Passing through the seven levels of the Kitty Cat forest, and through the sea of swirly-twirly drop-traps, there lived a group of feral kittens…
These siblings will have a special early holiday season this year.
They were given the gift of life through very dedicatedTNVR (Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return) efforts.
Although they’re not quite sure it was on their Christmas Lists!
One seems as if he was given the feral equivalent of a lump of coal, prompting their names.
Meet the “Elf” kittens, named for the Will Ferrell insta-classic Christmas movie. (Movie trailer at the end of this article for your enjoyment!)
This is Angry Elf, the solo boy in the family.
During the first round of administered medications, he squirmed out of his rescuers arms. He then proceeded to hiss, swat and attack everything in the vicinity.
“You’re an Angry Elf!”, was the first reaction to the situation.
And that’s how fur-babies are named.
Sisters Jovie, Narwhal and Puffin seem to be accepting their happy new fate a bit better.
As the nights in Florida become cooler, having a warm, fluffy bed seemed to appease the girls.
Bellies full of yummy eats helped too!
Straggler sister Buddie, evaded the traps that day by hiding under a trailer, but wasn’t forgotten about.
Trappers returned the next day, refusing to give up on her.
They were able to rescue the unwilling little girl, reuniting her with the litter.
“The kitten allowed me to hold her without drama after we had one small disagreement where one of us bit the other. HAHA ”
They’d been living in a trailer park with their mother, who is surprisingly sweet and loving!
I’ve requested she be named Francisco, or Franny for short, because it’s just fun to say. =)
Disappointingly, people felt this was a good location to just dump unwanted cats.
They were simply left to fend for themselves.
But they found a giving heart in a local rescuer.
The woman refused to leave them to the elements.
She began feeding them.
With stray and feral cats, their numbers seem to explode and it was soon a full-blown colony.
As much as she did for the cats, she didn’t have the money to have them fixed or a vehicle to transport them.
This is when the TNR team from St. Francis Society Animal Rescue in Tampa, FL joined the mission.
Andrea Budkis Christian and Samantha Sherman do more for local felines than we will ever know.
The women haven’t shied away from this rescue mission, through its successes or setbacks.
All five kittens have little bellies full of worms.
It is very common in stray/feral cats and they were started on de-worming treatments right away.
(SORRY for the photo but animal rescue isn’t always pretty!)
They are also suffering from scabies, more commonly known as “mange”. This is a skin condition caused by an infestation of mites.
It can quickly spread over the cat’s body, causing itching, hair loss and “crusts” most commonly forming on their ears.
Scabies is contagious and means those with the symptoms have to be isolated.
Many are given the dreaded lime-sulfur dips in their treatments; always fun especially with ferals!
By the time the ladies were able to save the kittens, 2 of them were very close to not making it.
The parasites and scabies had almost claimed their lives.
Now they are slowly starting to feel better and all paws are crossed that they’ll stay on the healing path.
If you’re familiar with our other Andrea “tails”, you’ll know contagious things like scabies and ringworm don’t scare her off.
Welcoming the kittens into her home, Andrea is devoted to breaking through the wall around their hearts.
Angry Elf will be the biggest challenge but she approaches the situation with the purrfect amount of humor.
“Does somebody need a hug?”
She has no misconceptions that all 5 kittens will easily be socialized and go onto happy indoor lives.
With feral cats, it can take weeks, even month, before they are ready to accept humans.
Fortunately, whatever ending these lucky cats have, it will be a happy one…where they are all spayed or neutered.
Samantha will be taking the “Elf” kittens, and 4 more found indoors at the residence, to be fixed.
Poor mama has additional issues with one of her eyes from untreated illnesses.
Once that is cleared up and she’s feeling better, she will also be spayed.
With her friendly demeanor, she’ll likely be happy to be an indoor family cat.
Only time will tell with the kittens.
For now, we’ll be following the “Elf” litter’s story on Andrea’s Instagram page and wishing for a Christmas miracle <3
The goal is to socialize them and find them “homes for the holidays”.
“I think you’re really beautiful and I feel really warm when I’m around you and my tongue swells up.” ~ Buddy the Elf
***HEARTWARMING MEOWY CATMAS UPDATES! ***
These adorable, once feral kittens, have found their holiday spirit.
In less than a month, foster mom Andrea has helped show the kittens that the world holds love and safety for them.
They’ve been rewarding her with their trust and affection.
We’ve been happily treated to the comical shenanigans of the process through Andrea’s social media pages.
“Not NOW Arctic Puffin!”
“She wants out of her cage all of the time now. She sure would like a Home for the Holidays.”
Only a few weeks and Angry Elf is showing his sweeter side.
“He must be a South Pole elf.”
“Angry Elf is not so ANGRY any longer. He Purrs and he plays and he lets me hold him.”
“Did you hear that?”
“Buddie loves the sound of the cans opening in the morn. Buddie is still a little shy but she purrs and she allows me to hold her and trim nails and give her way too many kisses.”
Socializing these feral kittens so successfully is a wonderful testament to fostering these deserving felines.
It may not happen within in a few days—or even weeks like this—but it is certainly something worth the effort.
“We are falling in Love! 90 mins of purring on my lap while watching #marvelousmrsmaisel. Angry Elf is going to be a big lover.”
When the realization that they are safe and feeling healthy set in, the kittens transformed into playful, confident souls. The peace could be seen in their faces.
“Narwhal has such a pretty face. She should be on a Christmas card.”
“So good news, I saw a dog today.”
“Arctic Puffin adventured out into the main part of the house today just long enough to run into Ruby. She thought very little of that meet and greet.”
They never knew what comforts awaited them in their new life.
“Arctic Puffin and Angry ELF had NO clue that fuzzy blankets and huge beds with snuggly humans to share them with were even a thing.”
Their funny personalities are shining through the former feral personas.
“Narwhal! So cute! Still uninterested in being my best friend. She watches Angry Elf and Arctic Puffin getting love, momentarily thinks she would like to be a part of it, then decides she has better things to do.”
They were all spayed/neutered now and winning hearts from the north to the south pole!
On December 22nd, the first Christmas Miracle occurred.
“Happy Tails to the first of the Elf Family to find a Forever Family! Jovie!!!”
Andrea was overjoyed to make the announcement and knows, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
Jovie will be living with two other previous St Francis fosters that were both in her care while they were healing earlier this fall.
This joyous update isn’t the only reason to celebrate the holiday season so far.
Just this morning, Andrea shared a heartwarming photo of another of the “Elf” litter.
“Bye, Bye Buddie! Glad you found your home.”
“The foster family who took Buddie to help find her the perfect forever home has adopted Buddie! Her son and Buddie bonded right away and it is there our#happilyeverafter story begins for these two.”
We’re sure it won’t take too long for Arctic Puffin, Narwhal and Angry Elf to find their families.
“Cotton-headed ninny-muggins” need not apply.
It’s just nice to meet other humans that share Andrea’s affinity for elf culture.
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!
Related Story: Ringworm Kittens Dumped At Farm Learn How To “Turn Those Frowns, Upside Down”
Related Cole & Marmalade Video: 2 Abandoned Cats Rescued from FREEZING Weather
Angry Elf (or A.E.) reminds me of my own A.E. The expression on A.E.’s sweet face is totally recognizable. My own A. E. has been a challenge, but time, love, and a sense of humor will change him to a Happy Elf. Thanks to the St. Francis folks and the brave fosters who are making sure this naughty elf and his siblings have a chance at a better life!
Lucky Elves. Merry Christmas to all.