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Ford’s factory cat finds new home after the motor giant shuts its Leamington Spa foundrys

Ford’s factory cat finds new home after the motor giant shuts its Leamington Spa foundry.
A new home has been found for a stray cat who lived at the Ford motor factory in Leamington Spa after the factory closed yesterday (Thursday, July 19).

The staff had cared for tortoiseshell puss Sweep (pictured below) for the past five years, but the closure of the foundry meant her future was uncertain.

But the lovable puss has now been found a loving new home to spend her retirement by Cats Protection’s Mid Warwickshire Branch.

Branch Co-ordinator Chris Osborne said: “Cats Protection had been providing food to Ford staff to feed Sweep for some time, so when the closure was announced, they got in touch to see if we could find her a new home.

“Sweep had been a valued member of the team at Ford, keeping the rat population down and providing a bit of light relief. After so many years of dedicated service, it was important we found the right home for her retirement.”

Ford worker Derek Reader, who took a retirement package after 30 years service, was the staff member charged with keeping an eye on Sweep.

He said: “I have been taking care of Sweep for about five years now, and don’t mind admitting that I’ve got quite fond of her.

“Once she gets to know people she can be very sweet and friendly and it always cheered up my day to see her. She became very popular with the staff too and everyone would always look out for her.

“Obviously when we heard the foundry was shutting down, I was concerned for Sweep, particularly as it would be very dangerous for her when the machinery was dismantled.
“If we didn’t already have a dog I certainly would have considered taking Sweep in myself, but I am afraid my dog isn’t really keen on cats.”

New owner Sharon Hayes phoned the charity to offer Sweep a home after seeing an appeal in a local newspaper.

She said: “My father worked at the Ford foundry for 30 years and died a few years ago aged 70. As I am a cat lover, I thought that giving Sweep a home would be a lovely way to both help her and remember my dad.

“Sweep is semi-feral, so she is still extremely shy but once she settles in, I am sure she will love it here – we have a 70ft garden and allotments behind that, so she will still have plenty of freedom.”

If you would like to offer one of the 60 kittens or 25 adult cats in Cats Protection’s Mid Warwickshire Branch a home, please contact 01926 334849 or email midwarwickcats@hotmail. com.

More information about the work of the Branch can be found at www.midwarwick.cats.org.uk