Builders were all set to demolish a former restaurant in Cane End in Reading in the UK last week when they suddenly heard cries coming from below the floorboards.
When George Harman and his coworkers looked for the source of the cries, they found an abandoned black kitten. As they continued to search under the floor, they found another two kittens. The cats were covered in dust and cobwebs.
"We had heard more cries in the room but then there was silence. When it started crying again we managed to trace the noise to a bay window,” Harman said. "We removed more and more flooring but we still couldn't see a kitten anywhere. We could still hear the cries and then we realized they were coming from inside the wall.”
"We started to remove each block by hand, gently tapping the blocks with a hammer trying to loosen them without causing any disruption or discomfort to the kitten,” he added. "We removed 10 concrete blocks in total to find that a third kitten had somehow got into the cavity of the building. They were covered in cobwebs, dirt, and dust and were so small you could feel every bone in their body. I can only imagine that they were starving hungry."
The kittens were in pretty bad shape so Harman brought them to the Blue Cross rehoming center in Lewknor, Oxon. Given that they were so young, the cats were given around the clock care and bottle-fed every four hours.
The kittens will be put up for adoption when they are old enough. They are now five weeks old and have been named Bill, Elle, and Beatrix. They have been fostered at the home of Laura Smart, an Animal Welfare Assistant at Blue Cross Lewknor.
"When they first came into us they needed feeding every four hours. One of the kittens, Elle, had a really bad eye which was glued shut and ulcerated. After lots of TLC they are all getting stronger by the day,” Smart said. “Elle is very affectionate and cuddly and loves laying and falling asleep on her back. Bill is very confident and loves exploring. He walks around my house like he owns it, while Beatrix is really cute - she manages to fall asleep in my hand."
The Blue Cross, which is unaffiliated with the US insurance company, finds homes for abandoned cats, dogs, small pets and horses across the UK. Their animal hospitals and clinics treat ill and injured pets for owners who can’t afford private veterinary care. The organization was founded in 1897 and cares for more than 40,000 pets every year. By 2020, they want to provide assistance for 70,000 animals a year with the help of donors.