The kittens’ eyes were sealed shut, likely due to an infection, and McDerby rushed the litter to the nearby Woodlands Animal Sanctuary for emergency care.
McDerby was puzzled as to how the kittens were able to climb down the well in the first place. “We aren’t too sure how they got there, but we think mum might have been moving them and put them in the well thinking it was a safe hiding place,” Sam Parkes, a caretaker at Woodlands Animal Sanctuary, tells The Dodo.
The kittens’ mom wasn’t too far behind, but unfortunately a happy reunion was not meant to be. “We caught mum later that day and sadly after a vet check we discovered she was suffering from advanced cancer,” Parkes says. “The vet advised us that the kindest thing to do was to end her suffering and take on the responsibility of raising the kittens ourselves.”