Animal

Street cat beaten and painted by cruel youths flown 4,000 miles for new home in Scotland


Rainbow when he was found and right, with Debbie (Picture: SWNS)

Scrolling through Facebook, Debbie Stephens spotted a charity posting about a cat and quickly fell in love.

The animal lived on the streets of Cairo in Egypt and had been badly beaten and then covered in toxic coloured paint.

He was then rescued by Safe Haven Egypt who shaved his fur down and nursed him back to health and was now looking for a forever home.

They shared his story on Facebook and Debbie, 56, spotted it, showed her husband Craig and they decided to bring him to their home in Edinburgh, Scotland to adopt him.

He was named Rainbow by the charity and after months of delays because of the pandemic, Debbie and Craig finally welcomed him home last month.

Rainbow with paint over him (Picture: Debbie Stephens / SWNS)

Debbie said: ‘I fell in love with him as soon as I saw him.

‘After reading about him being abused by the teenagers and seeing the photos of him all spray painted, it just broke my heart.

‘He’s so loving after all this ordeal that he’s been through, it’s unbelievable, you wouldn’t think he’d been through that.’

Debbie first approached Safe Haven Egypt about Rainbow back in November 2019.

After his move was delayed, they waited patiently and are delighted to finally have him as part of their family.

The paint stained some of his fur (Picture: Debbie Stephens / SWNS)

His coat has now regrown but he has a few specks of paint which stained the fur near his eyes and mouth.

Craig said: ‘We’ve got three cats now so Rainbow has two brothers who he is getting along with which is nice.

‘Rainbow actually comes up to your face and gives you a big wet kiss and he has a habit of nibbling on my face for some reason.

‘Safe Haven gave him the name Rainbow but we didn’t want to change that as it’s a poignant reminder of what he went through in his life.

Rainbow with Debbie (Picture: Debbie Stephens/SWNS)

‘It’s just disgusting that people abuse cats like that – they’re loving animals, they’ve got no right to do that to them and it shouldn’t happen.

‘It feels good we have been able to give him a forever home now and we’re very pleased as he could have died after what he’d been through.’

Safe Haven Egypt is a volunteer-run cat sanctuary that has been operating in Cairo since 2015, set up by friends Kareema Ibraheem and Walae Besade to help street cats.

Co-founder Kareema said: ‘Rainbow was very terrified when we found him with colour all over his body.

‘We are so happy to see how he has blossomed and that we could find him a home.

‘I started Safe Haven Egypt with my friend Walae when we saw many cats needed help – cats and dogs here suffer so much and are poisoned on the streets.

‘We started with a few cats and now we have around 230 cats that we care for.

‘It’s very stressful and there’s a lot of emotions but I’m so happy to be able to help and see some happy endings – we found homes for over 1200 cats for the last five years.’

Do you have a story about a pet to share?

Get in touch at metrolifestyleteam@metro.co.uk.

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