Last week, Kimberlee Ferris and her husband decided to go through their basement storage unit in Naples, Italy. They were prepared to find a few cobwebs and dust bunnies on top of their boxes, but, as they opened the door, someone else’s presence caught them by surprise.
“When [my husband] opened the cage, [a] momma cat ran out,” Ferris told The Dodo. “Then, he opened a box and saw kittens in it.”
The couple, who share the storage area with the other 11 units in their apartment building, had never seen a cat in their basement before, let alone a litter of kittens. After searching for clues as to how she got inside, they found an opening that led to their garden.
As they inspected the door to their storage closet, they realized that there was just enough space between the bars for the mama cat to squeeze her way through. At some point, she made her way into the locked closet and peacefully had her babies.
The couple wasn’t sure how long they’d been there, but the kittens were all in great shape when they were finally found.
“The kittens looked pretty healthy and well cared for,” Ferris said. “[They’re] just tiny little babies.”
Ferris could tell that the mama cat was checking on her kittens frequently, so she didn’t want to disturb the babies too much. At the very least, she knew they needed a more comfortable bed than the box they were found in.
“I made them a better shelter with an extra cat carrier we had and some extra blankets,” Ferris said.
After getting the babies settled into their new shelter, Ferris and her husband turned their attention to the mama cat. They wanted to bring the kittens to their local vet, but they knew that they’d have to gain their mom’s trust first.
It’s been a little over a week since Ferris and her husband first discovered the kittens, and they’re still working on winning the mama cat over. It’s been a difficult process so far, but they refuse to give up.
“Right now, the plan is to try to continue [to] gain Mom’s trust and let her care for them,” Ferris said. “If we can catch her, then we will take both her and the babies in, assuming we can find a foster.”
Once the kittens are old enough to be away from their mom, the couple hopes to get them adopted through their local trap-neuter-return program.
For now, Ferris and her husband will keep doing everything they can to earn the mama cat’s trust while also looking after her kittens. They never expected to find an adorable little family living in their storage unit, but they’re happy to love on them unconditionally until they’re all ready to find their forever homes