She was locked in the dark with nowhere to go. Amid letters, bills, and packages sat a small, frightened two-pound kitten, abandoned inside a streetcorner mailbox in Hyde Park.
A two-pound, eight-week-old kitten that was dropped Friday June 12, 2009 in a public mailbox and later found among envelopes and packages is shown in Boston, Tuesday June 16, 2009. According to the MSCPA, the kitten they're calling "Postina" was stuffed through a small opening and discovered Saturday afternoon by a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier.
"That's horrible. That's inhumane. I just can't believe it," said José González, 37, who lives in the house adjacent to the mailbox. He speculated that whoever left the cat may have put it in the mailbox because it is checked a few times each day.
On Saturday, a letter carrier discovered the kitten, who was malnourished and shaking, but healthy overall, inside the mailbox at the intersection of Arlington and Davison streets, said Brian Adams, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The 8-week-old kitten was named Postina. by the MSPCA's assistant manager after it arrived at the organization's Jamaica Plain headquarters Saturday afternoon.
"She thought it was appropriate, being that she was somewhat mailed," Adams said.
Because the postman had to complete his route, a woman who witnessed the discovery brought the cat to the MSPCA.
"She came to us through a fortunate set of events, through the good acts of several people," said Adams, who said the pair involved in Postina's rescue wanted to remain anonymous.
Postina, a friendly white, orange, and black calico cat, was nourished back to health, given vaccinations, and is up for adoption.
"We've been getting about 10 calls an hour," said Adams. "People are really connecting to her story and it is certainly going to bring out a magnifying glass to animals who are homeless or need a home."
Agabus Lartey, 51, the pastor of Family Life Fellowship on Arlington Street said the abandonment was inhumane.
"A good man treats his animals well," he said. "I know times are hard, but that's too much."
Instances of pet abandonment have increased dramatically during the recession, said Adams. While the MSPCA does not count abandonment cases, there has been "a significant increase" in Boston and statewide. This time of the year is the busiest for shelters, since many mothers deliver new litters of kittens and puppies that cannot find homes.
Postina has adjusted well to her temporary home. Though initially hesitant to meet a group of reporters in the MSPCA lobby today, she quickly adjusted to the spotlight.
"She obviously is a very forgiving cat, regardless of how she has been treated in the past," he said.
Adams said anyone interested in adopting Postina should come to the MSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center in Jamaica Plain to fill out an application. The deadline to apply to adopt Postina is Thursday, though hundreds of other cats are available.
Cat and dog owners in Boston who need to give up their pets can do so for free at the MSPCA, Adams said. The organization also offers low cost veterinary services, like spaying and neutering for as little as $50.
The MSPCA is asking anyone with information about Postina's abandonment to call its law enforcement department at 617-522-6008 or 800-628-5808. Animal abandonment is a felony crime with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
It is illegal to mail animals like cats and dogs, though creatures that can survive without attention for 72 hours, like earthworms, grasshoppers, and bees, can be sent through the Postal Service, officials said.
A special delivery: Kitten found in streetside mailbox - Local News Updates - The Boston Globe