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You’ll Never Guess What Was in the Cardboard Box

Written by Alisa Mullins | May 29, 2013

When a woman driving along a muddy rural Virginia road stopped at an intersection, she spotted a soggy, disintegrating cardboard box sitting on the shoulder. Curious, she got out to investigate. Imagine her surprise when she opened the box and saw nine pairs of eyes staring back at her.

She called animal control officers to report the abandoned kittens but was told that they “don’t handle cats,” an appalling but not uncommon policy among rural animal control agencies (and also among a growing number of “no-kill” facilities). 

She then called PETA to alert us to the kittens’ plight, and one of our stellar volunteers immediately rushed to the scene an hour and a half away. Miraculously, the kittens had not escaped from the box and been hit by a car.

The kittens are now safely ensconced at PETA’s Sam Simon Center in Norfolk, Virginia, and stealing hearts right and left. They are about 6 weeks old and, despite everything that they’ve been through, are friendly and playful and appear to be in good health. They are mostly brown and gray tabbies and are all 100 percent adorable.

Live on or near the East Coast and want to adopt one (or two)? Drop us a line at [email protected]. The $75 adoption fee includes spay/neuter surgery, vaccines, testing for feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia virus, and microchipping.

What You Can Do

If you ever see a box or bag on the side of the road, stop! You never know what—or who—may be inside. And of course, stop to help any strays you see running alongside the road as well. Keep a rescue kit—including a cardboard carrier, leash, towel, and treats—in your car for just such an emergency.

And always, always, always spay and neuter your animal companions, and urge everyone you know to do the same. Cat homelessness is at crisis levels, so it is vital that all cats be spayed and neutered, even kittens (females can come into heat at just 4 months old) and cats who never go outside (they can slip out accidentally). If a friend can’t afford the surgery or has no car, offer to help with the cost and transportation. Cats need you—don’t let them down!

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  • Deanna Maney says:

    God bless the woman who stopped! I had a similar experience here in Fresno CA a few years ago. While taking a shortcut through an alley my son and his schoolmate thought they heard faint meows coming from a dumpster, they looked inside and found a taped up cardboard box, upon opening it, we discovered three beautiful kittens! I called ACT (animal compassion team) and the kittens were spayed/neutered and adopted out to loving homes! Thanks to everyone who takes the time to help save precious animals!

  • Nik says:

    Thank you for rescuing them!

  • Diane says:

    Beautiful kitties. I wish I could adopt one.

  • Erika says:

    Che amore!!!

  • Paul says:

    @WendyeLou, you just reminded me of an old Carpenters song. “Bless the beasts and the children.” “Bless the beasts and the children Give them shelter from the storm Keep them safe [ From: ] Keep them warm Light their way When the darkness surrounds them Give them love Let it shine all around them Bless the beasts and the children Give them shelter from the storm Keep them safe Keep them warm”

  • Pat Sutton says:

    I’d love to have the two that are left – I live in France?

  • WendyeLou says:

    God bless ALL animals and the people who are passionate about them! xo xo xo xo xo xo

  • Veronica says:

    They’re so beautiful, and they look so sweet. I wish I lived close so I could adopt one (or all of them hehe), I would without a doubt. This kittens deserve a good home, I hope they all find it soon 🙂

  • Cecilia says:

    PETA I believe this is a great time to encourage those to save as well to adopt and this couldn’t be a better story.

  • Amanda says:

    Way too precious of kittens to be just on the side of the road like that. Very good thing someone stopped and called PETA to get the kittens help. Keep up the good work, PETA!

  • Patricia Stanley says:

    God Bless that lady for saving those adorable kittens. wish I could adopt one but I live in Canada. hope they all find forever loving homes. thanks PETA people for all the wonderful work to do for these beautiful animals.

  • Monika says:

    I think it is clear of who is the sick animal here. For sure not the 4 legged one. The so called superior being THE HUMAN is the worst piece of crap walking on this planet. I believe GOD has regretted making mankind. Mainly the justice system carries blame for the sick bastards still running loose. Killing happens to be a joytrip to some.You ARE DISGUSTING !!!!!!!

  • franco says:

    Nice job, PETA and this good Samaritan. Keep up the excellent work.