Just before a barge was set to take off from the Port of Miami to New York early Thursday morning with a bunch of sealed dredge buckets, an inspector making final rounds heard meowing coming from the welded-shut containers.
He soon found the source of the noise: Five kittens somehow got inside one of the containers — and their mother was nowhere to be found.
After sending out a group e-mail to all employees of Great Lakes Dredge and Dock about the feline find, Lindsey Precht, a summer intern, stepped in and called Operation Paw, a Miami-based rescue group, to help the kittens.
“We assume their mother moved them to a quieter area,” Precht said, saying it possible that mother somehow wound up on a different boat that already went to New York.
Precht said as soon as the kittens were freed from the bucket they were playful and friendly. It is not clear how long they had been in the bucket before they were rescued.
The kittens — two black, one gray and two tabby gray — were all given names after the company’s boats: Terrapin, York, Texas, Spider and Liberty.
Tia Williams, the director of Miami-Based Operation Paw, said finding litters of kittens is not uncommon in South Florida, but their being on a barge “makes it a little different.”
Williams said the kittens are about five weeks old and will likely be up for adoption in about three weeks. But the kittens need foster homes in the meanwhile.
“We are lucky they are in good condition,” Williams said. “Now they just need a home.”
For more information visit http://www.operationpaw.com