Stratus didn’t have much space to herself. The gray cat had been sharing a small New York City home with 40 other cats, and the only area she could call her own was a narrow window ledge that was dangerously high off the ground.

When rescuers from Animal Haven received word about Stratus’ situation, they rushed to help. Stratus’ owner was overwhelmed with the number of cats in his home and had contacted the rescue for assistance.

Animal Haven staff took about 10-15 cats into their care at a time. When they arrived for the third round of rescues, they spotted Stratus perched high above them, staring down from her scary, lofty seat.

cat on window ledge

The rescuers debated what to do and ultimately decided it was in Stratus’ best interest to let her come inside on her own.

“When the owner told us she retreated to the window ledge often, we feared that we’d scare her and she may fall if we tried to intervene,” Shannon McLaughlin Kirkman, Animal Haven director of development and communications, told The Dodo. “Even though it was a tough decision, we determined it was best to wait until she came back inside.”

Eventually, Stratus left her window ledge, but it wasn’t necessarily because she was rushing to see the rescuers. It turns out, Stratus was pregnant and needed a place to give birth. When rescuers finally found her inside, her babies had just been born.

cat with her kittens

“We were shocked, but working in animal rescue, we’ve definitely seen more shocking things!” Kirkman said. “It did make us glad we chose to let her come inside instead of trying to get her from the ledge, which could have been even more dangerous if she was in the beginning stages of labor.”

Rescuers took Stratus and her kittens back to Animal Haven, where the whole family received necessary medical care.

kittens cuddling

Stratus and her kittens will stay at Animal Haven until the babies are old enough to be rehomed, at which point, all of them will be looking for their forever families.

Kirkman is proud of Stratus and thankful that her family is finally living the life they deserve.

“Stratus is a wonderful mom,” Kirkman said. “She [and] her babies are all cozy and happy.”