THE killer virus which has put the Oldham Cats charity into a quarantine lockdown has now claimed the lives of seven kittens.

The outbreak of panleukopenia – feline infectious enteritis which attacks white blood cells - has closed the facility run by Davina Hanes and her team of volunteers at Saxon Street, Middleton for the last 20 years.

Four surviving kittens and nine adult cats awaiting adoption in addition a further seven resident cats have been quarantined.

Davina estimates the total cost of the outbreak, believed to have been caused by the current heatwave, will pass £20,000.

The kitten room will have to be demolished and its cages will be incinerated and there vets’ bills to foot also.

Already, the Oldham Cats Facebook page and a Just Giving site has raised more than £6,500.

Meanwhile, Davina, who is also a higher level teaching assistant at a primary school, is set to publish her third “Little Jack” book themed around one of her own cats who is two years old and blind.

The book “Little Jack and the Ginger Invaders” is her third work and has been endorsed by well-known “Street Cat Bob” creator and author James Bowen.

The latest book will be launched at Oldham Cats’ Summer Fair, which because of the virus, has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 26, at the Jumbo Centre in Middleton, running from 11am to 2pm.

All proceeds from the book and Davina’s two prior works “The Life of Little Jack” and “The Return of Little Jack” are going to the Oldham Cats charity.

“We are doing the best we can under the circumstances,” said Davina. “The illness has affected the kittens, but the adult cats are OK.

“I would appeal to people to keep supporting us as this has been a devastating for the cats we love so much.”

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