Photographer Alex Greenshpun's partner, Maria, was visiting her parents on the other side of town when she heard the sound of kittens crying. At first, she thought the kittens were waiting for their mother. She knew that it wasn't uncommon for feral cats to leave her kittens in a safe place for several hours while she was hunting for food. However, since it was a very hot day, Maria became worried when the cries continued for over an hour. After searching the town, she discovered that someone had left five tiny kittens in a cardboard box on an empty plot of land. They were in very poor shape – dirty, skinny, begging for food and water and trying to escape the boundaries of the cardboard box. Immediately she called Alex, who told her to take the kittens home.
“I don't know why the kittens ended up in a box, but, by the look of them, they were probably born on the street,” Alex told us. “A human surely put them there. They were dirty, very skinny and full of fleas. We showed them to the vet, who cleaned and fed them. Several vets told us that it's rare that orphaned kittens could survive, at such a young age, without their mother. The test was whether or not they could reach the age of two months. We took it upon ourselves to raise them the best we could, with the hope that we could find them permanent homes.”
Like a mother watching her children grow, Alex took great care of the kittens. They became much more than pets, they became like family. “It was a bumpy ride, but it was amazing to see their transformation as well as their attachment to each other and to me as their foster mom. When they were still nursing, I had to feed them kitty-formula by a syringe. They would climb all over me the moment I'd enter the room. Even when they were already eating dry food, they would all rather cuddle with me first and try to suckle on my fingers. Even now, they recognize my voice and come running like puppies from the other side of the house whenever I call.”
Alex and her partner already owned a boxer-lab mix dog, who immediately fell in love with the kittens, too. She acted as if the kittens were her own, and one particular kitten, they named Titto, bonded with her instantly. In fact, Titto could often be found silently sitting in the dog's lap.
The kittens are now two-and-a-half months old and three of them have found loving homes. Two are still up for adoption. You can learn much more about each of the kittens and their unique personalities over on Behance.
The first three photos, below, were taken with a smartphone the moment Maria found the kittens.
If the name Alex Greenshpun sounds familiar, you may remember her as the photographer who had previously tried to bring a stray kitten she called The Little Miracle back to health. That story ended tragically, with the little kitten suddenly dying. Because of that heartbreaking experience, bringing these five kittens back to health meant that much more. As Alex says, “It felt like these kittens appeared in our lives to fill the void the Little Miracle left when she died so young, even though we'd done everything we could to save her. We were really scared that we'd lose some of the kittens at first, because they were so young and skinny and all the vets told us to be prepared for the worst. So when they all survived to be chubby and adorable young cats, it was a kind of a closure. I am very grateful to them for this.”