Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Classic Cardigan: The Time It Rained Fuzzy Foster Kittens and I Caught Some (Updated!)

Two years ago last weekend, I left three cats and two dogs at home and drove over to the Richmond SPCA to pick up three, five week old orphaned kittens. They were with us for a grand total of six weeks, or until they'd all reached a healthy two-pounds, were age-appropriately vaccinated and old enough to be spayed/neutered. It was harder work than I had bargained for - keeping those fuzz balls well fed, entertained and cleaned of food-crusted faces and poo-crusted paws and butts. But because of that hard work, it was also one of the most rewarding (and wonderful) jobs I have ever experienced. I will never forget those babies, and am so thankful all three of them quickly found permanent, loving homes.

Since that first kitten fostering experience, there've been a few other feline comings and goings at my house. OK, they've all been comings (unless you count the vet visits), as follows:

July 2012: Maddox - a nine-year-old, long-time Richmond SPCA resident - entered our home for a four-week foster. We failed. He was adopted into our family permanently three weeks later.

Maddox: No, as a matter of fact, I'm never letting her go.

October 2012: Bertie (he would later be called) - a  teenage kitten - showed up in our front yard, at night, yowling and desperate for human contact. After an exhaustive search for his owners, with no luck, he never left.

Bertie: I love my big, honking, twin big brother.

June 2013: Bobby Flay O'Fish (oh yes, we did) - a tiny, just-weaned kitten - found himself in the middle of a busy, six-lane intersection, seconds before I came along in my car. He ran into a grassy shoulder; I pulled over, got out and grabbed him; he was feral and bit me hard; I swallowed tears of pain and tossed him in the back seat anyway, drove him home and began the weeks-long process of taming him enough to be considered adoptable. By the time that happened, he was super-bonded to Bertie and already ours.

Bobby Flay O'Fish: I love both my big, honking twin big brothers.
Plus my three, not so big and honking sisters, and those other two (who are staring at me from the floor) with the broken meows. 

So you see, when today's forecast is 100% chance of foster-kitten showers (as it has been in my area for several weeks, with no end in sight), unlike two years ago, I'll be stuck inside like a water dog who wants nothing more than to go out and get wet! (So, that metaphor needs some work. In the meantime, please refrain from imagining a bunch of labradors running around getting pelted by cherubic foster kittens falling from the sky.)

I hate that helpless feeling, y'all! So, that's why - because the kittens need us, and June is Adopt-A-Cat Month - I'm making a multi-part plea:
  • If you've never fostered kittens before and think it might be fun (it is), check with your local shelter(s) to see if you can help!
  • If you've thought about adopting a kitten (or cat) but are nervous about it "fitting into" your lifestyle, consider fostering first (if it isn't for you, that's okay, but in the meantime, you will have saved a kitty (or two)'s life!
  • If you can't foster (or adopt) a kitty, but want to help, SHARE this post (or tell your friends who are thinking about getting a cat)! Or, consider donating much-needed kitten-fostering supplies (towels, blankets, beds, litter boxes, carriers, toys, bowls, food, kitten formula, etc.) to your local shelter/rescue! Many of them have wish lists posted on their websites.  
Thank you from the most bottom of bottoms of my heart! 

But wait! You can't go away without SEEING those precious little fuzzy kitten balls I mentioned at the top of this post! They're named after Spongebob Squarepants, Patrick and Sandy, even! You guys! LOOOOOK!

It Rained Foster Kittens...and I Caught Some!

Yes, you read that right. When I learned that this morning's forecast at the Richmond SPCA was cloudy with a 100% chance of foster kittens*, there was only one thing for me to do: drive over there and see if I could catch one (or three).

And so I did...all of the above. ;)

Now, before I bust wide open from the anticipation, please meet my three itty bitty, five week old foster kitties!

On my lap ☺

Although not the names they were given at the shelter, we're affectionately referring to them (L to R in top photo) as Bob (teeny little tabby boy), Patrick (large tabby boy) and Sandy (long-haired dilute tortoiseshell/tabby, aka torbie girl).
If all goes well, we'll have these three fuzz balls for 3-4 weeks, at which time they'll be spayed/neutered and placed for adoption at the Richmond SPCA (which happens to be exploding with kittens of all ages).

Because they are so little and too young to be fully vaccinated or treated for biting parasites, we've set up a kitten "apartment" in my master bathroom, which can be completely closed off from our other pets and is relatively easy to clean.

The kittens seem to think the arrangement is pretty cool.


teeny Bob


teeny Bob totally fell asleep while at the watering hole ☺

Kitten Pile (squee!)

In case you're wondering about how the rest of the animals are handing this, they are (for now) completely oblivious. They haven't seen the kittens and have expressed no desire to break into the bathroom. At some point (before the kittens go back to the SPCA), though, I'll try a supervised meeting with the dogs (one dog at a time). I think it'll be good socialization for both species. (And besides, Jon Farleigh was best friends with kitten Lulabelle way back in the day.)

Can you believe he was ever that small?
(He's at least three times bigger than her now.)

Over-the-top adorableness aside, I'm pleased with how the kittens are doing so far: they're eating, drinking, peeing (in the litterbox), pooping (in the litterbox), playing, sleeping and doing all the other things little kittens should be doing at this age. Oh yeah, and they purr LOUDLY and often.

It's going to be a full holiday weekend at my house, for sure.


  1. I'm a dog lover but also like cats too. These guys are all too cute. Seems like you have a whole menagerie over there!

  2. Hmmm, are you sure that telling us about kitties falling out of the sky and staying at your house is the best way to encourage us to foster? My house just isn't big enough to mimic your experience. :)

    1. Ha. I told you that metaphor needed some work, Pamela!

  3. Hooray, a cat post!! And kittens too!! I've told you before, I LOOOVE seeing Maddox with his PAWS. I've been in a funk ever since Blogpaws, so hopefully your post will get me out of it.

    1. Oh dear, Ann. BlogPaws is such an energizer that it's often tough to maintain one's momentum when all the excitement is over. It's not just you. Maybe I'll do a post with nothing but Maddy's mitts in it (I could totally think of a way to do that). I could call it Maddy's Mitten Therapy or something. :)

  4. Oh. My. Goodness. OK. First of all, SQUEE! They are so cute! They look a lot like the one we picked up on the highway. She's about 5 weeks old now, too. So, um, HELP!!! Seriously, we're in over our heads. How can we enrich her environment (also the bathroom) while she's quarantined? She's crazy, climbing and biting all over us. Normal? She's using the litterbox and has TONS of energy. She's being dewormed, and we're combing out the fleas. So, I think until those diseases are tested for, she's pretty healthy. But I have no idea what to DO with her! :)

    1. Oh, gosh, Maggie! She sounds perfectly normal! Energy is GREAT! Lethargic, not so much. I can actually relate to what you're feeling. It's hard enough to keep them in a small room all day and night, away from other cats, but having a singleton, with no playmates, can be especially tricky. If she has plenty of toys, though (hint: kittens LOVE drinking straws. cut a few up for her and she'll whack them everywhere), as long as she's getting some attention when she's awake, she'll be fine. (The hardest part for us was hearing them scurrying around and sometimes pawing at the crack in the bathroom door when we were trying to sleep.)

      I'm sure you know she's fine to be around your dogs (unless you think a critter will hop off her onto them). We allowed the kittens to come out into our bedroom and eventually run around the house after they'd had a 2nd round of shots. Our adult cats were surprisingly uninterested in them. :)

      Honestly, once the quarantine is over, and she can come out, she will CRACK YOU UP. And Newt? She might be standoffish at first, but she'll quickly take the little kitty on as a project (teaching boundaries and stuff). They will have a ball (and provide hours of human entertainment).

      Well, not sure that helped you in the least. Just remember, she's FINE! (If she tries to climb your legs, though, I'd gently remove her fuzz butt, tell her no and park her bum on the floor. They have to learn not to use claws on skin.)

    2. That is SO HELPFUL! Thank you so much! So, first mistake: I've been letting her climb all over me. Whoops. Her favorite activity is to scurry up and perch on my shoulder. I'll try the gently removing thing. And I have straws! Going to get them now!! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply so thoroughly. I'm so grateful!!

  5. Well done to you re fostering. I think we'd find it really hard as we would end up keeping them. I love the stories how your three came to stay. You are very kind and bravo to you for all the hard work you put in. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  6. As someone who has been fostering for 12 years..YAY!! Wishing you nothing but smooth sailing and goobs of joy..

  7. OMC! Those kittens are SO cute! Thanks for fostering them. Zoey is our foster-fail...though we still hope we can convince the mom to find her another home. ;)

    Wally & Ernie


We love comments almost as much as Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Thank you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...