A DISTRESSED stray cat found crying outside a house days before Christmas desperately needs donations for urgent veterinary treatment.

On December 23, the 12-year-old female cat, now christened Sophie, was discovered covered in fleas and crying outside a property in Buckhurst Crescent, Park North.  Teresa Stevens, who fosters stray cats, came to Sophie’s aid.

“She was wailing on the doorstep and I think it was because she was so hungry. Despite all of this she remained very loving and affectionate," Teresa said.

When she was found Sophie was wearing a flea collar and a pink and silver cat collar with a bell.

“The flea collar was so tight it was rubbing off her fur and she had a sore on her mouth. I’m glad we got there when we did,” Teresa said.

“I gave her some food and I have never seen an animal eat that fast. She was ravenous which was very upsetting to see.”

After a trip to the vets Sophie was taken into the care of SNDogs charity trustee and lead co-ordinator Jessie Bascombe.

And sweet Sophie won’t be short of company at Jessie’s house where she is already settling in well with Jessie’s seven other cats.

The feisty feline has clawed her way back from the brink, responding well to Jessie’s care.

Jessie said Sophie’s future would have looked bleak if she had remained on the streets.

“She had fleas and worms and was just in a terrible state. She was anaemic because the fleas were literally sucking her dry, she may not have lasted much longer.

“Her teeth are in a bad way too which may be due to her age.

“Cats are a personal interest for me and I knew I wanted to help her. I’m happy to keep her for as long as possible but we would like to track down her owners.

Sophie now requires an expensive operation on her thyroid with Jessie is appealing for donations to ensure that Sophie can live a long and healthy life.

“She’s a very affectionate cat and loves her food," Jessie said.

“She’ll come over to me for a fuss but spends most of her time sitting on the stairs watching the comings and goings.

“Because of her thyroid condition though she wants to eat all the time and she’s very restless and uncomfortable.

“An operation which will cost at least £300 will ensure her body will settle down and she can be a happy cat once more. We would be so grateful for any donations”

To donate to Sophie’s operation visit sndogs.uk with the heading “For Sophie” above any donations.

Are you Sophie’s owner? Contact the newsdesk on 01793 501797.