they could pitch a ladder.”
The firefighters, Chris Woodland and Ben Buckley, found the two tiny black kittens living in what was possibly an old bird's nest at the top of the tree.
“I can only assume their mother was probably either wild or feral,” Antoinette said.
“Over 13 years, I have taken part in lots of cat rescues, but never of kittens who were only about three weeks old.
“The fire service are real stars - they make our lives so much easier. It would have been very difficult to carry out the rescue without them.”
Zoe Barrett, manager of the RSPCA centre in Martlesham, is currently caring for the pair, who have settled well into their new foster home.
She said: “They are doing brilliantly. At first, the smaller one, Edward, had gunky eyes, and they have both been sneezing, so we think they may have cat flu, but it is very mild.
“They are very active, very affectionate and purr a lot, and they enjoy spending time with my dog.”
When they are old enough, the pair will be put up for rehoming, but Zoe said this is some way off as yet because they are still so young.
A Suffolk Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “With any animal rescue, large or small, our priorities are to ensure the safety of firefighters and the public as well as the welfare of the animal. We do not wish members of the public to endanger themselves attempting an animal rescue, our firefighters are trained for these situations so that they can be dealt with safely.”