God damn it, kittens.

I went to visit my mother yesterday (read: enjoy free laundry facilities and have someone else cook for awhile.) She lives out in the country, a little ways out from a small town north of Lansing. At any rate, I had just gotten on the road and was perhaps a mile and a half away from her house, nearing the intersection between the dirt road and the real road, I saw something in the headlights. I slowed down.

It was moving. Yes, whatever it was, there was something alive on the roadway. Or rather, a group of somethings. I slowed down further to make sure I didn’t hit any of whatever they were. And that’s when I saw.

It was kittens.

In the middle of the goddamn road.

And it was raining.

Thanks be to all that’s good and holy that I tend to drive slowly on dirt roads. So I stopped right there and opened the door and my mind immediately started to race thinking about what in the name of God to do with the damn things. It couldn’t be more obvious that some fucker had abandoned an entire litter - just barely old enough to be weaned - right on the side of the road, and the little things were too young to even have the sense to avoid cars. There’s enough dogs, cars, and various wildlife that kittens that age didn’t have the remotest chance where they left them.

So I got out of the car. I opened the door, and immediately heard piercing yells. You know those particular cries kittens make that are simultaneously adorable and sanity-depleting? Five of them, all at once. Four immediately rushed towards me and number five scuttled away and flattened itself out in the ditch. Three of the four began climbing over my feet - the things were obviously desperate. One hid under my car.

No room at home for kittens, but obviously I had to do something. I had to at least take them to the Humane Society - except it was ten thirty at night. Obviously my mother would have to put them up for the night. Meanwhile, how do I even get the damn things back to her house? I had to contain them. I couldn’t try to drive with five kittens crawling all over me. But I didn’t have any boxes. The only thing I had was boxes full of empty Coke cans that I hadn’t gotten around to recycling yet.

So that’s what I used. I had four kittens scooped up in one arm, while the other pulled empty cans out of a 24 pack. Kittens, thankfully, stack well (if you’ve ever seen them sleep). I stuck the four into the box, and then coaxed the last one out from under my car (it hissed when I picked it up.) So for the mile and a half back to my mother’s house, they were in an empty cardboard box with my backpack leaning on the top to hold it shut.

They continued their squealing, and scritching noises emanated from the box. I apologized for the poor accomodations. I explained that I wasn’t really set up to transport cats. I explained about man’s inhumanity to cat, and why I thus had to deal with them when it wasn’t even my responsibility.

So I took them to my mom’s house, since I didn’t have any clue what to do. Fortunately, she was a bit more equipped - in terms of resources and emotional wherewithal - to deal with them. I rang the doorbell while I tried to dig for the keys - box under one arm - but my mother answered the door. “I found something,” I told her grimly.

“What?” she asked.

“An opportunity to do the right thing.”

And I showed them to her. The kittens - while generally damp - were extremely precious. Two orange tabbys, two black and white, and one calico. She poured several saucers of milk, and the things ate as though ravenous, and then gradually began to wander around the room. My mom’s cat, a male a couple years old and not terribly friendly to animals, looked warily and then started hissing, so I shut him away. The two orange ones in particular were wandering around, and investigating the dog, a Rottweiler approximately 50 times their size. The dog sniffed at them and looked interested but clearly didn’t know how to react.

We poured a cat box and herded the kittens into a large cat carrier for the night. I drove home - slowly at first, just in case I had missed one - still pissed off at people who don’t fix their animals and then don’t even take the remotest responsibility for their offspring.

The worst part of this is that my mother just called me. I knew it was likely at the time, but it’s still sort of crushing to find out - they’re too young for the Humane Society to place. They’re not even close to two pounds yet, the required minimum. And there’s no way for any of us to take on five kittens, or even one - especially not at that size. So the Humane Society is going to put them down.


Surely there are people who foster young kittens, or a kitten rescue group in your area? Can’t you do a search to see if they can take the kittens? :frowning:

Well, we didn’t get any suggestions from a veterinarian friend of the family. I wouldn’t know how to begin finding someone to deal with them.

Do an online search for your area? I’d bet that there is some kind of rescue group in your state at least that might have an idea where you could begin to ask at least. Hopefully you can find a foster family to care for them.

Using the search parameters “kitten rescue foster Michigan” got these results, the first one looks promising, and has a link to the Michigan Humane Society. In fact, Animal Planet has a show, Animal Cops, and they have volunteers to foster animals. Maybe someone there could help you find a willing fosterer? Good luck.

That is so sad…what is wrong with people? My brother just found one kitten, also tiny as could be and also yelling in the way you describe, in the parking lot at his gym. Who would leave a little kitten like that? Whoever left that litter that you found deserves a pitting, if you ask me.

Well, we’re looking. My mother is getting in touch with the Animal Resource Network; I’m not sure who that is, but she seems to think it’s a place to start. We’re going to take care of them for at least the next few days until we find out what we can do with them.

What a lovely, well-written story. However, I’m surprised the Humane Society didn’t offer to find them a foster home! I know mine does, and mine is a pretty small town.

What kind of people just dump kittens on the road? This paragraph:

actually made me sniffle. You’re a good person for picking them up, I just wish there was something that could be done…

Being put down by the Humane Society is far better than whatever fate they’d have come to if you’d left them out on that road. Thank you for being one of the people who takes “an opportunity to do the right thing.”

I like the thread title, too…it really expresses the emotion of that moment very well.

Sometimes people suck, and then sometimes other people come along and do a good thing that makes you feel much better about how much other people suck. You did good, Excalibre.

If I wasn’t leaving to go out of town in the morning, I’d offer to come up and get them this weekend and find someone here to foster them (there’s an animal rescue group my co-worker is heavily involved with that I’ve started to get involved with, as well.). I hope one of the groups you’ve found works out.


Do a kitty search on petfinder.org on their local setting. I’ll bet you’ll find some links to cat rescue in your area that you can contact.

Did you find the 5th kitten that ran to the ditch? Poor little, bitty kitties. You did a great thing. I hope you can find someone to foster them.

Did you ever think you were meant to be on that road, on that night, at that time? I think you were.

Some people really just completely suck!!

Looks like he did.

Anyway, I agree no matter what you did a great thing. At least if they have to be put down it’ll be humanely and not starving to death in the pouring rain, and at least they got a little love and affection before they had to go.

Man, that’s heartbreaking. We had something rather similar happen.

It was raining down pretty good one chilly afternoon when the wife was walking home from the local mall (which we live directly behind) when she heard what sounded like muffled cries. She looked around, but didn’t immediately see anything until she saw a soggy cardboard box nearby move. Cardboard not generally being known for its motility, she went to investigate and found four mewling, sad-looking but adorable kittens inside. Like Excalibre, she couldn’t just leave them there, so she brought them home.

Fortunately we are a little better equipped to handle kitties, already having four of our own, so we made them as comfortable as possible in their temporary home. The next day we took some utterly adorable group shots and set about posting them on a few local forums we frequent to see if anyone wanted to give them a home. The response turned out to be good; two of the potential adoptees were people we already knew to be good parental-types for them, and the other two, though unknown to us, ended up being very loving new owners. (We made sure their intentions were noble before handing them over)

It all worked out quite well I think; the new owners all checked in with progress reports after a few weeks and they were all enjoying their new permanent homes.

Thanks, I was so consumed by the kitties plight that it affected my reading comprehension. :smack:

Thank you so much for stopping for the kittens. You have given a morning that hadn’t started very well a brand new look. Plus, you get Karma points!

:: purrs contentedly::

Way back before the internet, people would post up notices in churches, clubs, and laundrymats to aannounce that kitties or puppies were available. Also, I recall seeing children (with the adults nearby but out of the way) parked near grocery store and post office exits with the little animals, saying things like, “Would you like a free puppy to love?” and having success. Then there’s always the FREE KITTENS sign in the front yard one could do. We don’t always have to look for an internet solutions.

Whatever the outcome, you did good, young man.

Sadly, one has to be careful with “free to a good home” signs if one isn’t willing to do the home visit, because some less than savory folks will take them to sell for medical research or other nefarious deeds.

Absolutely…may a good dose of karma come your way. The story brought tears to my eyes as well.

Okay, so it seems they’re out of immediate danger. My mother took the initiative and took them to work with her; a secretary immediately adopted two of them and someone has promised to foster the other three if necessary. So it looks - for the moment - like things are gonna work out.

Yeah. Four of them approached me, one of whom hid under the car while the other three tried to climb me. The fifth - the one hiding in the ditch - I picked up right away. Flatting oneself out in a ditch might work when your predator is also about four inches off the ground, but it’s a bit less effective when he’s looking down from six feet in the air. :slight_smile: It was the one under the car who was actually hard to get at.

Well, it is sort of a coincidence that I was there at that exact time. I had meant to go a week and a half ago, but I didn’t get a chance, and then I was going to go Monday, but my mother’s washing machine broke when she tried to wash a comforter in it. So things could easily not have happened the way they did.