Abandoned kittens rescued at roadside in the Langtons, Leicestershire
Kittens dumped at the side of a road were hours from death when rescued.
The eight six-week-old kittens were found in a soggy cardboard box in the Langtons, yesterday.
RSPCA inspectors said the abandoned animals were freezing, starving and would have died that night.
The kittens were discovered by Gary Dilkes, who spotted the box containing them as he drove from his home in Foxton to Tur Langton.
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"I thought it was rubbish but as I looked closer, I could see movement and then I saw these little faces peeking out," said Gary, 45.
"I went back and walked up to the box and they ran back in.
"But after a minute, one by one, they came out.
"They started climbing all over me, up my legs and on to my shoulders, and they were the cutest things you could hope to see."
Gary attempted to put the kittens in his car.
"It was not as easy as I thought it would be," he said. "As I was opening the door to put one in, another one was jumping out.
"I had to wind down the window and put them in that way.
"It was quite a sight, these cats running all over the car."
At the time Gary was putting the kittens in his car, RSPCA inspector Sheona Morley was investigating reports of a poorly fox on the same road.
She did not find the fox, but came across Gary.
"He saw me and asked me if I had a box. I thought he was talking about the fox, then I saw the kittens in the car," she said. "It was quite something.
"These poor kittens had been left to their peril.
"They could have been hit by a car if this gentleman had not found them and with the temperature dropping, they could have frozen to death.
"It would have been less than 24 hours, I would say.
"They were freezing and very hungry. They had been left with a curtain in the box, but it was soaking."
Sheona took the kittens to the RSPCA's Woodside centre, in Braunstone Frith, where they will be checked over and kept until they are old enough and well enough to be re-homed.
The kittens were in a box labelled Tibo Radio System, containing a Winnie the Pooh curtain.
Anyone with information about the kittens, or anyone who would like to re-home them, should call Woodside on 0116 233 6677.