As 2017 drew to an end, Yorkshire Cat Rescue welcomed its 1000th rescue cat for the first time ever in a single year.

Sadly, 13-year old Joe didn’t feel particularly extraordinary when he arrived at the re-homing centre in Keighley, and now the charity has issued a special appeal to try and find him a loving home.

Joe was surrendered in late December after his owner became seriously ill.

“Some of the cats we take in each year really need time to come around, and Joe is one of those. Older cats enjoy the comfort of the comfortable home they know, and suddenly finding themselves in one of our pens can shake their confidence.

"Initially Joe is shy and a little anxious, but he will eventually come for a stroke and a cuddle – especially if his visitors have brought him treats,” says centre manager, Sam Davies. “This is a lovely older boy who just wants a nice quiet home where he can relax and be himself. Sadly, most people come looking for more boisterous and confident kittens, so we are hoping this special appeal will help. He really is 1 in 1000.”

In 2017,Yorkshire Cat Rescue took in 1018 unwanted cats and kittens, with 26 additional cats being returned because their adoptive family were suddenly unable to keep them.

Sara Atkinson, founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue, says: "We knew it was coming, but seeing the number 1000 on the screen when we registered Joe was still a stark reminder of just how many cats are unwanted across Yorkshire. Hundreds of unplanned litters of kittens are born because people forget to neuter their cats, and many of those end up with us, when their owners realise that they are sometimes hard to sell and expensive to keep. That makes it even more difficult for a cat like Joe to find a new family - sharing the spotlight with young and bouncy kittens."

About Joe's chances of finding a new home soon, Sam is hopeful yet a little cautious:  "It's a sad fact that black and white cats are among the least popular with visitors, who often fall for the red, tabby and grey cats first. With Joe being among the most cautious at the centre right now, I am a little worried that he might find himself here for some time. This is a cat who really needs the comfort of a real home, so if anyone has a spare, warm spot in the sun for our lad, please do consider giving him a chance."

Anyone who might be willing to offer Joe a new home can contact us charity and arrange to meet him.