December 24, 2020

“Miracle” kittens rescued after near-tragedy at recycling plant

By haziqbinarif

WESTHAMPTON, N.J. (WPVI) — It’s not unusual for a backpack to be found among water bottles, magazines, and glass that shuffles through a recycling plant. However, a bag that moves and meows is a different story.

“It’s my job if I see something like that,” said recycling sorter Barrie Donaldson. “So, I grabbed the bag and it was cats in there.”

The shocking discovery was made last week at OTC Recycling in Burlington County, New Jersey. Three kittens had survived an overnight journey that began in a recycling bin and ended mere feet from being crushed on a conveyor belt.

“It’s a miracle because nothing makes it,” said Donaldson, referring to the machine that shreds sorted recycling materials.

One kitten, ‘Precious,’ was immediately adopted by a worker at OTC Recycling. The remaining two cats were taken in by the Marshall family from Burlington, New Jersey, who shared their own heartbreaking story.

“About a week ago, my daughter lost her cat due to it being struck by a car,” said Brian Marshall.

Even in the face of tragedy, the Marshalls think everything happens for a reason. Thus, they adopted the remaining kittens and named them ‘Luna’ and ‘Sunny.’

“We were meant to have these little babies now,” said Nicole Marshall.

The roughly eight-week-old kittens showed no signs of injury despite making a terrifying journey to the recycling plant.

According to OTC Plant Operations Manager Tim Whelihan, the kittens were left outside last Wednesday following the snowstorm. They survived being tossed around by the recycling truck’s compactor and being spun in a drum that breaks up material on the conveyor system.

“These cats had three lives gone in one day,” joked Whelihan.

Local authorities are investigating the source of the recycled backpack.

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