It was exactly two years ago when community members saw a black-and-white cat being placed into a storm water drain close to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha

The clinic had already closed for the day. Luckily, two members of staff were still on site when they heard a loud call for help from the front gate. Two elderly women were desperately calling for help and explained to our staff what they had seen – a man had just put a small animal into a drain.

They led our staff to a storm water drain about 500 meters from the clinic

A soft cry was heard from the drain and two scared eyes were peeking through the drain cover. With a lot of pulling and heaving the staff and a passing member of the community were able to lift the heavy drain cover. A white cat with black spots was standing knee deep in drain water, scrabbling desperately to get out.

“I can only imagine what the cat felt when she was placed into that drain and the cover put over her head. She was half submerged in water. Fear is all I can think of,” says Susan Wishart, Mdzananda Animal Clinic’s General Manager. “Imagine her relief when the two men lifted the closure over her head and I picked her up into my arms. We named her Storm.”

Storm was taken to Mdzananda’s cat ward where she was dried and given a warm bed and warm food. “She seemed happy with the space we had made for her, climbed into her bed and went to sleep,” says Wishart.

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Storm’s journey of recovery started at Mdzananda where she lay curled up in a ball, not wanting to lift her head for over three weeks

“It was clear that the incident of being put into a drain was only one of many traumatizing events in her life. She hardly moved, spent all her time curled tightly into a ball, hardly ate, never purred and simply stared blankly when you greeted her,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager.

She needed extra help and the clinic staff decided to send her to one of their specialised foster moms for extra care. To make sure that she was not overwhelmed, a bed and safe space was created for her inside a cupboard at her new foster home. For two weeks she did not move from this cupboard space. After about six months, she started trusting humans again. She started venturing out in the home and started showing affection.

It was time for her to find her forever home

“We shared her story, but no one was interested in adopting her,” said du Plessis. “For nearly two years we continued to share her story, but no one wanted her. We had little hope that she would ever find a family.”

Today, two years later, Storm’s miracle happened. She was adopted by her new mommy – Amy Lawrence.

Amy says Storm is known by her friends as ‘KMM’, short for Kitty Meow Meow. She is a feisty lady of leisure and her favourite spot is in her window basket on a sunny day. Amy says that Storm is the first cat their family has ever had and they couldn’t be happier. “She’s affectionate and the best cuddler, which makes it very hard to get up in the morning,” says Amy.

From a cat dumped in a gutter to a loving member of the family

“None of this could have been possible without a great number of people,” says du Plessis. “The community ladies who noticed her, the Mdzananda staff and the bystander who helped her out, the Mdzananda vets who treated her, but most of all, without members of the public, there would be no Mdzananda as we are very reliant on donations from the public to run our organisation. Donations are essentially what saved Storm.”

This winter the Mdzananda Animal Clinic would like to ask members of the public to make a donation to more pets like Storm.

700 Animals treated every month

“Winter is not an easy time at the Mdzananda. On average we treat up to 700 pets per month. They are injured and hurt. Now they are cold too,” says du Plessis.

A donation will help nurse hypothermic puppies back to health, treat broken bones from cars driving recklessly in the rain, distribute blankets and kennels to pets without shelter, and educate community pet owners about their pets’ needs this winter.

“You weren’t there to lift Storm out of the drain, but your donation is what made it possible. With the public by our side, and with kind donations, we can help more pets like her this winter,” says du Plessis.

If you wish to make a donation please visit or contact [email protected].

  • Bank details: Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank
  • Account number: 075595710
  • Branch: Rondebosch
  • Branch Code: 025009
  • Reference: Winter + Your Name


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