Imagine that you are a truck driver and one day you find out that you are not transporting the things you thought you were. This may sound strange to you, but this is precisely what happened to an agricultural truck driver.
The driver was transporting hay bales, driving from the cold northeast to the south toward Virginia. Upon crossing the Mason-Dixon Line into the Commonwealth, the driver took a break, only to realize moments later that he had surprise guests in the back of his truck.
He discovered, believe it or not, five tiny kittens among the hay bales. How amazing is that?!
The driver heard them crying inside and went to check what on Earth was going on. He found five of them huddled together, eyes still closed, and their umbilical cords still attached. The poor babies were only a couple of days old.
Unfortunately, since the driver had already covered miles and miles of his road from where he loaded the hay bales to where he found the kittens their mother was literally impossible to track down.
We all know very well that there are evil people in the world who would make some very bad moves in this case, like throwing away those kittens and continuing with their travel.
But thankfully, that truck driver was not one of them. He was one of the few good ones who understood that kittens were in danger. Humans were supposed to rescue them or do all in their power to help them be rescued.
The driver did not hesitate, and he immediately contacted the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Richmond, Virginia. They were very happy to take the poor kittens under their wing, and they agreed to take care of them until they find them a foster home.
The kittens soon became very famous (and loved) and were given a very interesting, adorable, and recognizable group name – “the hay bale kittens.” Each one of them was named after a type of farm fodders, one being Alfalfa for example.
Fortunately for many, the kittens did not stay long in the shelter. The local foster momma Sara Sewell who was experienced in fostering newborn kittens decided to take all five kittens in. Since their mother was very far away, and the kittens did not know how to feed themselves, Sara was up for a fun ride.
Sara said that taking care of felines so young as those kittens is an around-the-clock job. They are supposed to be bottle-fed every two hours, and the person doing it is supposed to be very careful when it comes to their portion sizes.
She mentioned that sometimes when they feel their mother is not around or when they have other nursing issues, kittens can refuse the food they are given, which is another thing foster parents have to take into consideration.
Another vital thing in kitten care that Sara pointed out is bowel movement stimulation. Sara said that it is usually the mother who does the stimulation by licking the tummies of her babies.
But since those kittens, as we have already said, had no biological mom around, they had to rely on the little help from their foster mom instead.
Of course, Sara was not supposed to lick their tummies herself. But she did use natural and fragrance-free baby wipes and gently massaged their bellies. And after that, she had to clean them, too.
An important part of taking care of newborn felines is making sure they are always warm. As Sara said, when kittens are cold, they refuse to eat. And when they don’t eat, they die. So, their temperature should always be well regulated. They should be warm as though their momma is lying right next to them.
Their bottle should also be always warm as they will not eat if it’s either too hot or too cold.
Sara also mentioned that newborn felines’ weight should be monitored, too. She said that each kitten should have at least 2 pounds before spaying or neutering. That’s why she weighed each one of them two times per day, writing down any changes in her calendar.
Taking care of “the hay bale kittens” was a tiresome but fulfilling eight-week task for Sara, her husband Jason, and their entire family. However, after those eight weeks passed, it was time for them all to say goodbye.
Richmond SPCA Adoption Center organized adoption for those five kittens on December 23, who were supposed to be Christmas presents for five very lucky children.
One mother asked Sara if she could keep three kittens until late Christmas Eve because she wanted to surprise her kids on Christmas morning, and two other families had a similar idea in mind.
It’s truly amazing what a small act of kindness can do. If that driver didn’t have a good heart and saved those five kittens, they wouldn’t have found their way into Sara’s home. They wouldn’t have survived on their own, and those children would have gotten something entirely different for Christmas.
But because he was a good man, those kittens got a chance to live their best feline lives with their amazing new families.
It truly pays off to be a good and kind person in life. Hopefully, we will all remember that the next time we encounter someone in trouble.