Kitten saved from recycling crusher in Newcastle after it was heard meowing

The kitten was found huddled in a cardboard box Credit: Cats Protection

A kitten has been rescued from certain death at a recycling centre in Bedlington.

The two-week-old was discovered after his tiny meowing was heard from inside a cardboard box headed for the crushing machine.

When recycling centre worker Jason Henderson followed the noise, he found little Womble, as he is now called, huddled at the bottom of the box.

He wrapped Womble in his hi-vis coat for warmth and rushed him to his aunt's house as he says she is a cat lover she would know what to do in this situation.

Womble was wrapped in a hi-vis jacket when he was first found

Jason's aunt, Nicola Henderson said: “I opened the door to Jason and he said ‘you’ll never guess what’s in this box’; it was a complete surprise to see this tiny kitten in there.

“I could see he was very young, his eyes weren’t yet open, and I instinctively held him close to my chest to keep him warm and he snuggled into my collar bone.

“It just so happened I had been recently talking to the local Cats Protection branch about getting a new cat as a companion for my Darcy, so I had their number to hand. A volunteer arrived within 20 minutes.

“We have no idea how he ended up at the recycling centre, whether he was placed there by his mum or was dumped, but it doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened if Jason hadn’t heard him.”

Sascha Dean, the co-ordinator of the East Northumberland Branch of Cats Protection had the kitten checked at the vets and hand-reared him from then on.

Sascha said: “The first few weeks were a very worrying time for all the volunteers here, and we didn’t know if Womble would make it.

“Fortunately, he got stronger and from that day in December when he was a shivering bundle of fur he has now grown into a 15-week-old healthy but mischievous boy.

Womble now

“Kittens that are too young to be away from their mothers can go downhill quickly. It can really upsetting, particularly for the volunteer fosterers, as these problems are largely preventable; if people got their cats neutered it would not be so common.”