On January 11, 2019, as a woman named Wendy was walking home from work, she noticed something suspicious in an alley. The alleyway in Stratford, London, was lined with a brick wall – sitting against that wall were four suspicious looking packages.
Wendy noticed that all four of the boxes were sealed shut with an unusual amount of tape – and discarded for the next day’s trash pick-up.
Although she thought the packages were odd, Wendy kept on walking – but then something stopped her in her tracks. There seemed to be sounds coming from inside the boxes. She decided to go back and investigate.
As Wendy got closer, the sounds started to come in clearer and she thought they sounded a lot like cat meows. Wanting to be safe, she decided it was best to contact an animal rescue group.
Rescuers arrived on the scene and decided it was best not to open the boxes there – so they poked air holes in the cardboard so the cats could breathe until they were transported.
The rescuers weren’t sure what condition the cats were in, so they wanted to quickly relocate the boxes into a safe and contained area so they could free them from their claustrophobic prisons.
Video of the moment the boxes are opened is below.
The Celia Hammond Animal Trust uploaded a video to Facebook showing what happened as they opened each box – one by one. In the video, a rescuer can be seen cutting through the mass amounts of tape with a butter knife, being careful not to harm the precious contents inside.
The rescuers opened all four of the boxes – shocked to see they contained a total of 11 beautiful – and scared – cats.
In total, there were 9 young cats and 2 older adults. None of them appeared to be feral – in fact, one even had a collar on. Although they were underweight and had fleas, they were all in healthy condition. Their demeanor was surprisingly docile and calm given what they’d just gone through.
“We can only assume the intention was for them to die as surely everybody knows animals need to be able to breathe to survive,” the group wrote on Facebook, Jan. 15. “The boxes cannot have been there very long as without oxygen our vets estimate they probably wouldn’t have lived more than an hour or two.”
“One really strange thing is that these cats are really friendly and have clearly once been loved, handled and cuddled — what on earth would drive an apparently loving owner to do something so terrible? Perhaps it was a family member or neighbour who hated the cats enough to do this.”
The cats were transported to the rescue group’s shelter and have received lots of care and attention.
Since their rescue and the posting of the video (which can be seen below), many people have been inquiring about adopting the beautiful cats. Celia Hammond Animal Trust hopes that they can be adopted out in pairs or trios since they’re all so close with one another.
“The cats are doing well,” a Facebook post from Jan. 18 reads. “Once they had recovered from their shock they have turned out to be friendly and like being stroked.”
“They have all been treated for fleas and worms and vaccinated. Our vets are neutering and microchipping them prior to them be ready for new homes.”
“The cats are doing well and are getting better every day,” the group shared on Jan. 27. “The help you have all given has been absolutely amazing and is so very much appreciated. It really is good to know that are so many people out there who support our rescue work.”
We can’t imagine who would have left these 11 cats in boxes like this – knowing that their future would be short-lived. However, we are so grateful for Good Samaritans like Wendy and rescue groups like this one. It’s because of people like this that these 11 kitties will live long and happy lives with lots of love.
Watch the video of the unboxing below.
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Dumped in the night….We were called out the night of 11th January by a lady returning from work who had noticed several sealed cardboard boxes in an alley in Stratford, near a busy road. She walked past the alley and then went back as she thought she heard miaowing – thank goodness she did, as the boxes were completely sealed shut with masses of parcel tape and the 11 young cats inside would have suffocated if we hadn’t raced straight out to collect them, as there were no air holes in the boxes. We didn’t know their temperaments so didn’t dare open the boxes and risk them flying out into the road, so made a few tiny holes to let air in but not big enough to allow them to rip at the cardboard and escape. Fortunately, it only took a few minutes to drive back to the clinic. The risk of cutting the cats would have made it too dangerous to use scissors to open the boxes, so we used a butter knife to get the cats out as quickly as possible. We can only assume the intention was for them to die as surely everybody knows animals need to be able to breathe to survive. The boxes cannot have been there very long as without oxygen our vets estimate they probably wouldn’t have lived more than an hour or two. One really strange thing is that these cats are really friendly and have clearly once been loved, handled and cuddled – what on earth would drive an apparently loving owner to do something so terrible? Perhaps it was a family member or neighbour who hated the cats enough to do this. All the cats are extremely underweight and covered in fleas – our vets treated them for fleas immediately on arrival in the clinic, but we will have to build them up before they are fit enough to be neutered, vaccinated and microchipped before they are rehomed. If you would like to contribute towards their care and helping with the cost of the extra food they all need – we’d be so grateful. You can donate via our donate button here https://bit.ly/2FzJzqG or via our amazon wish list https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/2N6NW621HXPZ9?type=WishList or you can always bring in food toys direct to our clinic. If anyone in the Stratford area has any ideas about where these cats might have come from, please call us in confidence as we are concerned this situation may not have been resolved and there may be other cats in the owner’s property as we don’t think either of the two adult females are old enough to be the mothers of the nine adolescent cats. If the person who left the cats reads this, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7474 8811 so we can collect any other cats you may have and don’t want. There were no clues on the boxes to indicate an address.We will post an update tomorrow. Thank you, Wendy, for calling us – you undoubtedly saved these cats’ lives.”
Posted by Celia Hammond Animal Trust on Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Source: Western Journal