Two kittens rescued from a council estate earlier this year - one blind and the other partially sighted - have amazed staff, volunteers and vets by taking on life against all odds.

At 4 weeks old, Harth and Erin were among a group of 30 cats that were rescued from a home in Bradford. In poor health and desperate need of attention, the siblings were placed in foster care with Sheila Pepper in Skipton. Both were suffering from severe eye infections and struggling to see.

It also became apparent that the pair had been lacking some basic socialisation, as Sheila explains: "They didn't know how to do anything; play with toys, climb the cat tree, interact with each other. So we decided to introduce another kitten to the group who could teach them some valuable life skills."

Fawkes had arrived at the rehoming centre at 7 weeks old and was as bold and brave as anything, so Sheila asked if she could foster him too. The impact on the siblings was remarkable.

"Within a week, all three were playing beautifully together and my two little siblings were behaving like normal, happy kittens," says Sheila.

Sam Davies, centre manager, says: "Kittens really need the company of other cats during the first few months of their lives to learn all the basic social and life skills that they need to enjoy their lives alongside humans. Erin and Harth had missed out initially, mainly because they were so poorly, but their young age was on their side and they clearly had the right attitude to get on with life. It is extraordinary to see how far they have come - not least due to the amazing care provided by Sheila."

Sadly, despite everyone's best efforts to treat the infections, vets were unable to save Erin's eyes.

With her eyes disintegrating and at constant risk of infections, the decision to have her eyes removed and eye lids sewn up was made. Her brother, Harth, who has been her constant companion waited anxiously during surgery.

Sam says: "We have kept a close eye on both of these kittens, and regularly consulted with our vet about their treatment and whether we'd be able to offer them a good quality of life. Finally, after Erin's surgery, she gave the all-clear and said that Erin definitely deserved the chance to grow up. It was a huge relief to hear that she really was happy in herself and not in any pain or discomfort, aside from the surgery which we are confident she will recover fully from. Anyone seeing Erin's determination to get on with life can't help but be struck by who much she doesn't let her disability get in the way of being a kitten."

Both kittens are now back with foster mum Sheila while the charity searches for their perfect indoor-only home together.

At first, Sheila was worried about leaving Erin free to roam the house on her own, in case she got lost. But within a few weeks, she has learnt to navigate the whole house.

Sheila says: "She is a real character and so determined to get on. Going down stairs was perhaps the hardest for her to learn, but then her brother would hear her cry and come running to guide her down. Harth doesn't see too well either, but together, they are a truly remarkable little pair.

"We don't pander to Erin just because she can't see," says Sheila. "She is strong and more capable every day, so it's important that we let her learn by doing. I will really miss them when they go, and they will always have a very special place in my heart."