Hope for a kitten named Irma amid Barbuda’s post-hurricane devastation

14 September 2017

Following Hurricane Irma, our disaster response team has been confronted with death and destruction on the island of Barbuda. But a ginger kitten found comfort in the arms of a caring police corporal

Our disaster response team has arrived on the hurricane-ravaged island of Barbuda in the Caribbean to help animals in urgent need.

Barbudans had to evacuate the island, with many having to choose between leaving their animals alone amongst the devastation, or risking the lives of themselves and their families.

Animals are scared, many are hurt, and they risk catching disease. They wander through the shattered landscape, confused, hungry and injured.

The smell of death is heavy in the air and would be as disturbing to them as it is for our team - probably more so. At least the team knows what caused their world to be turned upside down in just a few hours.

Our vets catch glimpses of cats peeking out from their hiding places. They likely fear that the dogs, forming packs as time goes on, will start to hunt.

A special bond

We found a lost ginger kitten without her mother. Our team thought she was about two or three weeks old, and named her Irma (after the hurricane).

Irma was lucky to find comfort in the arms of a police corporal named Corporal Williams.

Corporal Williams took a liking to Irma. He became her unofficial caretaker, until it was time for our team to take her on the boat to our partner the Humane Society of Antigua and Barbuda.

Nneka Hull James, a government vet we are working with, also found a small, ginger cat.

The cat looked like she had been well looked after and was clearly a beloved pet. We called her Tiger – a temporary name until we find her owner. Tiger was in growing danger as the dogs roaming the island became more vicious, so we took her along with Irma on the boat to Antigua.

Nneka Hull James, a government vet, holds Tiger the cat in Barbuda

The goodbye was a tough moment for Corporal Williams.

"No tears now," he said, “Irma is going to a good home."

We’ll keep you updated on Irma’s and Tiger’s stories.

The clock is ticking – you can help

Things are looking up for Irma and Tiger. But there are countless animals left on Barbuda who are injured and risk contracting disease or turning against each other.

Together with the Humane Society and the Antigua and Barbuda government, we’re working tirelessly to ease their suffering and hunger.

But we can’t do this without your support. Please give generously to help them.

"No tears now," he said, “Irma is going to a good home."

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