SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - A small kitten was so grateful to be saved that its gave its rescuer, Lori Burnell, a few kisses on the her chin, before tucking its small body into her arms.
Burnell is the founder and president of Keeping Cats Homed. She has helped nurse and find homes for more than 500 kittens on the Island.
“These two feline kittens will be 567 and 568 to that list,” she said.
The kitten, along with a second young feline, were discovered on Saturday morning in a dirty red duffel bag, located on the roadside of Johnson Street in Summerside.
“The founder of the kittens contacted me after they made a post online, and someone recommended they get in touch with our rescue organization,” said Burnell.
“We estimate the cats to be about five months old. We did take them to the vet on Saturday, and they did a quick check and said they are healthy. But we don’t know how long they were out on the road,” she explained.
“The finder thinks they were dumped probably some time in the night or early morning because the kittens were hungry and thirsty, and needed to use the litter tray quite badly.”
Now Burnell will foster the kittens to help socialize and prepare them for eventual adoption.
“We do rescue cats, but focus more on kittens. There are other organizations that help to rescue the older cats like the P.E.I. Humane Society, SpayAid P.E.I., and the Cat Action Team (CAT), so there are lots of organizations out there to help people.
“Had these people contacted us, we would have taken these cats in with no doubt, and without judgement.”
Burnell stressed, “To throw them in a duffel bag on the side of the road is just not necessary.”
She hopes the act was done out of desperation and not cruelty.
“We hope the kittens were left in the duffel bag as a way to keep them warm and be found easily. However, it’s not the right way to do it because there is so much help available out there,” she said.
The kittens will have a second check with the veterinarian to get a clean bill of health on Monday, and will then return to their new surroundings to settle in through the program.
“One of the kittens is quite traumatized and is having a very difficult time trusting. She is growling and hissing and it’s very hard to hold her. But I can tell that she wants to be held and she wants to be loved. When I feed her she will calm down.
“When they are ready to be adopted through our program, the kittens will be vaccinated.”
Keeping Cats Homed is a registered charity that was incorporated in February 2015.
“Our hope is to educate the public about the value of every little life. You take these little kittens that are so helpless and make sure they’re good and healthy, and then find them wonderful loving homes, where they will be safe.
“I’ve bottle fed kittens before, and when they are adopted it’s like watching one of your babies, which could have froze to death in a barn, now sleep on the back of someone’s warm couch and be loved as a family member.
“I can’t even tell you how much joy it brings me,” concluded Burnell.
For more information, visit www.keepingcatshomed.com.