Keen to get them to a place of safety, the crew – based on a building site in Belfast – scooped up the little family and knocked on the door of the nearest house.
The lady living there, herself the owner of a large dog who was overly-excited by the furry bundle, then took them to a veterinary surgery.
Vets contacted Cats Protection’s Belfast Adoption Centre where the cat and kittens are now being cared for.
“The mum had clearly gone into the building site to find a quiet, safe place to have her babies,” said Bel Livingstone, manager of Cats Protection’s Belfast Adoption Centre.
“Sadly one of the kittens was born with deformities and didn’t survive. The vet checked over the others and gave them the all clear, and they are presently cosy in our maternity unit and are all doing well.”
Staff and volunteers at the centre have fallen in love with the four remaining kittens – and are also full of admiration for their mother, who has been named Persephone after the Greek god of spring.
The kittens have been named after characters from Game of Thrones, the HBO drama which was largely filmed in Belfast and across Northern Island: Arya, Bran, Meera and Sansa.
Cats Protection’s Belfast Adoption Centre works hard to find loving homes for every feline that comes into its care, but one of the charity’s main aims is to encourage the neutering of cats and kittens to ensure there will be fewer unwanted felines in the future.
"Neutering offers many benefits to cats and owners alike,” explains Bel. “A neutered cat is less likely to spray, less likely to roam and also less likely to fight. Neutering also helps guard against disease as fighting cats are more at risk of life-threatening diseases that can be transmitted through biting and saliva.”
For more information about neutering, and to find out how Cats Protection can help towards the cost of getting your cat neutered, visit www.cats.org.uk/neutering
To find cats and kittens looking for homes in your area, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat