A MUM and her four frightened kittens were dumped in the street in London just days before Christmas: unloved and unwanted.

But now, just a year on, they have all been rehomed - with one of the kittens making a new life in Somerset.

Cupid, two, was suffering from a nasty skin condition and her four eight-month-old kittens - Blitzen, Dancer, Prancer and Rudolph - were all crawling with fleas when they were found by a member of the public dumped in a metal crate under a bridge in Clapham on December 23.

RSPCA Inspector Samantha Durrant went to the feline family’s rescue and rushed the terrified cats to the charity’s Putney Animal Hospital.

“The poor cats were all cold and scared,” Inspector Durrant said. “They’d been dumped like rubbish in the street, with no regard for their health or welfare.

“It was just days before Christmas and was freezing cold so it’s amazing that they were found and could be rescued before succumbing to the weather.”

They spent Christmas being cared for by veterinary staff before, having never been wanted, they started their search for fur-ever homes at nearby RSPCA Middlesex North West and South Hertfordshire Branch in the New Year.

And they didn’t have to wait long.

FOUND: The cats were dumped in London

All of the cats were snapped up by loving new families and Blitzen made a special impression on her new owners, Kerry Clear and his wife from Crewkerne, who made the six-hour, 280-mile round journey to collect her from London and take her to start a new life in the countryside with them and their other two cats, Cinders and Ginty.

Kerry said: “She hid under the bed for the first two and a half months, she was so nervous. She loved being stroked but wouldn’t come to you so we had to crawl under the bed to give her the attention she craved.

“Eventually, we decided to get two kittens to see if they’d help Blitzen’s confidence.”

Midnight and Evie soon joined the family and had the desired effect.

“She started to come out of her shell and acted like a mother to them,” Kerry added.

“Suddenly, one night, she found the confidence to climb into bed with us and she’s loved sleeping under the duvet ever since.”

Now, the lap-cat is very settled and happy in her new home and the Clears are looking forward to their first Christmas with her.

“Now we’ve got all of the fun of Christmas to go through with all five cats,” Kerry said.

“We’re expecting lots of tree-climbing and I’m certain they’ll all curl up as close to the log burner as they can - Cinders likes to sleep under it, hence his name.”

Blitzen was just one of 25,871 cats rescued by the RSPCA in 2017. The charity took 2,563 cats for care last December alone.

This Christmas, the charity is asking the public to support Delivering Kindness at Christmas. To donate, visit www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness.