An out-of-work plumber on unemployment benefits claims he cannot accept a job due to the family of cats living in his ute.
Chris Ranger, 37, was fired from his last job eight months ago and now refuses to accept employment as he does not want to disturb the family of cats.
The custom aluminium tray on his ute had been left open for several months when it was not being used, and a stray cat has since used the space to raise a litter of kittens.
“There is actually an effective shelter to be found in aluminium trays, in Melbourne stray cats are known to seek out dark, sheltered environments in which to birth,” said Ranger.
The ginger cat, who he has named Scruffy, bore eight kittens who are now four weeks old.
Ranger refuses to move Scruffy and her kittens when they are at such a young age. Cats may abandon their kittens if they are handled by a human. Ranger plans to let the family of cats live under the aluminium tray for as long as they need.
He has adopted Scruffy and places food and water under the ute canopy every morning and night.
Ranger’s prospective employer, Bob Ascot, is understanding of the situation and says that Ranger is welcome to commence work at a later date when the family of cats moves on.
“He is clearly a very compassionate guy, and I value that in a person,” said Ascot.
“I have never heard of cats living in aluminum ute tool boxes in Melbourne, but I am not surprised,” he said. “No pressure on Chris to move the cats on before they are ready.”
Despite the agreement reached between Ranger and his future employer, his unemployment benefits are being withheld as he is now classified as being unemployed by choice.
Ranger plans on bringing the kittens to the local no-kill shelter when they are old enough to be moved.