Three weeks after a construction worker found them in a paper bag on the side of Interstate 90, five kittens are officially stepping onto the path of finding a forever home.
At 1:30 this afternoon, three of the kittens — Butch, Patches, and Cocoa — will undergo their intake assessment. The two remaining siblings — Moolissa and Millhouse — will undergo the same procedure at 3:15 p.m. These intake appointments will be open to members of the press.
This step in the kittens’ journey is cause for celebration, as neonatal kittens without a mother or surrogate mother only have a 50 percent chance of survival.
“Surviving to four weeks was the first hurdle, so this is exciting,” said Foster Program Manager Christina Charlton. “They made it through the scary time. Now, they’re on to the next step, which is going through our intake process.”
During these appointments, Seattle Humane staff will conduct an overall physical exam, administer the first in a series of vaccinations, provide preventative worm and flea treatments, and insert a microchip.
A construction worker found the kittens in a paper bag near Exit 11 on I-90 on July 22. She brought them to Seattle Humane’s Pet Resource Center, where the kittens — three boys, two girls — were immediately examined, fed, and placed in an incubator with a Snuggle Kitty, a stuffed cat that emits warmth and a heartbeat sound to simulate closeness to a mother cat.
Then, the kittens — who were estimated to be no older than 5 days — were placed into two separate foster homes, so they could receive the nonstop care necessary to keep them alive, including bottle feeding and regulating their body temperature. All of the kittens have since opened their eyes and gained weight. If all goes well, Seattle Humane anticipates the kittens will be available for adoption around the time they turn 2 months old.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND A LITTER OF KITTENS:
If the kittens are not in immediate danger, it is best to leave them be. If the animals are clean and dry, it is likely that their mother is caring for them, has only momentarily left them to go find food for herself, and will return. You should check on the kittens every few hours to see if the mother has returned, but it is best not to linger, as that may scare the adult cat. If no mother cat has surfaced after 12 hours, you can then consider moving the kittens.
If the kittens are in imminent danger (such as on the side of the road, in a puddle, in extremely cold or hot weather, or if any of the kittens in the litter are already deceased), it is advised that you move them to safety and then contact your local animal control or municipal shelter. These organizations are the best route for owners to reclaim lost pets. Regional Animal Services of King County (RASK) is the recommended resource for those who find stray or abandoned animals.