Three kittens in Florida were brought together by a happy coincidence. They were all taken in by the same foster family within a few weeks of their birth. Their individual lives had begun with hardships and loneliness, but that was soon to become a thing of the past.
During this time, one man was experiencing one of life’s more heartbreaking moments. Ray Duncan’s feline companion for the last 16 years, Slice, had passed away on November 26th, 2018.
Little did he expect that it would take 3 tiny kittens to help begin to heal from his devastating loss.
Janine Wijker Townes was the foster for a local rescue in Tampa, FL that took the babies in.
The first was Auggie, a young grey tabby male.
He was only 4 days old, weighed 5 ounces and found behind a Wal-Mart store in Lakeland, FL. The woman who discovered the neonate couldn’t find any mom cat or siblings so contacted Janine. She drove 45 minutes to bring him to Janine, knowing with her experience he was going to be in good hands. Especially when he was so much smaller than one’s hand!! <3
It is very difficult to determine the sex of kittens that young. Because it was Fall, and they believed him to be a girl at first, he was named Autumn.
“A couple of days later it became apparent that Autumn could no longer be and he became Auggie.”
He loved being around his humans, was a great eater and would happily fall asleep in their laps.
About a week later, Archer the tuxedo kitten was found alone.
He was estimated to be 11 days old and had been through more obvious tragedy. His poor tiny tail was just beginning to heal after what appeared to have been chewed! They couldn’t find any litter mates or a mom and have no clue what he had endured.
“We gave him lots of love and he flourished. His tail is completely healed and he is a beautiful boy.”
Another week went by as the boys became more comfortable in their foster home.
They were then joined by a mysterious beauty named Snowflake.
Her history is unknown other than the fact that she was found abandoned and alone. She was the youngest of the trio, but the boys warmly welcomed their new baby sister. Admittedly, like many females, she was the “talker” of the group. =)
“It amazed me the 3 kittens all from different litter became bonded so quickly. These 3 were one of my favorite fosters, because of how sweet and yet different they are.”
When Archer and Snowflake were found as older kittens, parasites had already taken hold in their intestines.
“Like many rescued neonates, they ended up getting Coccidia, got pretty sick and lost weight. We got them all better and fed them with extra formula and love.”
Once the kittens were out of the bottle-feeding stage, they were transferred to another foster to socialize more and find their forever homes.
This way, Janine could take in more bottle babies which require a more intense survival routine. Raquel Yusko Aluisy was happy to be the “Stage 2” fosterer.
For the next 2 weeks, the silly kitten trio enjoyed Raquel’s home. They were then fixed at 2-months of age and ready for adoption. It would be wonderful to see them in forever homes, but sad to see them separated.
They were closely connected but not necessarily a “bonded” trio, where one or more would suffer should they be split up.
Adoption day came and no one expected the miracle that was about to occur.
Ray Duncan knew that he’d wanted to adopt at least 2 felines. This would mean they’d have a playmate and many bonded pairs have trouble finding a home that will welcome them both.
But when he saw Archer, Auggie and Snowflake together, he KNEW there was no way he could separate them.
So on December 18th, HE ADOPTED ALL THREE!!!
A huge hockey fan, Ray was awarded with a “hat trick” adoption. For those that aren’t familiar with this, in hockey a hat trick occurs when a player scores three goals in a single game.
Working from home, Ray is always close by to snap adorable photos and videos of his new family. He wanted to get a feel for their “purrsonalities” before officially renaming them. It was well worth the wait!
Meet the official new Duncans and his well thought out reasons behind the name changes.
Stamkos, formerly “Auggie” – He is the lover of group and is developing into a lap cat when he can get rid of all the kittenish energy. He will let me hold him so long that he falls asleep on my arm. Because I love the Tampa Bay Lightning and its captain, Steven Stamkos, I gave this little guy his last name of Stamkos. His nickname will be “Stammer”.
Confucius, formerly “Archer” – He is cunning and plans his attacks. He is adventurous and always is ready to ambush one of his siblings. Yet he has a very peaceful side that comforts everyone. So based on that and the long, white whiskers he is Confucius. His nickname will be “Fucius”.
Sapphire, formerly “Snowflake” – Look at this beauty! She is the only girl of the group and while she likes to be dainty is not afraid to mix it up with her brothers at any time. It took her a little longer to get used to me and the new surroundings but is now strutting around like she owns the place (and she does). I got her name from her blue eyes but liked that when I shorten it to her nickname of “Fire”. As she is pretty but don’t get it wrong that she is not afraid to show the boys who is boss despite her smaller size.
Ray knows that Slice will always be with him. Happily, there is room for these 3 kittens in his over-sized heart too.
Congrats to all of you and have a wonderful, long life together!
“So these little ones have found their fur-ever home with me and a place in my heart. I encourage everyone to adopt and not shop. Go to your local shelters and they have anything that you could want. All you need to do is find a place in your heart for them.”
A dedicated Cat Dad, Ray was happy to share the start to 2019 he and the kittens had! HAHA
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!