A NEWBORN kitten found abandoned in Golspie has been saved thanks to a dedicated local veterinary nurse.
Yvonne Mackay (23) has taken on the time-consuming task of hand-rearing the tiny kitten which she has called Hugh.
She is tending it around the clock, getting up through the night to make sure the kitten has its four-hourly feeds.
Former Golspie High School pupil Yvonne is the daughter of Alan and Diane Mackay of the Doll, Brora.
A qualified veterinary nurse, she worked in a busy Inverness practice for three years before taking up her present post with Rogart Vets last September.
"I’ve always wanted to work here from when I was little," she said.
Hugh was one of two kittens handed in to Rogart Vets after being found on Friday, 13th July, at Golspie railway station by a local woman.
It is thought they were only around three days old as their eyes were still closed and their umbilical cords were attached.
The two kittens were in a perilous state and sadly Hugh’s ginger sibling died three days later.
Yvonne said: "They were really cold and dehydrated. When you pinched their skin it stayed up, which is an indication of just how cold they were."
It’s not known whether the kittens were abandoned by their mother or their owner.
"I wouldn’t like to think that anyone was responsible for leaving them," said Yvonne.
"Quite often cats will carry their kittens one at a time from one place to another. In this case the lady who found them knew that and waited for half-an-hour before rescuing the kittens."
Hugh weighed just 100g when he was found a fortnight ago and has since more than doubled in weight to 220g. He is showing an interest in his surroundings and is also becoming playful.
"He is doing everything he is meant to and has even started purring. It was a great moment when he opened his eyes," saif Yvonne.
As she has a puppy at home, Yvonne is not able to keep Hugh herself but is confident she will be able to find him a new home where he will be well looked after.
Yvonne’s commitment has been praised by Lona Johnson, the Cats Protection regional development manager for North Scotland, the national charity which rescues and rehomes unwanted and abandoned cats.
She said: "We’d like to commend Yvonne Mackay for her sterling work. Hugh was clearly in a very fragile and parlous state when he was found but he sounds like he’s on the road to recovery thanks to Yvonne’s round-the-clock care and attention."