A litter of kittens and their mother are alive and well after a man rescued them from a Brooklyn alley as Hurricane Sandy brewed overhead.
Rain was already falling and the wind was picking up speed when 26-year-old Spencer Service, senior project coordinator at the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, first noticed the feline family outside his Ocean Avenue apartment.
"I was looking out the window as Sandy was rolling in, and I saw some kittens moving around down there. I thought, 'Well that’s different'," Service told Patch.
Service and his roommate grabbed a cardboard box and went downstairs to shelter the animals, and as he approached the mother and newborn kittens, he saw that they were lying in a plastic bag of leftover food.
"I went to put the box over her and saw that she was sitting in a bag of some sort of Spanish rice and half a chicken breast or something. It looked like someone was trying to feed her, but it was half-hearted at best,” he said.
But as he turned to leave, Service had second thoughts.
"We just didn't feel 100 percent that we did everything we could," he said.
He went back upstairs, grabbed a cat carrier and lined it with T-shirts. Then Service faced the challenge of luring the new mother inside, but to his surprise, she walked right in.
"She wasn’t meowing, she wasn’t hissing, anything like that. I put a treat in front of her and she got right up and went into the carrier,” he said.
He then picked up each of the kittens by the scruff of the neck and placed them inside.
With the four-legged family nestled safely in the carrier, Service walked nearly 2 miles in the storm to the Sean Animal Rescue. Upon his arrival, volunteers mopped up the kittens and their mother, which were wet but otherwise healthy.
The cats weathered the hurricane in the home of a volunteer and are still living with their mother until they’re old enough for adoption.
But Service hasn’t seen the last of the furry family he helped save.
"I'm planning on taking one of them," he said. "I can’t not."
More cat rescue stories on MNN:
- Kittens survive coyote attack, find new home
- Blind kitten becomes Internet sensation
- Kitten with rare birth defect gets back on his feet