A lot has changed in the last month for the four kittens born in the rain during Superstorm Sandy—and for the good Samaritan who found them.
It’s been five weeks since Flatbush resident Spencer Service noticed the kittens and their mother mewing in a pile of rice outside his apartment, growing increasingly soaked as Sandy’s wrath kicked up to full force.
In the time since Service made the nearly two-mile trek to deliver the feline family to Sean Casey’s animal rescue facility, the kittens have grown into healthy furballs nearly ready for adoption. And Service has become a national treasure in the eyes of the pet-loving public.
The story of Service and the “hurri-kittens,” first reported by Patch, was picked up by news sites across the country, with comments from readers as far as the UK showering Service with accolades for his noble deed.
“I was visiting family [in Minnesota] over Thanksgiving, and people are still asking about it,” Service said. “It’s been a great response and everyone has loved hearing about it. It’s nice to have an uplifting story once in a while.”
Though Service appreciates the kind words, he said some of the praise has been doting to the point of excess.
“The one comment that really caught me off guard was the person who said they should clone me,” Service said. “It said ‘We should clone more people like Mr. Service so that there’s more like him in the world.’
“I understand the intention, but I think the delivery was a little off.”
Service has no plans to duplicate himself anytime soon, but he does intend to perform at least one more good deed: Once the kittens are ready to part with their mother near Christmastime, he wants to adopt two of them, one more than he originally planned to take.
"I already have a cat, and I don’t want to put a whole lot of pressure on her. She's older—going on 18—so I wanted another companion cat to kind of keep each other busy," he explained.
The kittens and mother are all currently at the home of Sean Casey volunteer Jane Wong, who has been caring for them since Service brought them to the shelter that fateful day.
She told Patch that all of the babies and Mama Sandy, as she calls her, are in excellent health, with the heaviest kitten weighing nearly a pound and eating wet food. One other kitten has advanced to dry food, and the others are still nursing.
As a young cat herself, Mama Sandy is an excellent mother, Wong said.
“She pays really good attention to them, and she’s quite friendly too. I don’t think she was a stray,” she said, hypothesizing that the cat may have run away from home when she went into heat, or was possibly given the boot by her former owners when they discovered she was pregnant.
Wong said Mama Sandy’s loving disposition means she too will likely have no problem finding a new home when she’s made available along with her babies in a few weeks.
Wong, who has fostered cats from Sean Casey before, including one who was surrendered by its owners after their home was destroyed by the storm, said she’s had fun playing a role in the upbringing of the now-famous hurri-kittens.
“I’ll miss them,” she said. “But the best part of it is that you know they’re getting adopted into good homes.”