James Ryan is a garbageman in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. He loves his job, even though it means a 4am wake up call.
James was going about his day when he returned to the transfer station and was immediately approached by his co-workers.
"You like cats, right?" they asked. James wasn't sure where this was going, but when they explained the whole story he knew it was serious.
A driver earlier in the route had been transferring the garbage from his truck to the dump when he found a tiny kitten hiding in some orange peels and takeout containers.
James was enlisted to help catch the tiny creature, who was running and hiding because she was so scared. He finally caught the kitten, but the sound that came out of her was gut-wrenching.
"I never want to hear out of a kitten for the rest of my life. My heart was breaking," James said. The kitten let out loud screams of pain, as her back leg had been injured in the garbage truck.
The kitten, which has since been named Grace, was rushed to a local animal sanctuary where she was given pain medication and food.
"Grace was in heartbreakingly awful shape when she arrived. I couldn't even bring myself to take a photograph of her mangled leg. The poor baby was weak and extremely hungry," said Angela Townsend, Development of Director of Tabby's Place, where Grace was brought.
"She purred ever so faintly as our vet team bathed her. It was painful to watch Grace's bathwater turn brownish-red from both her wound and all the dirt clinging to her tiny body from the dumpster," Townsend said.
Unfortunately, Grace's leg was so badly injured it had to be amputated, but she is now healing and becoming a normal kitten!
Grace is now living with James Ryan, the man who rescued her, and the two are a purr-fect match!
"Grace almost looks like a different kitten now. She is full of energy, loves to chatter with anyone who will chirp back at her, and is wonderfully playful and mischievous."
We are so happy that Grace and James found each other! Share this story if it made you smile!