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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Man Headed to Shooting Range Stops to Rescue a Kitten in the Road, Ends Up with 13

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Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

Robert Brantley, a professional shooter from Louisiana, was headed to the range on June 7 after work when a very small creature changed all his plans.

As he took the back roads going about 40 mph, he passed a kitten-shaped blur and went back to check on the little thing.

He left his car running as he got out to save the kitten, but as he filmed the rescue, the situation became more complicated.

In the video, he picks up the little guy, holds him up to the camera, and starts to say something when he’s ambushed by kittens, kittens and more kittens that come scampering out of the grass on the side of the road, mewing all the way.

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“Oh, my gosh! I can’t take y’all. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh, there’s more! We got a kitten problem,” Brantley says. “I thought I was saving one. Hot diggity dog.”

Needless to say, his plans to go to the range were shot, so he called off the visit and wrangled kittens instead.

The next problem was getting the 13 kittens into his Honda hatchback and keeping them there. He was quite literally herding cats, and it was going about as well as you would expect.

“When I opened the door and started putting ’em in, they were jumping out,” he said, according to NPR. “If I’d throw one in, three would run out.”

Finally, he was able to get them all home.

“Left work to go to the range,” Brantley posted on Instagram with the original clip. “Passed a baby kitten I knew wouldn’t make it through the night and the wife has been wanting a cat for the farm; figured I’d stop and rescue the thing.

“I backed up to get a short clip and got ambushed [by] the mob. Anyone wanting a kitten at a screaming price? I’ll cut you a deal!”

Many commented to tell Brantley he’d been played by the adorable posse. The initial kitten was just a test, and as soon as he fell for it, the rest were at his heels.

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Lots of commenters have also reached out with advice, thanks and offers of financial help, and Brantley is keeping people updated on the kittens’ progress.

Given the location, friendliness and age of the kittens, it was clear to Brantley that they’d been dumped. He’s decided to keep the initial kitten, aptly named Scout, and said many of the others are spoken for already.

“We found some good people locally that want ’em, and I know that they’re all good people and they’re not doing anything bad with them,” Brantley said. “We haven’t [given] any of them away yet — they’re probably a little too young.”

The story has posed an interesting conundrum for many viewers who don’t know how to square someone owning guns and being a professional shooter with kindness and compassion.

“It’s mind-blowing, to be honest with you, that so many people reach out and there’s a lot of people in the world wanting to do good,” he said. “I work in the gun industry, and … some people have [taken] that negatively. And a lot of people, which I’m very thankful of, has said, like, ‘Wow … I’m surprised you’re not such a violent person’ or ‘You still have compassion and stuff.’

“That’s kind of my thing is just I want people to know that no matter where you’re at and how much bad you see in the world, there’s still a lot of people — not talking about me — doing good things and not doing it for recognition.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking