A 3-month-old itteh bitteh kitteh took his first meow today after being found nearly unconscious aboard a shipping container that was delivered to a Compton warehouse, a county official told the Weekly.

County Department of Animal Care workers quickly named the kitty Ni Hao, Mandarin for “hello,” and said he'll be put up for adoption.

But not just yet:

Because the he came 6,500 miles by sea from China, the orange-and-white shorthaired feline will have to undergo much of a 60-day quarantine at the Carson animal shelter, officials said.

This will help ensure that he doesn't have any exotic cat disease.

But that's okay. Ni Hao is weak and needs to rest up under vets' care after he was discovered in the container Wednesday, Aaron Reyes, a department deputy director, told us:

He was very touch-and-go at first, being at sea for a month with no food or water. He responded well, though, and within 24 hours he opened his eyes. He meowed for the first time this morning.

Aw. Right?

Reyes says he doesn't think Ni Hao would have survived for a month at sea with no food and water if he was an adult. The kitten still hasn't stood up, but is able to roll around, he said.


Ni Hao.; Credit: L.A. County

Ni Hao.; Credit: L.A. County

Due to his age and resiliency, it appears he's going to be able to bounce back.

They must find little furry creatures stowed away on shipments like this all the time, right? “In my 22 years at the department, this is the first time I've ever encountered something like this,” Reyes said.

So you know you want him. Get in line. First Ni Hao will be placed in a foster home as he recovers under quarantine.

Then you can have a shot by emailing carson@animalcare.lacounty.gov or calling 310-527-5146.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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