Man Stirs Up Hornets' Nest to Save Kittens' Lives

 |  Oct 11th 2011  |   26 Contributions


Jim Johnson plays with the kittens he rescued from a hornet attack. Photo courtesy of Inforum

Here's another sweet story from the Manly Men Who Love Cats files.

A construction worker was delivering tile to a Minnesota cabin when he heard crying noises. He followed the sound to a basement window well, where he found three tiny kittens fighting for their lives as they were being stung to pieces by hornets.

Jim Johnson couldn't stand aside and leave the poor things to die. He quickly realized that the only thing he could do was to make the insects madder at him than they were at the kittens — so he put on a large hooded sweatshirt and began whacking at them with a piece of lumber.

The trick worked. He got stung a couple dozen times on his face, neck, and hands, but he saved the kittens' lives in the process.

What kind of guy would risk his own health — all those stings could have put him in the hospital, too — for the sake of cats?

A guy with a big heart and high tolerance for pain, apparently, because not only did he endure the hornets' fury, one of the kittens bit him with its little baby needle-teeth.

The fact that the kitten, a black-and-white that was still fending off the hornets when Johnson arrived, had enough fight left in him to try to take a chunk out of his rescuer's skin, was actually a good sign. His two siblings, brown tabby and white babies, were lying motionless.

Johnson took the kittens to his North Dakota home and got them to a vet, who estimated their age at about 3 weeks. One of them didn't survive, but the other two, on a regimen of antibiotics and frequent meals of kitten milk replacer, are quickly becoming typical mischievous kittens.

Unfortunately, Jim and his wife, Marianne, won't be able to keep the babies because they already have a house full of other pets, all of whom are rescues. But after the kittens are weaned, the couple will start searching for an adoptive home.

Thank you, Jim Johnson, for being full of awesome, cat-loving goodness. I think your wife is a lucky woman to be married to a big-hearted guy like you.

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