updated 8/19/2005 2:30:28 PM ET 2005-08-19T18:30:28

A worker in the returns department at Country Home Products got a surprise when he opened a brush trimmer sent back from South Carolina.

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Inside the box was the trimmer — and five kittens.

The three-week-old kittens survived the two-day trip to Vermont and are doing fine.

The South Carolina customer who returned the trimmer had stored it in a barn, and apparently sealed the box without looking inside.

The kittens were taken to a Humane Society shelter in Middlebury, where they met Hazel, a black cat whose kittens had just been weaned. Hazel is a now a surrogate mother to the kittens.

The shelter says the kittens should be available for adoption in about three weeks.

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