Six tiny kittens were found in a paint bucket in Northumbria, England on Friday, August 3rd.
Constables from the Northumbria Police Department were responding to a domestic dispute call when their priorities changed. The couple now under “control”, had mentioned their cat had recently given birth but they couldn’t find the kittens or knew where the mother was hiding.
Officers Roxy Garrett and Lewis Calboutin searched the property and were shocked when they stumbled upon a paint bucket in the garden, filled with tiny kittens!
The kittens are about 2-weeks old and it’s not known how long they had been in the bucket, or how they got there. Sadly, the poor babies were wrapped in a sweater, now soaked in their urine. There were still traces of paint in the bucket as well.
Without a second thought, the heroic partners took the precious cargo. Aware of a local rescue organization, they planned on taking them there as soon as possible but knew the kittens needed attention immediately. They cleaned up the kittens, rescuing them from the overpowering stench of the urine and getting much needed food in their little bellies.
After a few hours, the litter of lucky babies, seemingly one of every color, was looking and feeling much better!
When officers showed up at the Westgate Ark Cat Homing Centre that afternoon, shelter workers weren’t sure what to expect. Being handed a bucket of kittens was certainly a first.
The kittens were given baths to clean off any leftover paint that was stuck to their delicate bodies. At their age, the babies required bottle feeding every 3 hours, so volunteers took shifts to care for them throughout the evening.
For the police though, that wasn’t enough.
On Sunday, they returned to the home and were determined to locate the mother cat. She was found scared and hiding in a bedroom under the bed. The residents then admitted that they no longer wanted the feline. The officers happily took the cat from the neglectful location so she could be reunited with her babies.
“She was so pleased to see them, she was purring so loudly and the kittens immediately got stuck into their best meal in days – what a lovely sight and sound”, shared the animal shelter on Facebook.
Now, the fur-family are all together at the homing center and doing great. Westgate Ark has given them exams and despite the incident, they are all in good health and of appropriate weights for their young age.
In well-deserved recognition, Westgate Ark have decided to name the mother Roxy and the ginger fur-baby, Lewis, after the dedicated police that saved their lives. The animal loving officers shared a video of the kittens on their social media site.
If the kittens had been left much longer, all are in agreement that they wouldn’t have survived. Not only do the neonates require the feedings every few hours, at this size they do not know how to defecate on their own, which can back up and cause death too.
The volunteers can now rest easy as mama cat Roxy happily resumed her motherly feeding duties for her litter. The family needs to stay at the shelter until the babies are strong and old enough to be spayed/neutered; mom will be as well. They will then be put up for adoption.
If the responses from the center’s Facebook page when the kittens were first found give any indication to the animal lovers in the community, it shouldn’t take long for the felines to find happy purrmanent homes.
“If you need any help with fostering and hand feeding I would very happily help. My cat had kittens just over 8 weeks ago so may be happy feeding them xx“
“You all do such an amazing job. Do you need any supplies? Bin bags, food, litter? I’m going shopping tomorrow and would love to contribute if I can.”
“OMG, that ginger baby is gorgeous- willing to foster it if that would help?”
“How do i express interest in adopting one of these babies once they are old enough?”
“Poor babies! Keep us updated, I’d love to adopt one of those beauties”