The Four Legged Itch: Temporarily Scratched

Yesterday was nuts. Completely and totally nuts. But in a good way. As I mentioned in my post last week, my itching for a four-legged creature has intensified as of late. Don and I have been considering adopting another dog or cat, but something hasn't felt quite right just yet. We weren't getting the clear "go ahead" from God and I don't like to move outside of His timing. Yesterday, a beautiful solution presented itself. 

Wednesday night I was scrolling through Instagram, and noticed that my friend Cara had posted an adorable photo of a tiny furball of a kitten and in the caption below was asking if anyone wanted to take one home. She mentioned that there were six little babies in her neighbor's backyard and that they were going to be taken to animal control (with his permission) the next day if no one wanted them. I immediately went into lifesaving mode (I have this thing inexplicable thing with animals) and told her I was interested in coming by to see them (I had a previous experience with animal control - they euthanize and they euthanize FAST). I told Cara I would come by the following morning to see what I could do.

Fast forward to yesterday morning. I woke up, ate breakfast, got ready, and headed over to Cara's house. I already had plans to pray with a woman I consider my spiritual mentor at 11:00, but decided to at least go by and see them on my way. Sure enough, there they were. Four little babies, underfed, feral, and completely terrified. The man living in the house feeds a wild female staying outside, but she is unspayed and keeps having litters. The problem is that most of the kittens in her litters are either killed or the ones that do survive will likely just perpetuate the cat overpopulation problem in that neighborhood (Cara's Yorkie was attached by an adult cat while they were away). Cara said she had planned to take them to animal control later that day. She had done research and their website said they were a "no kill" facility. I just kept feeling like I needed to do something.

After seeing the kittens, I left and headed to my prayer time. I told Cara I would try and come back afterwards and attempt to take one or two with me. Roughly four hours later, around 3:00, I texted her to see if the kittens were still there. She said that she had made the decision to go by animal control and find out more information before taking them to be surrendered. She was informed by one of the animal control employees that they are not taking cats right now, and that typically most feral cats and kittens are euthanized within three days of being surrendered. Three days! And to think their website claims to be no kill! Needless to say, Cara and I were frustrated (at best) by their lack of truthfulness. Neither Cara, nor her neighbor, nor I wanted them to be euthanized, so I called my husband Don on the way to her house, explained the situation, and told him I felt like I needed to do something. 

When I arrived back at Cara's, we asked the neighbor if is was still okay that I took some with me and he agreed. Cara and I then devised a plan to catch a couple of the kittens. We used her dog's crate, put tuna into a couple of cupcake sheets, and put the sheets inside the crate. It took a little bit of time, but sure enough, the kitties smelled that tuna and decided to venture out from underneath the porch. The first brave kitten went in, and then another. There was a black and white kitten that kept coming near the crate but never actually ventured inside. I realized that before the two inside decided to leave I should shut the door. I waited for quite some time after, as that little black and white one kept coming up to me and I wanted to try to rescue him as well but alas it was to no avail. He was far too frightened. 

I knew I couldn't bring the kittens into my house unvaccinated as it might hurt them or my animals. I knew animal control would most likely euthanize them, and I knew left on the street they could likely die. After discussing our options, I felt like the SPCA was the safest place to go. We adopted our two cats from them and take all of our animals to their veterinary clinic. It was late in the evening when we finally arrived (sometime after 6:00), and we went inside and up to the front desk in hopes that they would take them. The gal at the desk informed us that we would need an appointment to surrender an animal and that the admissions team had left at 5:00. There was no way we could surrender them last night. She also said that they couldn't take kittens until they had been vaccinated because the likelihood of them dying inside the facility was extremely high. We knew that if we released them and tried to catch them again it might be harder or even near impossible. I started feeling a bit of discouragement until I learned that there was one other possibility: we could foster them. 

I was hopeful again! She said that if we would be willing to foster them until we could make an appointment with the admissions team, then after that the SPCA would get them tested, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. At that point we would keep them at our place until a crate opens up and they could be adopted out. She said this is what typically happens with small kittens that are still unvaccinated; they are in a foster situation until they can get all of their medical treatments. She even said they would provide everything we would need to foster them. Now this is an animal shelter that cares. She informed us that the chance of survival in the wild versus a home is 1-5 years versus 20 years. I called Don again, explained everything, and he agreed to let us foster them. The SPCA then sent us home with everything we would need to keep them fed, safe, and separated from our other animals. They sent us home with: a huge dog crate, towels, sheets, blankets, a bed, toys, two hammocks, dry kitten food, can food, food/water bowls, litter boxes, a scoop, and two kitty blankets. I have never been more impressed with an organization than I was last night. You can tell that the people who work there do what they do because they truly love animals and want to save as many lives as possible. They trusted me to use their stuff and to take care of these little babies until we can get them seen by a doctor.

Around 7:15 Cara and I left, grabbed some food and some Dawn (so we could wash the kitties at the suggestion of the SPCA), and headed back to her place to get my car. I then came home, and Don and I washed those little babies in our sink (they were less than happy about it). We set up their crate with sheets, blankets, a bed, food, water, toys, and a hammock, put them inside, and let them go to sleep. They were exhausted after a long and traumatic day. This morning we noticed they had eaten, used their litter box, and were cuddled up together in their hammock. They are still really frightened and are very unsure of me but Don reminded me that it will probably take a while for them to adjust. They have been inseparable since being in the original carrier, and my hope is that they are adopted by someone who will keep them together. The SPCA said we could likely have them up to a month, so I am excited to be able to provide a safe, comfortable, and loving environment for them until then. I felt like God was blessing me a little since I had a rough week last week, and since we couldn't get another animal yet. What a creative God He is and what a perfect solution! I told Don last night that I had the most gratifying feeling after all the madness had stopped and they were safe and sleeping in their crate.

Thanks for stopping by.

~Maggie ♥