The story of two kittens who survived cat flu – which killed their two siblings – will be told in the new Channel 5 show Jo Brand’s Cats and Kittens.  

Billy and Bert were rescued by RSPCA inspector Herchy Boal after a member of the public contacted the animal charity when they found them in their garden with their stray mum.

When Herchy arrived at the house in Birmingham, one of the kittens was on the verge of death. She took them to the RSPCA’s Birmingham Animal Hospital, where sadly the very poorly kitten was put to sleep by a vet.

“For the other three kittens it was a 50/50 chance of them surviving,” said Herchy. “They were very vulnerable and they had been going downhill rapidly. The very poorly kitten was struggling to breathe and their eyes were so crusty that they had stuck together.”

Sadly, a second kitten deteriorated and died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

But for the remaining two kittens, they slowly started to improve. Despite each losing one eye as a result of the cat flu, they recovered and went on to be rehomed together with Rachel Ilbery, who lives in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Rachel said: “Most people would look at them and not want them because they are missing an eye, but my son Benjamin said, ‘I want these two!’

“I think it gives them their characters because they’re different. It hasn’t stopped them from running around or playing. They are still as playful as any other kitten.”

Comedian Jo Brand, who presents the show, said: “I’m a self-confessed feline fanatic and this series goes behind the scenes and follows the RSPCA inspectors, vets and volunteers who work tirelessly to save the nation’s cats from harm.  From four-storey falls, to cats stuck up chimneys the RSPCA have their work cut out rescuing Britain’s moggies from danger and we follow them every step of the way!”

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