By Kirsty Topping
Charity shops receive all manner of donations but one branch Capability Scotland had a more unusual contribution when they received two cats.
The terrified moggies were dumped inside a black bin bag which was handed in to the charity’s branch in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh, where they lay undiscovered for two days.
The cats, since named Whiskers and Paws, are now in the care of Lothian Cat Rescue after being discovered by store manager Sean O’Brien.
Mr O’Brien, 46, believed the bags to contain the usual donations of bric-a-brac or clothes and was shocked to find the cats peering back at him from inside a cat carrier.
It is believed the bag was handed in by a middle-aged woman on a busy Saturday afternoon last month.
Mr O’Brien said:” I have worked for the charity for 16 years and I have never seen anything like this. Initially thought they had been sedated as they didn’t make a sound.
“The poor things were so petrified they couldn’t eat anything, but they didn’t mind being handled, were friendly and lovely to look at.
“A lady came in off the street and handed in a large bag and just said ‘that’s a donation for you’ and went away.
“She didn’t say what it was or anything; she didn’t say there were a couple of cats in there – she just disappeared.
“The assistant manager put them into the hallway, off the shop floor because it was busy.
“It was only when I came in on the Monday at about half 12 when I went to sort out what was in the bag. You can imagine the fright I got when I saw two cats staring back at me.”
Mr O’Brien contacted a colleague at Capability Scotland’s Morningside branch, Diana Caryl, who volunteers at Lothian Cat Rescue and arranged for the cats to be taken to their shelter.
Lothian Cat Rescue’s Jacci Edwards said: “That lady must have thought the cats would be discovered straight away but sometimes bags of stuff can be left for a week before they are looked through, so they have had a lucky escape.”
Mr O’Brien added: “I would like this woman to be identified because I think it’s a very stupid thing to do. The delivery of stock we got on Monday could have been put on top of them and might have suffocated them, or they could have died of starvation.
“I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a mistake – you can’t get rid of two cats by accident.
“We get some strange things donated but never live animals until now.”
The woman who donated the cats is thought to be in her 40s. There was no cat food inside the bag but there was a blanket.