Air hisses, hammer thumps and whirl drills are all typical sounds at the Prestiga Auto Spa in Rochelle Park, N.J., but this week, there's been a new sound at the shop that's melting hearts: the mewing of newborn kittens.
The three tiny kitties were found in the back seat of an abandoned car that was towed to the shop last week from somewhere in New York state. Technician Mohamad Tanta said he "heard a small sound" coming from the black Volkswagen the day after it arrived. When he looked, he found two of the newborns on the back seat, and the third on the floor under some debris.
He alerted others in the shop.
Owner Bashar Orfali said the kittens -- two brothers and their sister -- probably hadn't eaten for a day or so.
"They were very weak, they couldn't even stand," said office manager Karen Rideg. "They were very limp and lifeless."
Rideg thought the kittens' mother "probably went to get food for herself or something, and when she came back, the whole vehicle was gone."
Rideg raced to a local pet store and got bottles and some kitten formula. With feedings every two hours, the kitties have clawed their way back to health: their eyes are open, they're walking and even showing some personality, though they clearly miss their mother.
"She would have taken care of them better than us, but we're trying to do our best," said Orfali.
The phones at the shop have been ringing off the hook with adoption offers, and customers are perfectly willing to linger in the office. Manny Marques cuddled with one of the kittens Friday.
"This is really nice," he said, smiling. "I love animals."
Orfali says he doesn't want to separate the kittens, so the auto shop will likely be their new permanent home.