Yesterday, one of the Heartland volunteers took me on a tour of many of the area animal shelters. It was very interesting to see the difference between a good shelter and a not-so-good shelter, and the different ways that animal shelters and rescues work. Some of them take great care of their animals, and work hard to get them good homes with adopters or rescues. Others are simply warehouses, holding the animals for the required number of days before they can be euthanized. You may think that “A trip to the dark side” refers to visiting these animal shelters – but it actually refers to the cat and three kittens I brought home with me at the end of the day. I’m a dog foster mom, not a cat foster mom! But who could resist such fluffy cute little kittens?! The animal shelter wanted us to take them – apparently kittens often don’t do as well in a shelter, where they have a greater possibility of getting diseases from other animals. The other volunteer agreed to take them, but wasn’t sure who would be able to foster them. Well, I have an empty room in my house – and the cats are really not much work. So I brought them home with me. They’re living in my daughter’s bedroom now – quarantined from my own cat and the dogs. They’ll stay there for a few weeks until they’re ready to be adopted.
So now I’m the proud foster mom of a beautiful tortoiseshell mama cat and her three kittens. The kittens are all boys, and none of them look like their mom. One is all grey, very fluffy and soft. The second one is a dark brown, almost black color. He’s just as fluffy and soft as his brother, and he loves to play the most. He’ll play with a feather toy, or other toys, and if no toys can be found, he’ll pounce on his mom’s tail! The third one is all black, and not quite as fluffy as the others. He is the least likely to play, and is happy just laying next to his mom and watching his brothers. He is adorable – when he gets scared, he’ll bare his teeth like he’s hissing at me – but he never tried to claw or bite me. And he doesn’t make any sound – just this funny face that is supposed to be mean but looks silly on such a cute little kitten. The mama cat is so sweet – even when she was hiding under the bed and I pulled her out, she growled a little but didn’t scratch me or try to bite me. My cat would’ve been fighting to get away, but she didn’t fight at all. She is very friendly and purrs a lot. Now that she knows me, she’ll come up to me and wrap around my legs to get attention. I need to come up with names for them soon!
As for the dogs, they know there are a few more cats in the house, but they’re blocked by doors and baby gates, so they can’t get close enough to meet each other. The kittens will probably be adopted before they ever meet the dogs, but if the mama cat is not adopted right away, once her kittens are gone and she’s been tested and processed, I may introduce her to my cat and the dogs. In the meantime, the dogs just hear the cats now and then, and watch me disappear into the hallway occasionally. As much as I love playing with the kittens, I don’t want to take time away from the dogs – they need me the most. Selena and Ernie are both doing great. They love to play together, and will do almost anything for a treat-filled Kong toy. They’ve become good friends, and I know they’ll really miss each other when one of them is adopted.
PICTURES OF THE CATS: