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He was living in bin, but like Top Cat always did, Billy's landed on his feet with new home

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 25/07/2015

Billy having fun with his delighted new owners, Katie (8) and Ruby Reid (2)
Billy having fun with his delighted new owners, Katie (8) and Ruby Reid (2)

Billy the tabby kitten was found thin and starving in a dustbin purely by chance - but just look at him now.

Believed to have been dumped, he was found by a young woman out walking her dog on the morning of July 10.

After being loved and cared for by staff at the Assisi Animal Sanctuary in Newtownards, Billy has now found a new home in Bangor.

He is the family pet of Mark Reid, his partner Emma McCreight and their daughters Katie (8) and Ruby (2).

Heather Weatherup, Assisi's manager, told the Belfast Telegraph that Billy was found in the bin - a la famous cartoon moggy Top Cat - on Circular Road, near Belmont Park, in Belfast.

The tiny kitten, thought to be around eight weeks old, was aptly named Billy because it was so close to the Twelfth holiday.

Heather told how Billy was discovered: "The girl who found him just noticed some movement and some noise inside the bin.

"I think it was her dog who initially noticed it and then she tentatively opened up the lid to look inside.

"There the wee tabby cat was inside. She actually had to go home and get her mum, as her dog doesn't like cats.

"They lifted the kitten out and walked up and down the area and knocked on doors, but nobody seemed to know anything about the kitten or who owned it. So they took the kitten home and then called us and brought it to us. Billy was not hurt but he was thin and underweight, so initially he would not eat very well. Because of that we syringe-fed him for just a few days to build him up."

Billy stayed with Heather at home overnight until he was spotted by his new family on Tuesday.

Heather said: "Billy is a friendly cat, so he was used to being with people.

"He would sit on my shoulder, and had obviously done that before, and slept right into my neck on my pillow.

"He's a very confident kitten around people and not nervous in any way.

"Knowing the kitten now, I wouldn't be surprised if he had been in a bag of rubbish - somehow having got in there - and that bag was then put inside the bin.

"He was absolutely everywhere in my house. He was so inquisitive. I wouldn't be surprised if he came to be in the bin by mistake.

"But nobody came looking for him and nobody tried to claim him."

Mr Reid said that the kitten had instantly become a big part of the family.

"Once we saw him we knew right away he was the cat for us," he added. "Within half-an-hour of coming home, he was eating and playing. He has really bonded with us, particularly our youngest, Ruby."

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