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Posted on Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

3 abandoned kittens rescued from foreclosed home

By Danielle Arndt

A real estate agent with Edward Surovell Realtors in Ann Arbor stumbled upon three tiny, just days-old kittens hovering next to the heater of a foreclosed home.


One of the three abandoned kittens that local real estate agent rescued from a foreclosed home in Monroe County last week.

Courtesy photo

The home, located in Flat Rock in Monroe County, had been vacant for at least three months, said Meghyn Stevens, a property manager with Surovell.

“We heard some scratching and thought raccoons had gotten into the house,” she said.

But to Monroe real estate agent Tom Wagner’s surprise, he opened the door to the home’s utility room to find the three black and white kittens bundled up together.

Stevens found a towel and shallow box and rushed out to Flat Rock to rescue the kittens. On her way home to Ypsilanti, she picked up some nursing bottles and kitten milk replacement.

She spent the night feeding them at three-hour intervals, she said.

The next day, she took them into work to continue their three-hour feeding routine. Realtor Andra Anteau volunteered to pay for Stevens to take them to the vet.

“We needed to have them looked at to make sure they were OK,” said Anteau, who, along with her husband, adopted two cats from the animal shelter years ago.

“Other than having some fleas and being malnourished, the vet believed they were fine.”

The vet estimated the kittens were about 10 days old.


This cat had babies in a Flat Rock foreclosed home about 10 days ago. Employees of an Ann Arbor real estate company are looking for good homes for her and one of her kittens.

Courtesy photo

After the vet visit, Stevens made it her goal to try to find the mother cat. She said she had Wagner set some standard raccoon traps to try to catch the mama.

“We anticipated she would be feral,” Stevens said. “A lot of times with foreclosed homes of poor quality there are crawl spaces cats get into and there had been one here about a week.”

The raccoon traps were successful, and a beautiful long-haired cat — with white and black fur, accented with a little orange — was found sitting in one of the traps, waiting for them.

“We thought, ‘Let’s just roll the dice and see what she does,’” said Stevens, explaining when they opened the door to the trap, the mama ran right over to her babies and jumped in the box.

“She was really sweet with them. And she’s litter-box trained, so we knew she had to have been a domestic cat.”

Anteau said it is not uncommon for pets to be left behind in foreclosures, although she personally has seen it happen only once at one of her listings.

“When a house is foreclosed upon, a lot of times there can be a lot of emotions involved, including anger,” she said.

People have to move out rather quickly and may be moving into an apartment or a place that doesn’t allow pets, she added.


The second rescued kitten.

“Why people can’t take them to an animal shelter, I don’t understand,” she said. “Given that animals can’t take care of themselves, it is always a sad and not good thing to have pets left behind.”

Stevens is looking for a good home for one of the babies and the mama cat. Two of the babies have already been spoken for. She said the kittens will be ready for adoption in a couple of weeks.

Finding the mother cat was the best thing for the kittens, Stevens added. They were not doing the best with the milk replacement. Anteau said they could have been even more malnourished and risked premature death if the mother had not been found.

Related reading from AOL Real Estate: Foreclosures' Other Victims: Abandoned Pets

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

Somebody got out of the wrong side of bed this morning.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 4:12 a.m.

I want one of the kittys but I live in Cincinnati. Darn!!


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 3:01 a.m.

Why in the world do we have a story about 3 kittens in Flat Rock? Must be 1 or 2 worthwhile stories around here! Maybe this should have made national news. Ridiculous.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

Because there's an Ypsilanti connection....


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

tdw... My point is there must be some local " Human interest " stories. I would appreciate it if the staff at would do a little digging and find a local human interest story instead up copying half their stories from another publication!


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 11:16 a.m.

jcj.....There's this thing called a " Human interest " story.Some people enjoy a piece that is not a downer and for the MOST part doesn't attract whiners who whines about a article but yet takes the time to read it and post a whining comment.I'm getting close to 50 yrs of age and if I don't like it I ( get ready......) I don't read it ! and certainly don't waste my time to comment on it.I hate stupid cats but this article obviously made several people smile

Dog Guy

Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

Some helpful beaglers take care of litters born in my out buildings.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

Uh oh...If we were standing next to each other this is when I'd be backing up


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 9:13 p.m.

Oh Noes!


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

The owners of this house need to have charges brought against them for animal abuse and neglect. I may just contact HSI and let them know of this injustice. This never would have happened if they took the cat to the Humane Society. What an injustice to the animals. You folks need to hop scotch over to the ASPCA web site and see the injustice to animals. Now, will there be charges or not?


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 3:07 a.m.

jns131 According to the story, the previous owners vacated the house at least THREE MONTHS ago. Second, according to the story, the kittens were born within the last 10 days. The real estate agent suggested that the cat and kittens had been in the house about A WEEK. Third, the mother cat was trapped outside the house. The kittens were found in the house. Clearly, the mother cat could travel into and out of the house. Fourth, the real estate agent said, "A lot of times with foreclosed homes of poor quality there are crawl spaces cats get into and there had been one here about a week." The cat was NOT left in the house for three months by the previous owners. Fifth, the house is owned by the bank. Are you really suggesting that the bank should be held criminally responsible for animal cruelty because a stray cat broke into a foreclosed house?


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

From the last few paragraphs it looks to me like they are indicating that this animal might have belonged to the previous owners. No matter, your house? Your problem you should do the time.

Jimmy McNulty

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 11:24 a.m.

Let's back up and re-group here, jns131. Nowhere in the article does it state that the cat belonged to the former residents. Who is to say the cat didn't just find the unoccupied home a good place to have her kittens? Although it obviously tugs at your emotions, cats are very good at surviving without any human intervention.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

Are you sure that the cat belonged to the people who owned the house?


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

are you being serious ?


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

I hate cats, but they are cute and at least this story isn't a bummer


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 11:02 a.m.

Diane...I have a dog.She gets excited when I come home, comes to me when I call here, Barks ( sometimes ) when strangers come into my yard ie: meter readers , not aggressive to anyone ( even the the meter readers ) has never damaged any furniture and sticks to my father ( who has Alzehimers ( ? ) ) like glue when he goes outside.And she used to fetch a ball.Sorry....can't say that about a stupid cat


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 1:22 a.m.

There are so many people that don't like cats, but you should have one because they are a VERY loveable pet.:)

Kelly C

Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

Aww she is soo beautiful!


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

"Three Kittens Rescued from Foreclosure". That's what it it said on my email account. My first thought...It's cruel enough to foreclose on people...but to foreclose on kittens?!!! Okay I get it now. Thanks once again for the chuckle, I hope these babies find a good home.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

Kevin - reach out to a local rescue group if you have kittens without a mom. They won't make it long. You can check for groups in your area.

Kevin Shabinski

Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

Cats crawl into places all the time to have litters. There is a litter in my barn right now that needs rescuing.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Then do something kind about them!


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 12:44 a.m.

Have the cats fixed and you won't have the problem, eh? In the meantime, pack 'em up and take them to the humane society.

free form

Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 8:08 p.m.

Then get your butt off the computer and do something to help them!


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

Great story! Love to hear positive news!


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

Awwww, this is such a great little story. We need more stories like this one. I'm so glad they found the mother cat and she accepted them back. Brings back a little more hope for humanity. Thank you.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

julie....there is no way that cat is feral.A feral cat would never stand in a basket looking at the camera.They are mean as hell and it would be backed into a corner hissing baring it's teeth.And by looking at the photo it looks like it may have a collar on


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

If the mother is feral, she needs to be captured and neutered...and the kittens need their shots. There is an organization that will perform these procedures on feral cats free of charge. Call your vet.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

Please Ms. Arndt, this is NOT breaking news.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 4:15 a.m.

In your world it may not be "breaking news" but in mine it is.... with a happy ending.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

Not to mention it's important for others to be educated about thebreality of what sometimes occurs with foreclosures!

David Rhoads

Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

Your right, but it is good to be reminded from time to time about the goodness which still exists in most of us. Have a great Easter.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 7:36 p.m.

No where does it say "Breaking News" Its just a positive story.