Kitten adopted by fireman rescuer

PUBLISHED: 19:38 28 April 2011

Yarmouth fireman Alan Jaye with his daughter Siobhan (7) and Kitty the rescued cat. 
Photo: Andy Darnell

Yarmouth fireman Alan Jaye with his daughter Siobhan (7) and Kitty the rescued cat. Photo: Andy Darnell

Archant © 2011

A KITTEN abandoned by her mother and left mewling in the cramped darkness of an oil tank outbuilding with her siblings is flourishing in her new home – with the very man who helped rescue her.

A veteran fireman of more than 23 years and Great Yarmouth watch manager, Alan Jaye had saved countless animals as part of his job before he was involved in the epic rescue on South Quay late last year.

And he said it was the fighting spirit and potentially hopeless situation of Kitty – as she was named by Alan’s seven-year-old daughter Siobhan – that made her stand out.

“Most of the cats I’ve rescued are someone’s family pet, but her mother had gone and I just wanted to give her a home,” the 41-year-old said.

“She was so nice and it was just such an awful situation that we found them in – they were so young and hadn’t had a good start.”

Over four hours, he and fellow firefighters were joined by the effort by Urban Search and Rescue Team (USRT), who brought in hi-tech cameras to access the tiny space and power tools to extract the three kittens from the sealed-off structure.

And it was after recounting the story of the animal rescue with the family that the father-of-two decided to adopt Kitty from where she was being looked after, Broadland Cattery, a few weeks later.

Not that the shorthaired youngster, one of whose siblings was adopted by the sister of another firefighter, Andrew Hooker, embraced her new Gorleston home straight away.

Alan said: “When we first brought her home she hid in her basket for eight hours and then went behind the couch for a while but she eventually came out and made herself at home.”

And when the moggy finally decided to emerge, she found she was in good company – the Jayes’ home also has two other feline residents.

Now, when nine-month-old Kitty is not running around catching spiders, she rules the roost over one-year-old Pudding, while 15-year-old three legged cat Deano warily looks on at all the activity.

Alan said: “Kitty is very feisty and she’s my favourite, and when she sleeps it’s generally on top of one of us.”

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