I was leaving work on Wednesday preparing to head to my dad's house to help out with a party he was hosting when the operations manager for our building approached me to ask for advice. For the second time this year, she'd found kittens under the lift at our loading dock and because she knew I volunteer for an animal rescue group, she figured I could help out.
I had a weak moment—I agreed to catch them and take them home with me.
I followed her back to the dock, pausing to get a deep cardboard box to put them in. When she raised the lift, there were two little faces staring out from the pit below. I got on my belly, reached down, and grabbed one in each hand. Sadly, there was a third kitten that had been killed by the lift mechanism.
With the surviving kittens safely in the box, I texted the rescue group coordinator to see if the kittens could be added to the program. The answer was a qualified yes: they'd be accepted if they came up negative on a combo test which screens for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and if they were less than three months old.
I'd guess they're maybe five weeks old; they're big enough to eat solid food, but their eyes are still blue. I have their combo test scheduled for next Wednesday and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they pass. If not, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
I took them home and set them up in the basement in a good-sized wire kennel with a soft towel, a litter box made of a canned cat food flat, some canned food and a dish of water. I went to the store and got some dry food of the type the rescue group commonly feeds kittens but was unable to find a small plastic litter box. I'll have to try the dollar store.
When I got home that evening, I spent a little time holding them. They are very afraid—I think it's safe to say that they've never interacted with people until now. However, they're plenty young enough to be socialized. It's just going to take some work and patience.
This morning I read up some more on feral kittens and decided to make them a little "cave" out of a shoe box so they can hide and feel more secure. I also left the radio on quietly so they can get used to the sound of voices. I held them a little more and checked gender; it looks like they're both males.
So that's my latest project. It certainly came out of the blue, but I'm feeling up for the challenge. And if you know anyone in the Kansas City area who wants a kitten, let me know! The rescue group has about two dozen of them and the sooner we can get them all adopted, the better.