The team of the Polish fishing vessel Koł-148 had barely left the port of Kołobrzeg and started work, when it had to be unexpectedly interrupted.
The sailors – Sebastian Szybowski, Milosz Uruski and Marek Kowalczuk – found six newborn kittens on board – the mother left them in the nets immediately after the birth and left.
The animals were wiped with a clean cloth and placed in a free fish box.
The sailors could not return to the port, but they did not have anything necessary for nursing the kittens that had just been born.
The fishermen called a non-profit animal rescue organization, to find out how the kittens could be helped.
On the advice of experts, they put a bottle of warm water in the box and began to make sure that the kids did not freeze.
There were no baby bottles or formula on the ship.
After searching the boat, Sebastian and his colleagues found the only thing suitable for feeding – a bottle for refilling electronic cigarettes.
Since the shelter told them that cow’s milk should not be given to kittens, they were diluted with a weak syrup of sugar dissolved in water.
Sebastian rinsed the “bottle” well and began to feed the foundlings with glucose every hour.
When the man was busy, his colleagues replaced him – everyone wanted to believe that the kittens would survive.
Four days later, the litter was still alive. It was time for the team to return to shore, and they were happy to place the kittens in the safe hands of volunteers and a veterinarian.
Glucose helped to keep the kittens alive, but it was not enough for a good nutrition. In addition, the cubs had all the signs of hypothermia.
Although the kittens survived the first four days without a mother, no one dared to give predictions.
“The next few days will be decisive,” experts said.
Volunteers and health workers fought for the lives of the babies day and night, but, unfortunately, four of the six kittens died.
“Their body failed, they were too weak. Our hearts are broken into a million pieces.”
The last two of the litter are still alive. They are very weak, but they cling to life, and in the shelter they hope for a miracle.
The fishermen also worry about the babies.
Sebastian Szybowski has already expressed his intention to take one kitten for himself, if fate favors him.