WILD ABOUT ANIMALS: Students Lindsey, Lori, Ella, Aishleen, Jayda, Taliah, Alana and Ruby formed the ‘Happy Paws Committee’ to raise money for Southern Downs ARK.
WILD ABOUT ANIMALS: Students Lindsey, Lori, Ella, Aishleen, Jayda, Taliah, Alana and Ruby formed the ‘Happy Paws Committee’ to raise money for Southern Downs ARK.

Hero schoolchildren rescue starving cat from drain

A SICKLY stray cat found cowering in the playground has sparked a new generation of animal activists in St Mary’s students.

Mary, named after the students who rescued her, was first spotted in the drain by a group of upper campus students a few weeks ago.

Filthy, starving, riddled with fleas and with toes missing from one of her feet, a teacher coaxed the cat out with a wet biscuit before calling Southern Downs ARK.

Mary the rescue cat.
Mary the rescue cat.

But as Mary received the vet care she needed, Year 5 pupil Ruby couldn’t get her mind off all the small creatures needing help from the animal rescue charity.

Today, the newly formed ‘Happy Paws Committee’ of students hosted an animal-themed free dress day to raise money for cats like Mary in need of food and money for vet bills.

“It was really skinny and one of the teachers started taking down some food and then she rang the ARK who told her to take it to the vet,” she said.

“Ever since that cat left we wanted to help more animals.”

Raising over $100, the committee was happy to hear the news from ARK president Ann Simon that their feline friend was on the mend.

“Mary’s doing really well, she was a very sick girl and she’s got all sorts of ulcers and infections in her mouth, so when she eats she sort of drools and dribbles,” she said.

“But we’ve got her on antibiotics and we had to put her on an anaesthetic the other day, so that when she was asleep they could see her properly, but she’s doing a lot better now.”

In the next week or two Mary is expected to be much better.

Expressions of interest for her adoption are already rolling in.

“She’s a very sweet cat, she purrs, she’s just gorgeous I just hope we can get her better” Mrs Simon said.

The children learning online also dressed up for the day.

Assistant principal Sharon Young said she was proud of the students’ activism.

“It’s been all their own work, they’ve written to the principal to ask for support and made posters and spoke at the assembly,” she said.

“The children have certainly been very passionate about it.”