Spencer Service was watching the weather from the window of his apartment in Brooklyn, NY. The rain began to fall and the wind picked up speed - Hurricane Sandy was on its way - the biggest storm to slam New York City in recent history.
That's when he noticed some a mother cat with kittens moving around in the alley below.
Spenser and his roommate decided they couldn't just stand by and let the cats fend for themselves in the face of the oncoming storm, so they decided they'd try to give the felines some shelter. They grabbed an empty cardboard box and dashed downstairs, intending to shelter the kitties under the box.
Once they reached the feline family, Spencer saw that mom and her babies were huddled on a plastic bag filled with morsels of rice and chicken breast. Someone had left food for the momma.
Service positioned the cardboard box to shelter the kittens, but as he turned to leave, he had second thoughts.
"We just didn't feel 100 percent that we did everything we could," he said.
Spencer wound up trudging back into his apartment, but not to batten down the hatches against Hurricane Sandy.
Instead, he grabbed a cat carrier, lined the bottom with t-shirts, and returned to mom and the kittens. He placed the open carrier in front of the momma cat, offered a treat, and she walked right in. He gently picked up each kitten up by the scruff of the neck and he had the family safe in the carrier.
He then hiked nearly two miles to Sean Casey's E. 3rd Street rescue facility, nearly two miles away from his Flatbush home.
Once at the shelter, volunteers dried the soaked kittens and their mother, and checked that all were unharmed. The cat family is now being fostered at a volunteers home until the kittens are old enough for adoption.
But one is already spoken for. Spencer is planning on taking one of them.
He said. "I can't not."
photos by Spenser Service