A HEARTBROKEN Egyptian animal rescuer is demanding answers from a Manchester lady who had fostered five cats and put one of them down within a week.

The cats were flown over from Egypt to Heathrow Airport for £1,000 and their previous carer wants them back, as she feels they’re in danger of being put down in Manchester.

New owner Claire Conaghan, 40, from Audenshaw, initially said in messages to the rescuer that Chico, a blind four-year-old rescue cat, passed away during an operation.

She then said Chico had to be put down because he was “very aggressive” and “unable to control his bladder”.

Shelter owner Mervat Said, 38, from Giza, insists all cats had undergone a mandatory quarantine and were deemed fit to travel by a vet.

She said: “Everything was fine when I transported the cats to the airport but then Claire told me one of them died after merely a week.

“I can’t believe it because she was so nice and even covered some of the transport fees.

“I don’t want anything and I don’t care about her; I just care about my cats and want to know if the other four are fine.”

Chico and other cats arrived in the UK on November 27 and he was subsequently euthanised on December 3, just six days later.

Cat medical history letter
                   Chico’s medical history letter

Documentation obtained by Ms Said includes a medical record of Chico’s euthanasia under the name of Claire Conaghan.

Ms Conaghan claims it was a clerical error on the vet’s side.

She responded to the allegations: “Chico was too unwell to do anything about him. He was sitting in his urine, unable to control his bladder.

“Mervat admitted to me too late that he needed an operation; he’d needed one for a while.

“He viciously attacked me, other cats he was with and my husband. He bit right through my arm and it got infected.

“She admitted he’d actually got an ingrowing testicle the size of an egg.”

Three cats remain under Ms Conaghan’s care and she has rehomed the fourth one.

Last week, one of her cats was diagnosed with coronavirus – which may progress into a fatal, incurable disease feline infectious peritonitis – and the others appear to be carrying it.

Ms Conaghan added the cats’ paperwork was incorrect and they travelled on old microchips with names not matching.

She claims she was advised by the police to close her Facebook account after Ms Said posted her personal information asking friends to report her for putting Chico down.

Ms Said maintains the cats were healthy before travel and that old microchips were used to save the shelter’s money.

Cat asleep

She added: “I am not the same person; I’m shattered and destroyed and have lost my spirit.

“Chico used to walk between my feet every time I opened the door. He had a special chair and his smell is still in it.

“After this heart-breaking incident I even thought about giving up my rescue mission and leaving Egypt.”

The private English teacher will shortly start her veterinary studies in Latvia in order to become a vet and save more money for the cats.

Ms Said’s shelter has been operating for four years and currently cares for over 300 cats and 50 dogs. It is run by only five people and funded solely from overseas donations.

By Dominika Piasecka

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