07/12/2011 AT 6:30 PM ET
DeGeneres, who has two dogs and three cats, spotted the 4-week-old kitten sitting on an ottoman. The cat was riddled with fleas, dehydrated and hungry.
The proprietor of the store informed her that the kitten came from an abandoned litter of three and that the other two cats had recently died. DeGeneres offered to take the cat and pay for its medical care, then drove the cat to the vet.