“The wildlife either got them or they could have died during birth,” said Janet Bennett of Sunshine Kitty Rescue.
The issue initially arose on Tuesday afternoon when SPCA shelter manager Kim Fraser noticed a cat acting oddly on the side of the Ring Road near the O’Connell Drive intersection.
Believing the cat had been ditched on the side of the highway by its owner, Fraser called Bennett and the two went back to the area and laid out traps, one of which was eventually a success at about 11 p.m. Tuesday night.
The two women brought the cat back to safer quarters to tend to it, noticing a large belly that indicated it was either pregnant or nursing, but hadn’t nursed in quite a while. Closer examination Wednesday morning proved the latter to be correct, so they pulled together a search party via social media, with nine volunteers checking the woods in the area for the absent kittens.
That search started around noon on Wednesday and, as of speaking with Bennett at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night, may not have even completely wrapped up, though she didn’t think there was much hope left at that point.
“By this evening, they’d be crying, hungry, looking for their mom,” she said.