In memory of Huntleigh the Wildcat kitten

We have had some excellent coverage of our very sad story about Huntleigh the Scottish Wildcat, so we have decided to start a fundraiser in aid of the "Saving Wildcats" charity, based here in the heart of the Cairngorms! 
The story begins as myself and my good friend Piotr Peretko decided to take a socially-distanced walk, heading north out of Grantown-on-Spey. Our target was an area called Huntlys Cave along the Dava Way, a couple of miles outside the town. As we were approaching the area we were bamboozled to see a highland gathering of local sheep, huddled in a tight circle around what we thought at the time was a tiny domestic kitten! The animal was in a very poor state curled up in a ball in the snow, absolutely motionless. We tried to coax the feline back up and onto its feet but as we were trying to assist, it was becoming apparent that the tiny ball of fluff was quite severely unwell. It was so small it fit perfectly in one hand. As we were walking we published a plea for help on a local community social media group, thinking that this was simply a run-away regular kitten. With alot of quick response from the community, but no real result, we decided that it would be best that it joined us back to the town so we could take it to the vet. During this time we had a fair bonding session with the cat, with my friend Piotr becoming quite emotionally attached to our new little friend carrying it for several miles. Upon arrival at the vet, they were surprised at the state of the animal and advised that we left it there for a spell, while they administered some glucose with warm water in an initial attempt to revive the cat. All the while the cat did not leave our minds, and as we had built such a solid friendship with the beast, we thought it would be best to call the vets to see if they could give us an update, as if it was still unclaimed - there may have been a chance to have the animal returned. Much to our surprise, they suspected this was in fact a Scottish Wildcat, and that they would be unable to return the animal until they sought further advice as they are a highly endangered species. Piotr had planned to rehome the cat with himself initially. The next 24 hours is a whirlwind of media attention - being approached for the story by both the BBC and STV, while having national newspapers such as The Herald, The Daily Record and The Scotsman all interested, as well as some excellent coverage by our local newspapers The Strathy and the Inverness Courier. We had some excellent engagement telling our story via social media channels also. This story comes to a bitter end as we were informed that the female kitten did infact not recover, and passed away finally due to pneumonia. Thankfully its DNA is being recorded on the Wildcat database, and this beautiful animal shall still contribute to the conservation of the highly rare species. We are fortunate enough to have a team working to restore wildcat populations here in the Cairngorm Narional Park. We aim to fundraise as much as possible in aid of this charity, and to the future conservation of these little highland tigers. These are tough times for us all being in the midst of a global pandemic, but to hear the story of these highly endangered animals is absolutely heartbreaking thinking about their little world. I thank you for reading our story and we appreciate any help at all towards our cause. We thank everyone involved in this story - especially the Strathspey Verinary Practice, and of course Saving Wildcats - a partnership project led by RZSS. Many thanks, Peter Macnab.

Donations (500)

  • Linda Nottingham
    • £12 
    • 10 mos
  • Melinda Field
    • £25 
    • 10 mos
  • Paula Fan
    • £20 
    • 11 mos
  • Melanie Pratt
    • £10 
    • 1 yr
  • Hadie Muller
    • £100 
    • 1 yr


Peter Macnab

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