Although the drought that’s been plaguing Texas has brought more than its fair share of tragedy to the state, it was a life-saver for three newborn kittens.
When they were discovered in a Beaumont, Tex., storm drain, the kittens still had their eyes closed and were whining, whimpering, and groping around trying to find their mother — who was nowhere in sight.
Beaumont, Tex., animal services officer Ben Bundrick braved spiders, ants and other insects to rescue the week-old infants.
“It’s no big deal going down there because when you’re pulling baby kittens out, it sticks a smile on your face,” said Bundrick.
How the litter got there and where the mother cat went is still a mystery. But Bundrick said he could understand why it happened. “It is a close and secure environment for a momma kitten to have kittens down there.”
The entire litter weighs less than a pound.
“We wanted to get them out of there before it rained or anything happened to them,” said Bundrick.
Animal Services staff knew the kittens were far too young to survive on their own. They would either need to be bottle-fed until they were old enough to eat solid food, or find a surrogate mother who would accept the kittens and care for them.
Fortunately, there was a nursing mother at the shelter. Hoping for the best, they cleaned up the kittens and put them in a cage with her.
The surrogate mama immediately began licking the kittens and added them to her litter without so much as a mew of discontent, allowing them to nurse from her milk bar. And now they’re on their way to becoming strong, healthy kittens who will be ready to find loving adoptive homes in a couple of months, once they’re fully weaned.
“You have to love animals and this is the best part [of my job],” said Bundrick. “I love it when you’re saving an animal.”