Three four-week-old black kittens rescued from a parked Bluebell Railway steam engine will be the stars of the show at Cats Protection’s family fun Black Cat Day this Sunday 7th November. The event, which takes place in Chelwood Gate, Sussex, aims to match cats with new owners and raise funds, with fun games, stalls, face painting, a bouncy castle and much more.

There were originally five kittens, found by a Bluebell Railway train driver freezing to death and without their mother, on October 1st. Karen Thompson, Deputy Director of the National Cat Centre came to the rescue and put the kittens inside her clothes, against her skin, and rushed them back to the centre to warm them up. Sadly two had already succumbed to hypothermia and didn’t make it – but the other three, who have been named Percy, Emily and Thomas by Cat Centre staff, have been hand reared and staff and volunteers at the centre take it in turns to take them home and feed them through the night.

Said Karen Thompson: “They are doing unbelievably well and we’re so glad to have been able to save them. We hope that they will be ready for adoption in five weeks’ time.”

“We are finding it more and more challenging to find homes for the cats at our centre and need all the support we can get – we have a huge number of delightful cats which will make great pets. They have all been vaccinated, health-checked and neutered and we need to find loving owners for them,” said Tania Marsh, Deputy Manager of the cat centre.

“Black cats are even harder to find homes for than others and we currently have 48 at the centre, so our annual Black Cat Day is about opening our doors to local cat lovers as well as providing a fun day for families to enjoy. Whether you are looking to adopt a cat, or just want to have a really great day out, you will be supporting us by coming along.”

The fun starts at 10am and runs until 4pm and includes a tombola, raffle and ghost walk. Children can also enter the Halloween costume fancy dress and scariest carved pumpkin competitions if they bring their pumpkins along. The Fire Brigade will also be there to provide budding young officers the chance to experience their fire engine between 12-2pm. Most activities are indoors but, if the weather is good, the grounds include delightful woodland and a lake to enjoy, with dogs welcome outside.

Black Cat Day runs from 10am-4pm on 7th November at the National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT. Entry is free, although a donation of a tin of cat food on arrival would be hugely appreciated!