Mind the cat: Cats rescued from underneath tube escalators
Workers called in animal rescuers after spotting a stray cat and her kittens living underneath new escalators at a London Underground station.
A woman contacted us shortly before 5pm on Wednesday 20 March, after spotting the black and white cat and her four tiny kittens under the escalator, at the new HS2 line at Moorgate Tube Station.
A dangerous place for the cats
Our animal welfare officer (AWO) Siobhan Trinnaman rushed to the scene to help the feline family. She said:
I received a call about a cat with a litter of tiny kittens living in a small area under an escalator at the new part of Moorgate station, which is currently under construction. It's very dangerous for cats as it's where the mechanism is to run the escalator.
Staff at the station said the escalator was due to start test runs at 6pm so I needed to get there quickly to ensure the cats were safe and there were no delays to the work. They were very concerned that if they remained there and the escalator was running they would be injured or killed.
I headed straight over there but mum was nowhere to be seen. I found the four tiny kittens and moved them to safety before setting a trap for mum.
Resting at our hospital
Siobhan took the kittens - thought to be just a few days old - to our Harmsworth Animal Hospital. She said:
They were tiny and still had their eyes closed.
I couldn't leave them there for her to return to as it wasn't safe and I didn't want them to get hurt. I was concerned about the mum too but, thankfully, just a few hours later I got a call to say that she'd been safely trapped.
She went to collect mum and she was soon reunited with her kittens at our hospital.
Mum had a cut on her nose and was a bit thin but otherwise well.
She was wearing a collar but wasn't microchipped. I've put up a poster at the station but it's extremely unusual to find a cat in an area like this so I'm not sure where she has come from.
I did learn afterwards that the station code for Moorgate is MOG so perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised that's where mum decided to set up home!
Up for rehoming if owners are not found
Hospital staff have named the cat Elizabeth after the new Crossrail line (or Elizabeth line) being constructed at the station. The kittens - one girl and three boys - have also been given Underground-inspired names: Bow, Colin, Dale and Earl (after Bow Road, Colindale and Earl's Court).
The cat and her kittens will be cared for by staff until they're well enough to be moved to one of our rehoming centres. If they're not claimed, they'll then be rehomed.
Anyone who believes Elizabeth may be their cat should contact our appeal line on 0300 123 8018 - please don't contact the hospital.
To help us continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals please donate online.