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Yarmouth woman is cats' guardian angel

PUBLISHED: 14:53 12 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:56 03 July 2010

CARING for one or two pets is enough for most of us, but a cat lover is keeping a group of more than 20 homeless felines well fed.

Pensioner Marina Dougal has been feeding a group of abandoned and stray cats on Great Yarmouth's Harfrey's Industrial Estate twice a day, every day, for more than eight years - a caring quest that has cost her over £14,500.

CARING for one or two pets is enough for most of us, but a cat lover is keeping a group of more than 20 homeless felines well fed.

Pensioner Marina Dougal has been feeding a group of abandoned and stray cats on Great Yarmouth's Harfrey's Industrial Estate twice a day, every day, for more than eight years - a caring quest that has cost her over £14,500.

A great-grandmother Marina, 72, has even taken in two of the feral kittens, six-month-olds Sheba and Tipsy, at her Bradwell home.

She has gained the trust of the colony of cats over the years through her daily visits, including Christmas Day, whatever the weather laden with tins of food.

Marina said: “I started going down there after my cat went missing - someone said there was a tabby that looked like her down there.

“When I arrived more than 20 cats appeared from out of the fence - some are abandoned domestic cats that cannot look after themselves.

“They hunt rats and mice but don't eat them so really need to be fed to stay alive and devour about 10 tins of cat food each day. It costs about £35 a week to feed them, but I don't go on holiday and would rather spend the money on the animals.

“I adore cats because they give you so much unconditional love and affection and have their own individual personalities and characteristics.”

“The feral kittens I adopted are gorgeous beautiful cats and can be fully house trained if taken in between six and nine weeks old.”

A retired cleaning department manager at Northgate Hospital, Marina has five children, 11 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Waveney Cats Protection feral officer Brenda Waters said: “Marina is out in all weathers feeding the cats that would otherwise go hungry.

“She knows them all by name and has a real affinity with the cats. They have been give a hutch to sleep in which Marina has fitted carpets and cushions.”

Most of the cats have been spayed and it is one of several groups of strays in the borough with others living in Yarmouth town centre and at Caister refuse centre.

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