01/13/2017 12:45 EST | Updated 01/13/2017 12:46 EST

Garbagemen Rescue Frozen, Urine-Soaked Kitten From New Brunswick Snowbank

FREDERICTON — Two garbagemen are being hailed for rescuing a frozen, urine-soaked kitten from a rural snowbank.

Leland Nason and a co-workers were collecting trash in Minto, N.B., on Tuesday when they passed what they thought was a dead cat, said Sue Knight, of CARMA Cat Rescue in Fredericton.

"They thought it was dead, it's so cold out there,'' Knight said.

ajax kitten

Ajax was found frozen to a snowbank, covered in urine. (Photo: CARMA Fredericton/Facebook)

"On the way back, Leland saw the head move. So he got his companion to stop, they backed the truck up, and got out and sure enough, the kitten was alive.''

The kitten was lying in its own frozen urine, stuck to the snowbank, she said. It could not have made its own way there, she said.

"Leland managed to dig it out, put it in his jacket,'' she said. "The kitten really responded to him, wanted the loving.''

Nason did not return a phone call Thursday. But Knight said the men went to a store for food, where they heard about CARMA, and a local volunteer rushed the kitten to Fredericton an hour away.

It arrived flea-ridden, its ears stuffed with ear mites and with the pads of its paws possibly frostbitten.

ajax kitten

Chuck (left) and Leland (right) are reunited with a recovering Ajax. (Photo: CARMA Fredericton/Facebook)

But it is on painkillers and appears to be making a splendid recovery, said Knight. It has been named Ajax.

"He's a gorgeous little kitten, just adores being loved and hugged and purrs,'' Knight said.

"Those paws are so tender, he has difficulty standing on them. Other than that, he's just a love bug. Just a love bug.''

The rescue agency said 11 people have expressed interest in adopting Ajax.

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