Six Tiny Hurricanes Warm Firefighters’ Hearts


Meet the cutest survivors of Tropical Storm Irene.

After a wind-whipped and water-soaked weekend in New England, a man and his 6-year-old daughter ventured out to the Big Y supermarket in Northampton, Mass. The girl spotted a cardboard box floating in a big puddle, and when she looked inside she found a litter of eight shivering newborn kittens.

Not knowing what else to do, they whisked the week-old babies back to their home in nearby Goshen and called the local emergency dispatch center. Soon, Kyle Meservey, an EMT and the town’s animal control officer, was on the case. He brought the kittens to the Goshen Fire Department, where they have been providing a much-needed dose of sweetness and joy during the chaotic weekend and aftermath of the devastating wind and rain.

Firefighters and EMTs have been bottle-feeding and cuddling the tiny babies ever since they arrived. They named the six survivors Irene, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria and Vince, after hurricanes from the 2011 season.

The kittens were taken to a vet on Monday and have been given a clean bill of health. As soon as they’re old enough to eat on their own, they will be available for adoption.

Photos of the kittens and their caretakers are posted on the Goshen Fire Department’s Facebook page.

“There are a lot of people that are showing excitement about them, now all we’re looking for is for someone to come and take them home,” says Goshen Fire Department Captain Bob Labrie.

How the babies came to be in that cardboard box, and how that box came to be in the supermarket parking lot, remains a mystery. They clearly didn’t get there by themselves — the poor little things didn’t even have their eyes open yet. I like to think that maybe their mama-cat tried to find a safe place to give birth to her kittens and came back from hunting to find that her little nursery had disappeared in the drenching storm.

Whatever the case, many thanks to the little girl who found the kittens and to all the members of the emergency crews in Goshen, Mass., for taking such good care of the helpless newborns.

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