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Tiny kitten survives accidental Pacific Ocean crossing in a shipping container

Recently I accidentally left a few of my strawberry plants un-watered for months. I was ready to give them up as lost and gone until my upstairs neighbor took a look and found a couple healthy shoots amid the crusty, withered growth. “Clip off all the dead bits and start watering again,” she advised. Fast forward one month and the plants are green, full and heartier than ever. While I’m no evolutionary biologist, I have to wonder if the months of drought weeded out the weaker sprouts, leaving only the most resilient in my pots.

The kitten in this story is like those resilient sprouts—determined life in the face of death. Weeks ago the Chinese kitten wandered into a shipping container in Shanghai where he then made a 6,500-mile journey across the Pacific Ocean, arriving in Los Angeles just on the edge of life. Although sources have not discovered exactly how long the freighter took to make the trip, according to freighter-travel.com it is typically two-to-three weeks.

That’s two-to-three weeks in a dark container with no food or water. The kitten is only three months old.

When the container arrived at its destination, a Compton-area business, workers opened it and discovered the kitten who was so weak with starvation and dehydration that he couldn’t stand. They immediately called the Los Angeles County animal control offices, who took the little guy to the Los Angeles Carson Animal Care Center. After one week at the center he has already begun trying to stand and walk, and last week was greeting workers with a few tentative meows. Workers at the care center named him Ni Hao, which means “hello” in Mandarin.

Hopefully Ni Hao has already gone through his life’s toughest trial. However there is some comfort in the thought that whatever Los Angeles family or individual adopts him, and wherever the next phase of life takes him, he’s one resilient little cat.