Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Rescue Story: The Airport Kittens

Another tabby.
Another tabby.

Six newborn kittens found in the engine of a car after it had recently been driven 25 miles! They were surrendered to Beaver County Humane Society and Pittsburgh CAT found a bottle feeder for them. But Margo couldn’t stop thinking about their mother, looking for them, they needed her, she could still have more kittens too, but how to find her at the airport? Shannon called the woman who described exactly where she’d parked, Margo set a trap, a tabby cat showed up, and eventually went in the trap. Mom and kittens were reunited!

Do you remember the story of “the Airport Kittens”? Yes, they are in the calendar too! That rescue touched on so many of the most important things Pittsburgh C.A.T. does: working with shelters to help cats and kittens they don’t have the capacity to work with, finding fosters who can handle the needs of a litter of newborn kittens, not for the faint of heart, going back to find that mother cat so that she could nurture her kittens and she wasn’t left out there to reproduce again and to suffer the life of an outdoor cat with possibly no caretaker. The goal is to get them all in, and find caring homes for them all.


Finding six newborn kittens tucked into the engine of a car all safe and sound but very hungry—after it’s been driven 25 miles—might be a new twist on the story of found kittens. And the story takes another interesting rescue twist even after that.

The woman in whose car they’d been stashed had parked her car at the Pittsburgh International Airport, with its huge parking lots and surrounding open land, for about 12 hours, then driven home. Hearing the mewing the next morning her father dug through the engine and found and carefully extracted the six kittens, still with their umbilical cords attached. They surrendered them to the Beaver County Humane Society (BCHS) for care.

BCHS works with the Homeless Cat Management Team (HCMT) and Pittsburgh C.A.T. when they have cats with needs their shelter can’t fulfill, and this was one of those times. Margo found a foster and the kittens were delivered.

Still, Margo kept wondering about the mother cat, knowing she’d be looking for her kittens, kittens are best with their mother, and that female cat was also out there able to reproduce again. But how in that airport complex was she going to find a mother cat she’d never seen, who might not be in any way friendly, and who might not even be alive?

Shannon at BCHS called the woman who had surrendered the kittens who described exactly where she’d parked. Margo found the spot and set a trap in the evening, baiting it with tasty food and trying to lure a mother cat using “kitten music”, recordings of her own kittens crying and other kittens crying. Eventually a cat showed up, and after a little hide and seek the cat headed to the trap, walked in eating the trail of food, didn’t flinch when it closed behind her, and she was in Margo’s car and headed to her house in minutes. Was it the mother? What are the chances a tabby cat would show up at that exact spot who was not? It was worth a try.

Soon the foster arrived with the kittens. They let the cat decompress a bit and then put two kittens in the cage with her. The cat was not impressed, but they decided to wait her out and in time she was nuzzling and bathing the kittens. The other four were added and by morning they were nursing and everyone was purring.

The mother cat was indeed friendly and she and all her kittens were named for famous flyers in history and all adopted.

Maybe it was luck, or everything came together just right, but you can bet that if Margo hadn’t trapped that mother cat that first night she would have been out there every night until she found her, or it was clear she wasn’t there. Here is my original story.

Purchase your calendar here or read more about the calendar and Pittsburgh C.A.T.

Pittsburgh CAT Calendar cover.
Pittsburgh CAT Calendar cover.

Calendar is 8.5″ x 11″, 28 pages saddle-stitched and includes information on Pittsburgh C.A.T. and clinics and adoption.

[ss_product id=’e68e11ae-c0c2-11e6-ac56-002590787d08′ ]Pittsburgh C.A.T. 2018 Calendar[/ss_product]

Read more about Pittsburgh C.A.T.

Read other posts about the calendar rescue stories.

Read more stories in my weekly Rescue Stories series and read about my Rescue Stories series.

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Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!





From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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