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Six-week-old kittens found orphaned at Goodwood Fur-stival of Speed

RSPCA (2)

Litter found under huge mobile motor display at West Sussex’s Goodwood Estate

Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Goodwood’s annual motoring festival, earlier this month, to enjoy listening to the purring engines of their favourite cars racing around the track. But there was another purring for organisers to deal with, as workmen set about the long task of breaking down the stands and displays, after the event came to a close.

As workmen deconstructed a huge mobile motoring display – the size of a football pitch – at Goodwood House, Chichester, on Monday (3 July) they stumbled across a litter of tiny kittens huddled underneath the structure.

Clare Palmer, branch manager at RSPCA Mount Noddy – the charity’s Sussex, Chichester & District branch – was at the event all weekend with a number of volunteers manning a stand nearby. She said: “What’s ironic is we’d been at the four-day event running a stall and raising awareness of the work we do at our centre nearby.

“We could have easily sprung into action, if there had been any animal welfare issues during the course of the event, but we didn’t get a call about these kittens until we’d left the site!”

Clare rushed back to collect the three tiny, black kittens and set a cat-trap for the fourth kitten, who staff hadn’t managed to catch. On Wednesday (5 July) she returned to the estate to collect the last kitten, a little grey.

“Unfortunately we weren’t able to locate mum and suspect all the commotion and crowds frightened her away,” Clare explained, “She probably moved them under the structure when all the preparation for the festival was going on, in the hopes of keeping them safe. But with 200,000 people walking over the top of them, it’s unsurprising she was spooked and ran away.”

The six-week-old kittens, who are semi-feral, are now being cared for by staff at Mount Noddy Animal Centre, on the outskirts of Chichester.

“They may not have been the loudest purrers of the weekend but they were certainly the cutest,” Clare added, “You could say the event included both The Fast and The Furriest!

“While we are often called in to help abandoned kittens and puss’s stuck in cat-alytic converters or car engines, this is the first time we’ve had to help any felines found at a motoring festival!

“It was only right that we gave them suitable motoring-themed names, in a nod to the incredible sports cars, classic cars and kit-ty cars they spent the first weeks of their lives surrounded by – so I’d like to introduce Bentley, Lotus, Ferrari and Subaru!”

The kittens will be cared for by the centre’s cat carers, who will also try to build their confidence around people. Once old enough, Mount Noddy will find them all loving new homes.

A Goodwood spokesman added: “We’re really pleased the kittens are safely being looked after and hope they will find loving homes. They certainly come with the very best in motorsport credentials.”

If you’re interested in offering one of Mount Noddy’s cats a new home, please call them on 01243 773359 or visit their website: www.rspca.org.uk/local/sussex-chichester-and-district-branch.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

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