News £900 bell bill for Marty the cat

CAT owners are counting the cost after their beloved pet Marty swallowed a bell and nearly died. “We were both crying in the vets

The playful one-year-old swal-

lowed the toy and landed them with a bill for £900 after he had ul- trasound, an X-ray and a life-saving two-hour operation. Marty is now back at the family

home in Senacre Square, Senacre, and recovering well after his trau- matic ordeal. Amie Stupple (22) was looking

after her mum’s cat while she was away in Sweden when he started to feel poorly and not eat. “He was just lying around and

didn’t want to do anything. He wasn’t touching his food whichwas most unlike him – or any other cat,” explained Amie, a carer around Senacre, Bearsted and Shepway. Marty had pulled the bell and its

elastic from the stick and gobbled them up. When the experts at Mote Park

Vets examined him, they found a foot of elastic had wrapped around his intestines andwas slowly killing him.

“He was in pain, so he hadn’t

eaten anything for three days before he was brought to us,” said vet Corinna McCarthy, who operated on the moggy.

Van man ban

A VAN driver has been spared prison after being caught driving his Ford Transit while disqualified. Barry Chantler (41)was sentenced

at Mid Kent Magistrates’ Court on March 15, 2017. He admitted failing to surrender

to court bail and denied driving while disqualified and driving with- out insurance, butwas convicted. In October 2015, Chantler, of Folkestone, drove a Ford Transit in Loose Road, Maidstone, while dis- qualified and with no insurance. In September 2016 he failed to surren- der to bail at Mid Kent Magistrates’ Court without reasonable excuse. Magistrates sentenced him to 60

days in prison, suspended for six months, and banned him from driv- ing for five years. He must pay £200 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Car park jump

MAIDSTONE streets were closed after a woman fell from the multi- storey car park above The Mall. Police shut roads around King

Street after being called to help South East CoastAmbulance Service at about 6.30pm on March 10. Thewomanwas taken to hospital.

Her injurieswere not believed to be life threatening. The day before a woman – thought to be the same person –was talked down from the roof of the car park and passed into the care of medical professionals.

4 Maidstone April 2017

Marty, his X-ray and the bell that caused all the trouble An initial examination of Marty

revealed there was a foreign body inside him. The cat was then given an ultrasound scan and then an X- ray which revealed the culprit. “I’ve never seen anything like it

before in a cat,” said Corinna. “I would expect this from a dog as they tend to eat anything and everything. If we hadn’t operated he would have died.” Amie added: “Marty thinks he’s

a dog. He puts everything in his mouth but we never expected it to

aswewere so worried for Marty.” Marty had already been turned

away from another vet who would not accept veterinary financial as- sistance from the RSPCA. But Mote Park did – and Amie

then had to raise the £900. She did it the same day. “I posted on Crazy Cat Ladies

group on Facebook andwe got £800 on the Saturday. One person do- nated £250. It’s amazing how gen- erous peoplewere,” she said. “Itwas the most emotional day of

be the toy bell that caused the prob- lem.” It was cut out of his stomach and intestines in a two-hour operation as soon as Marty arrived in surgery on Saturday. February 25. Hewas then fed a high calorie re-

covery food and kept in overnight for observation before being al- lowed home the following day. “We can laugh about it now, but

itwas so upsetting at the time,” said Amie, who was looking after their pets with sister Jody (18).

my life – I went from crying about the cat, to tears of joy at the kind- ness of people.” Now Marty is safely home – and

a changed animal. “I think he realises something has

gone on,” said Amie. “He’s much more affectionate

than before. He would never sit on our laps before, but now he does. Otherwise, he seems to be back to normal…tearing strips from the wallpaper, scratching the sofa and leaving some scars on my arms! “We almost renamed him Jingles

when he came home – it seemed more appropriate!”

Dancing in the rain raises over £500

MAIDSTONE students gave themselves the run-around for Comic Relief, with performances across town. The junior and senior students

fromMaplesden Noakes’ dance company volunteered for the Dance Dash in the pouring rain in the name of charity. They performed two pieces – a

sixties medley (pictured) and a Queen-inspired medley – at various locations, including primary schools; Sainsbury’s at Aylesford; and Jubilee Square, FremlinWalk and The Mall in Maidstone. The dancerswere on their feet

from1-5pm, raising £545.80. The school’s head of performing arts, Jo Mason, said: “The students

were incredibly professional, even in the pouring rain, and I amvery proud of them.”

Superheroes join explorers for park walk

LITTLE Red Riding Hood, Super- girl and Batman joined forces to provide some super power to a fundraising walk for Red Nose Day in Mote Park in Maidstone. The tots and grown-ups from Georgia’s Explorers childminders in Park Wood, did a lap of the park, raising sponsorship money and collecting cash. Georgia Barns thanked every-

one for their generosity, particu- larly dog walkers who she said were the most curious. She said: “We hope to raise £200 for Comic Relief.”

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