It was last Sunday that a contractor working on an empty house in Philadelphia made an unusual discovery. The owners of the house had heard mewling coming from inside the walls, and so before he could do any other work to the property, the contractor needed to investigate what might be causing the sounds.
But even if he had envisaged that the mewling might be coming from a cat trapped in the walls, surely he couldn't have imagined what he would actually find. After carefully tapping the wall to investigate, he cut a hole in the drywall...and a tiny newborn kitten fell out of the wall and into his hands.
Obviously, the contractor now realized that the newborn kitten was probably not alone, so he went carefully to work to see if he could find its mother. For eight hours he carefully dismantled the wall, eventually rescuing not just that newborn kitten but a staggering total of 9 cats and 7 kittens - sixteen felines in all, and they were all of them hidden within the hollow walls of one Philadelphia house.
The discovery immediately hit social media when the cats were taken to ACCT Philly, or the Animal Care and Control Team - an animal shelter on W Hunting Park Avenue that is in fact Philadelphia's only animal care and control organization. The experienced staff there were happy to take the cats in, and grateful to the contractor, as they said he found the kitties in the nick of time.
One of the littlest kittens, sadly, was unable to be saved but the others - although some aren't yet in full health and need to recover from their ordeal - are safe, and resting in their cages at the shelter. They're very scared and will need socialization before they can be sent to live in family homes, but they're a hundred percent better off than they were when they were hiding out in the walls of an empty house.
ACCT Philly have quite rightly used this unusual cat-based discovery to urge potential pet owners to foster or adopt cats, rather than buying from breeders. ACCT Philly get new cats every day (even on the day they took these kitties, they took another 25 cats in over the course of the day) and they're always in need of help either from people who wish to foster pets or from people who can make donations or buy items from their Amazon wishlist to support their work.
[T]hey are only some of the more than 40 cats we took in today, and we know that more will coming through our doors tomorrow and everyday. YOU can help! If you've thought about fostering a cat or kitten, we could really use your help right now. - ACCT Philly
As the owner of two rescue kittens (mine were rescued from a locked shed, and they're very grateful to have the life they've got with my daughter who dotes on them!) I heartily agree with this sentiment. Hopefully, this big family of Philadelphia empty-house cats will find loving forever homes with people who can provide a bit more than an empty wall for them to live in.