It was a hot summer day in Philadelphia when a local rescue couple made a horrifying discovery.
Four kittens in a sealed tote were found on the verge of death.
Keep reading to uncover how this couple dropped everything to save these kittens from a tragic fate.
A Gut Feeling
On July 27, 2020, the two founding members of Kolony Kats, Kris and Kia Papiernik, were on a mission to TNR (trap, neuter, return) a stubborn cat that had been evading them.
It was so hot that the rescuers almost decided to wait for a cooler day.
“We were in the middle of a heatwave, and temps were in the high 90’s. It was HOT outside!” said the Papierniks.
Because of what happened next, they were so happy they arrived on the scene at the moment they did.
“Because of the weather conditions, we were going to cancel. Something in our gut told us to go and give it a try anyway,” the Papierniks shared.
After they set the trap, they went to drop off some cat food at a nearby residence.
While there, they noticed a grey plastic tote on the ground nearby.
When they opened it, they couldn’t believe what they had found…
A Horrifying Discovery
“Whenever we see any kind of boxes, totes, bins or trash bags we always look and check to make sure no animals are inside,” said the Papierniks.
Usually when Kris and Kia check inside bags and bins they find on the street, it’s a false alarm.
“When we peaked inside the tote that day, our hearts immediately sank,” the Papierniks told us. “There were four kittens laying on their side, covered in urine, feces, and flies and having seizures.”
**GRAPHIC IMAGE WARNING**
The couple were horrified by what they saw.
Who could be so cruel to leave these kittens to suffer such a slow, painful death?
But there was no time for questions.
Kris and Kia sprung into action.
Rushing to the Rescue
For the first few seconds, Kris and Kia were in shock.
The kittens were unresponsive and lifeless.
They were having seizures – foaming at the mouth, convulsing, and groaning.
“We then immediately went into rescue mode, grabbed the tote with the kittens in it, put it in our car, and raced to the vet,” the Papierniks shared.
The women made it to the vet in record time, fingers crossed the whole way that the kittens would survive the drive.
Once the kittens arrived at the vet, their fight for survival began.
Taking a Moment To Breath
After Kris and Kia had rushed the kittens to the vet, their shock turned into pain.
“Once they were inside, we both broke down and started crying,” the Papierniks shared. “We have been doing cat rescue for over a decade, and this is one of the worst things we have ever witnessed.”
The couple was devastated and could not get the sight and smell of the poor kittens out of their heads.
“We are tough cookies for the most part,” they said. “But, this one really got to us.”
Before their tears had a chance to dry, they got a call from the vet…
Good News At Last
After only a few hours, two of the kittens had immediately responded to treatment!
“They were already up, active, and eating! We couldn’t believe what we were hearing,” they said. “Our sad tears now turned to tears of joy!”
The Papierniks named these two kittens Triumph and Valor.
As they continued to stabilize, their two siblings, Courage and Baby Brave, were still fighting for their lives.
Baby Brave fought as hard as he could, but sadly, he didn’t make it.
“He was declining despite all of their efforts. We had to make the heartbreaking decision to humanely end his suffering,” said the Papierniks.
Courage was struggling to respond to treatment, but there was still hope!
Reunited at Last
While Courage remained in the hospital for treatment, Triumph and Valor were released from the vet and entered one of Kolony Kats’ trusted foster homes.
Courage finally pulled through and was able to join his brother and sister!
“It was a happy bittersweet reunion for us, we were happy that three of the four survived and they were getting a second chance at life, but we were also sad that Baby Brave didn’t get the same chance,” the Papierniks shared.
The three kittens were happy to be reunited with each other.
“Their diagnosis was trauma from heat stroke which caused neurological symptoms,” Kris and Kia shared. “They were also slightly anemic, covered in fleas, and had bellies full of worms.”
They were so happy to be safe with their foster family who endlessly spoiled them.
“It took a few days, but eventually all three kittens were romping and playing like normal kittens! Even Courage!” the Papierniks exclaimed.
Waiting for a Furrever Family
The kittens are still in their foster home where they enjoy delicious and nutritious food as they grow healthy and heavy enough to be spayed/neutered.
While they do not have adopters yet, Kris and Kia are sure they won’t have a problem finding homes.
“They are all super sweet babies! It is like they have a new appreciation for life, and are just happy to be alive!” the Papierniks shared with National Kitty.
The three “miracle babies” all have unique personalities of their own!
“Valor is sassy and spunky. She’s the girl power miracle baby,” the Papierniks shared. “Triumph is playful and silly. He’s the ‘make you smile’ miracle baby!
“Courage is tentative and cautious,” the Papierniks continued to say. “He had neurological issues for a bit over the week after his rescue, but he is fine now.”
All the kittens have made full recoveries and are expected to live long, healthy lives!
These miracle babies know they are in good hands.
They gaze at their rescuers with eyes full of love and appreciation.
“They like to wrestle, play, and love to eat! But when they look at you, their eyes are full of so much appreciation,” said the Papierniks.
Happily Ever After
Despite their tragic start, the kittens are thriving.
“If we didn’t get to them when we did, they would not be alive today,” the Papierniks shared.
Thanks to Kris and Kia, these precious babies will never be abused or neglected ever again.
“We believe in fate. It was meant for us to go to that area, on this particular day, at that particular time, so that we could discover these babies,” the Papierniks continued to share.
Would you like to help Kris and Kia continue their life saving missions?
Please consider donating food or supplies directly to Kolony Kats through their Amazon Wishlist.
If you would like to donate to a cat or kitten’s medical treatment, please click here.
It takes a village to save these cats!
Meet Our Heroes – Kolony Kats
Kris & Kia Papiernik, the founders of Kolony Kats, are a married lesbian couple who reside in Philadelphia, PA.
For the last 10 years, Kolony Kats’s mission has been to advocate and practice TNR to prevent the miserable cycle of suffering that feral cats and kittens are forced to endure.
Kris and Kia have devoted their lives TNR and have truly poured their hearts into their mission.
Kolony Kats consists of exclusively Kris and Kia.
They have no staff and no volunteers – it’s just the two of them working relentlessly on their lifelong mission.
There is an estimated 400,000 stray cats living on Philadelphia’s streets and the numbers continue to grow.
Kris and Kia strive to provide relief for as many cats as they can in their community.
They practice TNR 7 days a week and 365 days a year – no breaks, no sick days, no vacation, no time off.
Day or night, rain or shine, sleet or snow, Kolony Kats is committed to their mission.
The cats can’t take “time off” from the suffering they were born into, therefore Kris and Kia won’t take time off from helping them.
“We’re their only hope.”
Any and every cat that crosses Kris and Kia’s path will be spayed/neutered.
By practicing TNR, they’ve made a monumental difference in the stray and feral cat populations in their community, but they still have a long way to go.
Kris and Kia also care for their TNR colonies on a daily basis. The more cats they TNR, the more cats they need to support.
They care for 60+ cats daily across 8 different locations all while continuing to TNR.
“When you have so many cats in need depending on you and you are their only hope, you cannot let them down,” Kris and Kia shared.
They provide food and medical treatment for several colonies throughout the city and surrounding areas.
“We do this because we believe that every cat deserves to have someone who cares about them,” Kris and Kia shared.
They feed cats living in alleys, backyards, under dumpsters, driveways, sidewalks, and street corners.
This heroic duo has a heart for animal welfare and will stop at nothing to see these cats live a happier, healthier life.
More Reading: Tiny Kitten Captures Hearts with Adorable Smile & Wink
Above & Beyond
Kolony Kats doesn’t just stop at TNR. Over the years, they’ve integrated fostering and rescuing into their life saving missions.
“For many cats, TNR is the only humane option,” said the Papierniks.
“But for some, it turns in to a rescue mission to find them foster placement and ultimately a FURREVER home!” the Papierniks explained.