Two weeks on from the devastating Edgecumbe flood, people are still unable to return to their homes.

But they are not the only ones. Hundreds of animals are also displaced, having been rescued from the submerged town by the Whakatane and Kawerau SPCAs.

More than a dozen cats have had to seek refuge at Miss Molly's Cattery in Whakatane, owned by Caroline Mills.

"We've got the odd one or two cats that were so highly stressed that they wouldn't eat or wouldn't drink.

"Their owners have come and helped them through that, and they've settled in really well. And they've settled in with all the other cats here really well, which is surprising given the level of stress they were under."

Mrs Mills has owned the cattery for five years. She is also looking after some budgies and birds from the SPCA - in a different enclosure.

"I have heard that there are still a few cats missing."

Whakatane SPCA senior inspector Liisa Jones confirmed to Local Focus that there were still several animals yet to be found.

Ms Jones, who helped to retrieve animals in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, says they are putting up missing signs and reaching out to the community in an effort to locate lost pets.

Mrs Mills says she doesn't know how she would cope with losing her animals in that way.

"My heart really does go out to all of them, and I hope to goodness they will all find their cats."

She says extensions to the cattery have allowed cats to roam indoors and outdoors.

Most are in one main enclosure, however cats that are less sociable or physically able are housed in separate areas, with peaceful space away from the group.


Mrs Mills says she is happy to have the felines for as long as is necessary.

Made with funding from