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During spring kitten season, April 2021, rescuers took in Pandora, a tortoiseshell kitty who came with her “Box Babies,” a litter of tiny kittens in a cardboard box.

At first, they thought Pandora was semi-feral, but she proved to be very sweet. At the time, the Box Babies were around 2 weeks old, two girls and two boys. Fortunately, they were all doing fine. However, they later discovered Pandora was FIV positive – more on that next.

Mom cat inside box with kittens

Images via Instagram

Introducing the Box Babies

Introducing the Box Babies, foster mom Lori Estronick said:

“Baby pictures!! Please welcome the Box Babies, as in Pandora’s box. They are named after the beings that gave Pandora her gifts as the first human. Aphrodite (black), Charity (black), Hermès (black), and Athena (grey). They are about 3 weeks old and growing perfectly.”

At first, she thought Charity was a girl, but later, she proved to be a little boy.

“Makes sense that Pandora’s box kittens would have a little surprise. 😅,” Estronick posted.

2-3 week-old kittens

Now, the little fuzzballs would be released from Pandora’s Box and their crate upon the world.

Kittens inside box with mother

Pandora is FIV+

Later, Estronick discovered Pandora was FIV positive. Fortunately, she knew this was not a cause to panic, sharing some handy information from our own FIV+ Marmalade! (You can see more about FIV and FeLV here.)

The kittens, box babies

“Luckily, FIV is not a death sentence, and they live long, healthy lives, it can only be spread by deep bites, which isn’t usually an issue with indoor cats, and she is so sweet and calm. We got some antibiotics and she will be good as new,” she said.

Cole & Marmalade graphic FIV+

Meanwhile, the Box babies were thriving and growing fast.

Pandora cat with kitten

By June, they were all ready to find forever-homes. Then, in August, the kittens went to the vet for FIV testing, and some were positive as well. Months went by, and none of the kitties found someone to adopt them. By now, the kittens were almost as big as Pandora.

FIV+ cats

Pandora and Kittens Wait a Year to Find Homes

In January, the Box kittens were still in foster care and looking like “house panthers.” But Estronick didn’t give up and continued to give them a loving home.

Finally, in March 2022, these kitties found their new home. It took the efforts of many people, including Estronick, photographer Casey Elise, and artist Janet Hwang.

FIV+ cat

Wrenn Rescues Inc., a rescue from southern California, shared the exciting news:

“More exciting news!!!! Pandora and her litter of FIV+ kitties have found their forever homes! They went to homes in two pairs. 🥳 They waited over a year to get adopted. Thank you to their incredible foster @theloribelle for taking such wonderful care of them and never giving up on them. And a special thank you to @imogenthekitten for taking these incredible photos that helped them get noticed as well as @jannie_ for doing an amazing comic of them! It takes a village ❤️”

Thanks to so many caring folks, Pandora and her babies will have a happy life.

“I’m happy to announce that these two have gone to their new foster to adopt (and hopefully forever!) home!! They will have a teenage human brother and a momma to spoil them like crazy,😁” posted Lori Estronick.

Cute Illustrations of Pandora and the Box Babies

Elise took beautiful photos of the Box babies to help connect with people interested in adoption. Also, Hwang created an adorable series of illustrations all about Pandora and her Box kittens. As you can see, they are too cute for words. So much effort went into giving these cats the life they deserve. Now, they will have it! It’s a beautiful thing.

Pandora and her Box babies

Wonderful illustrations by Janet Hwang below:

Janet Hwang illustrations 2

Janet Hwang illustrations

Janet Hwang illustrations

Janet Hwang illustrations

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