It’s Kitten Season and shelters are full of tiny, homeless felines. To do my part, I recently fostered a litter of four, 4-week-old, beautiful, orphaned kittens. The experience was a great one and I wanted to share it with you.
The four kittens started their journey when they were found somewhere near Baldwin Park without a mom. A Good Samaritan brought them to the County of Los Angeles Animal Care & Control, where the ASPCA diverted them into their kitten program. The kittens were then transferred to the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA (PHS) as part of a three-way partnership that works to save the lives of kittens by providing care and support until they are old enough to be spayed or neutered and placed up for adoption.
After having their exam, initial vaccinations, and getting dewormed, the four kittens took a cab to PHS. Yup, I said a cab. The LYFT service is used to transfer animals from one shelter to another making the ride cost effective. Sometimes they use the LYFT ride share, dropping people at one stop and a box of kittens to another.
Upon arrival, they were admitted into the PHS Kitten-Garten, which is a specialized nursery that focuses on kittens aged four to eight weeks old. Staff and volunteers work round the clock to provide food, medical care and socialization for these babies until a foster home is found. That’s where I came in when I decided to take them home.
While the cats were siblings, they all looked different. The smallest one was a three-colored, tortoiseshell female. We named her S’mores. The next one was a tiger striped tabby we named Rubix, after the Rubik’s cube. Smokey, the grey one, was the friendliest and came running as soon as you came into the room. The fourth kitten was named Fluffy Stripes because he was, well, fluffy and striped.
The kittens stayed with us for three weeks. During that time, we fed, cleaned, and played with them. Each night, we weighed them, cheering for each ounce they gained. We also marketed them like crazy. I posted their pictures on social media and told everyone I knew about them to garner adoption interest. When they were 2 pounds, they were ready to come back for their sterilization surgery, next round of vaccinations and their microchip. By that time, I had secured homes for three out of the four siblings.
Smokey was going to go live with a 10-year-old girl in Monrovia. The family already had a 10-year-old cat named Beans. In order to prepare for the arrival of Smokey, the girl wrote Beans a letter reminding him that he will always be the “first love of the house.” When Smokey arrived at their house, he was greeted with a homemade sign that read “Welcome Home, Smokey.”
S’mores and Rubix went to live with a woman in Glendale who lost her husband a year earlier. Her children felt that it would be a good idea to have someone to come home to and these two fit the bill. Now called Fanny and Felix, named after her favorite musicians, Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, the kittens are getting used to their new environment.
The final kitten, Fluffy Stripes, was brought back to the shelter to be placed up for adoption during the most recent free adoption day. Within 45 minutes, Fluffy Stripes was adopted by a husband and wife who remarked that they chose him because he was “really fluffy” and they liked his stripes.
In my job, I care for animals on a daily basis. But there is nothing like the feeling you get when you raise kittens, get them healthy and find them homes. When I shared with my son that all four kittens had found their forever homes, he shouted, “Yippee–Mom, we have done good.” I briefly smiled, but then I became serious as I thought about the hundreds of other kittens that still need help at the shelter.
Get involved with kittens today. Consider fostering, adopting, or donating to make a difference. Learn more at pasadenahumane.org.