A TINY kitten was rescued from a group of drunken youths – who had been tossing the terrified animal through the air like a rugby ball.
The three-week-old kitten was being thrown back and forth by the six-strong gang of laughing teenagers in Montague Street, Newington, in the early hours of Sunday morning before a passer-by stopped them.
The good samaritan charged into the group and rescued the cute pet – despite receiving a barrage of abuse.
The thugs appeared to be under the influence of drink or drugs. Staff at Scottish Animal Welfare have named the black and white kitten Lucky – because he’s lucky to be alive.
Their Chief Superintendent of Scottish Animal Welfare, David Drummond, described the incident as a “despicable act of cruelty”.
He said: “The woman who rescued him was making her way home from work when she saw the teenagers laughing and throwing the cat about. She charged into the group and rescued him.
“I’m very surprised that he didn’t have injuries when he came in – if they had dropped him and he had hit the pavement that would have been the end of the wee guy. We’ve haven’t come across anything quite like this before.”
He added: “At three weeks old, Lucky is far too young to be away from his mum – kittens are normally ready to leave their mothers when they are between seven and eight weeks old. He’s bright and alert but he’s certainly not old enough to fend for himself.”
Lucky, who staff say resembles Batman, was not wearing any identification and has not been micro-chipped. He is currently being looked after by a foster family.
However, if no-one claims him in seven days, he will be put forward for rehoming and will be ready to leave the centre when he’s eight weeks old.
Chief Supt Drummond added: “We suspect that either he has been part of a litter and his owner has abandoned him or someone brought him home as a pet and changed their minds.
“It could be a genuine case of the kitten getting out and exploring by himself, in which case I hope his owner comes forward and claims him. If he does have to be rehomed, I don’t think there will be a problem.
“He’s absolutely brilliant, he loves to explore and he’s really mischievous.”
The charity wants anyone with information about the six-strong group, described as boys in their late teens, to contact it. Newington councillor Jim Orr praised the rescuer and said: “People should be able to behave in a civilised manner when they go out in Edinburgh and not engage in cruelty towards animals.”