Friday, 20 May 2011

The real Pink Panther: The kittens whose fur changed colour after being bathed in cement

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 5:35 PM on 18th May 2011

This adorable sight is one that could have easily been a tale of tragedy.

Four kittens were found abandoned in a concrete factory in Redruth, Cornwall, weak and malnourished.

But they are now being nursed back to health and are very much in the pink - in more ways than one.

Staff at the Cats Protection charity were given quite a shock when they tried to wash the four-week-old cats and they couldn't remove the reddish hue from one, earning it the nickname 'Pink Panther'.

She was rescued by workers along with her two sisters and a tom cat - called Clouseau, Dusty and Cerise. It is thought that they came into contact with red pigment used in concrete manufacturing which had caused their unusual appearance.

The dying is less obvious in three of the cats but Pink Panther has a creamy fur so she appears bright pink.

Attempts have been made to wash the dye out because different variations of red are seen as 'danger colours' to animals but they failed.

Instead, Cats Protection manager Claire Rowe says they will have to wait until the pink fur has grown out.

She said:'They are absolutely adorable, but Pink Panther is probably the pick of the bunch. It's amazing. Until we washed her we had no idea what her natural colour was.

'As we shampooed her, the pink has slowly started to fade, although it may be that the fur has to grow out before we see her full colour, which could take months.

'It appears as though she's actually a creamy beige, and she has been dyed by the red pigment used in the concrete.

'We think the kittens were abandoned by their mum but we're hopeful they will fully recover and be able to enjoy a bright, but preferably not pink, future.'

The kittens were rescued from Ladds Concrete Factory in Redruth after staff heard their faint meows. They were spotted cowering between a set of pallets and have been temporarily fostered until they are strong enough to be rehomed.
(Submitted by Dawn Holloway)

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