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Kittens rescued from Cowichan garbage transfer station

It’s not known whether the four kittens were dumped in the garbage or if they had been living outdoors and sheltering in a bin.

Four kittens discovered running on the floor of a waste transfer station in Duncan this week are now in Victoria.

A third-party operator was at the Bings Creek Solid Waste and Recycling Centre when he spotted the tiny kittens and alerted Cowichan Valley Regional District staff.

It took about 20 minutes to catch them, Doug Stevens, regional district manager of solid waste operations, said Wednesday.

One of the facility’s workers is hoping to adopt one of the kittens, said Stevens, who also previously adopted a kitten discovered in a waste facility.

It isn’t known if the kittens were dumped in a garbage can or were being raised outdoors by their mother, possibly in a bin, and were inadvertently brought to the building.

Kirsten Belday of Foster Kritters Feral Cat Rescue in the Cowichan Valley collected the four kittens, wrapping each of them in a towel to help them feel secure.

Each of the kittens was given a bath to treat ringworm and fleas. “They actually quite like it. They relaxed into it.”

The cats are reasonably healthy, Belday said. “We expect them to be just fine.”

These are not feral kittens, she said. “They were very scared but they were not scared the way a feral kitten is. They were obviously familiar with people.”

Belday figures the three females and one male are about six weeks old or possibly a little younger.

The black-and-white male was so frightened that he trembled all over, so Belday ignored the ringworm and cuddled him until he relaxed and starting purring.

The four were given canned cat food and spent the night together in a closed shower stall with a heating pad, food and kitty litter.

On Tuesday, a representative of the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee drove up from Victoria to collect the siblings, after volunteering to find the cats homes. Belday said her group focuses on feral cats.

This has been a busy year for cat needing homes, she said. The number of adoptions is down and rescue organizations do not always have room to take cats.

She urges anyone finding kittens without homes to contact a rescue group, which work in a network to support each other.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com