Robert Brantley, a professional shooter from Louisiana, was headed to the range on Tuesday after work when a very small creature changed all his plans.
As he took the backroads 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.
“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, where a vet was scheduled to check them on Thursday night.
“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.
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.”