Lulu had a very rough start in life. When she was a young kitten, she was tossed from a moving car with her littermates and left for dead. She miraculously survived the ordeal, and thanks to a college student with a big heart, Lulu now has a loving forever home.
Surviving the Unthinkable
Lulu was first spotted by Jordan Leogrande, a student at Utica College in New York, in early December 2016. Leogrande, who was 19 years old at the time, was working part time at a hardware store in the Riverside Mall in North Utica.
Leongrande’s mom, Christine, remembers the conversation she had with her son that night very clearly.
“He heard tiny, little mews when he went into the back for paint, and he found her hiding underneath a pallet,” Christine recalls. “She was petrified, filthy and starving.”
Jordan immediately put the kitten in a large cardboard box in his boss’s office until his shift ended.
“Jordan texted me and said, ‘I might be bringing home a houseguest,’” Christine recalls. “The last time that happened, I had two extra college students staying with us until their housing was ready, so I had no idea what to expect.”
It soon became clear what Jordan meant by “houseguest” after he sent his mom a picture of a little kitten in a huge cardboard box.
Christine says she wasn’t surprised that Jordan came to the aid of the tiny feline the way he did.
“Both our sons are animal lovers, just like my husband and I,” she says.
A New Beginning
When Jordan got home, Christine immediately phoned a friend who had recently adopted a kitten.
“She came over with a bag full of supplies,” Christine says. “I gave the kitten a bath and found a tick on her neck.”
That Monday, Christine took the kitten, whom they had started to call Lu and eventually Lulu, to the vet. Aside from having worms and being underweight, the shy, approximately 11-month-old kitten was pronounced healthy.
By then, the mystery of how Lulu ended up under a pallet was growing, so Jordan asked to review the store’s security footage from the outdoor cameras hoping for an answer.
The footage revealed that someone had driven a car to the parking lot behind the store and, while the car was still moving, tossed a bag out of the window.
“They found that her brothers and sisters were tied in a plastic shopping bag, tossed out of [the] car window and then run over,” Christine says.
Little Lulu was the lone survivor. Somehow she managed to get out of the bag and find refuge under the pallets at the back of the store.
Unfortunately, the license plate of the vehicle was too blurry in the footage, so the culprit, or culprits, was never found.
Lulu didn’t waste any time making friends once she arrived at the Leogrande household.
“We have two rescue Maltipoos, so we kept Lulu in Jordan’s bedroom at first,” Christine says. “Honestly, we weren’t too sure if we could keep her, not knowing how my husband and the dogs would react. I gradually and carefully introduced her to the dogs, and I have to say it went fine.”
While the family’s senior dog Mandy occasionally barks at Lu—perhaps to show that, at 16 years old, she’s still queen of the house—the three animals generally do well together.
Today, Lulu lives a cozy life that’s a far cry from the days when she was an abandoned kitten taking refuge in a shipping pallet.
“Lulu has her own bedroom, and her favorite room in the house is the sunroom, where she can see all the birds, squirrels and bunnies outside,” Christine says.
She remains a cautious kitty.
“The one residual effect of her rough start is that she is very afraid of people—except her family,” Christine says. “And she finds the craziest places to hide—inside a back shelf of our credenza or inside the downstairs couch.”
But other than that, she’s just your average cat who loves to play and cuddle.
Lulu and Chandler, the family’s other rescued Maltipoo, often can be found wrestling away or sharing a sleeping corner—that is, when Lulu isn’t busy running around the house having fun or snuggling with her humans. What a great life for a kitten with such a rough start!
By: Diana Bocco
Featured Image: Courtesy of Christine Leogrande