It was a cat-astrophe averted.
Three kittens trapped in a shuttered storefront in Sheepshead Bay were rescued by passersby who heard the cats’ cries on April 4.
A group of locals was walking by the storefront on Avenue U near E. 15th Street when they heard the whimpers of the anxious animals from behind the roll-down gate at 9:30 pm.
One resident called the police, but she said the cops didn’t arrive immediately and the youngsters’ yelps were too heart-rending to ignore — so the group decided to try and lift the gate to save the fragile felines themselves.
“We just needed to get them,” said Daniella Zabara, who was with her mom and four friends when she heard the worrisome whimpers.
There were three tiny kittens trapped by the gate, according to Zabara. Even though the group couldn’t raise the gate completely, one quick-thinking resident decided to reach through the gap beneath the gate and make a grab for the three kittens.
“I was like, ‘You know what? Let me try,’ ” said Vitaliy Zelenskiy, who saved one of the cuddly calicos.
After the police showed up, Zabara said the group eventually rescued the rest of the kittens.
The rescue is reminiscent of another animal operation in the neighborhood last November. A kitten was trapped in the engine compartment of a sports utility vehicle on Avenue Z and E. 17th Street and an animal lover tried coaxing a cat from the car for hours. Eventually, police rescued the kitten.
Zabara’s family owns an animal-grooming salon, so she plans on taking care of the kittens there until they are old enough for adoption, which will be in a few weeks, she said. The family already has promised one of the kittens to someone but the other two are available.
“We’re going to put them up for adoption after they can eat by themselves,” said Zabara.
Anyone interested in adopting the kittens can e-mail vladasgroo