Early in 2018, the lives of two kittens were forever changed when they were pulled from the streets and the feral life. Coming from different locations, these two little girls were destined to find companionship in each other. Their path through life was one that would include difficult beginnings, but happy endings.
The kittens were given the chance at life, like many other deserving felines, through the Ontario Feral Cat Project (OFCP).
As feral felines though, they were NOT going to make it easy. If you are unfamiliar with the term “feral”, check out our article on the difference between a stray cat and a feral cat. There are feral cats out there that will NEVER be able to take the next step into becoming an inside cat.
Happily, barn cat programs, and the “Return” in TNR, provide alternatives for these independent felines. It’s important they are returned to the place they were trapped whenever possible. They are familiar with the area and hopefully there is a colony caretaker who can feed and watch-over them.
When feral kittens are trapped at a young age, they can usually be socialized to humans–eventually becoming happy house cats. This is not often a quick process. For some animals, life on the streets was rough, with traumas we couldn’t imagine. They are now forced out of their world, not knowing it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to them.
With patient and understanding humans by their side, the transformations of these cats are absolutely heartwarming. When multiple kittens can help each other through these scary moments, that’s certainly something to celebrate!
The “tail” of Suzie Q and Anna, reminds us all that each and every one of them deserves a chance to be loved.
Suzie Q was trapped with her feral mom, Chantelle.
These pretty gals weren’t alone out there though. Susie Q also had 3 siblings that were trapped a few weeks later. There was a 5th litter mate that was trapped after them. Sadly, this was not a location any of them could be returned to.
“The 5th one was adopted in December. One of the group of 3 is ready and 2 are still shy but coming around. Mama has come around really well the last few weeks too!”
For Suzie Q, although she loved to play and be pet, she was not happy when picked up. With her 9-month-old kitten energy exploding from her tiny body, there was no chance for content cuddling. The volunteers figured once she had her own home to settle in, she’d calm down as well. She could however, be one of those cats who never allows you to hold them for long. Shrug.
She was full of a lovable personality though and enjoyed being around other felines at least. Her fear of humans was pretty much gone and she was happy to help the shelter workers whenever they needed a helping direction.
Or she may be just holding her paw out for a bow and kiss!
Her shelter mate Anna has taken a few twists and turns on her path to happiness.
Anna is about 2 months younger than Suzie Q and again, rescued from the streets. She was alone though with no family to comfort her. This may have actually been beneficial during her socialization process. She seemed to more quickly understand and enjoy the creature comforts of the human world.
Happily, that included snuggling with humans.
Still a silly kitten, Anna’s welcoming personality mixed with cute cuddling gave her an advantage at adoption events. Especially when people learned she was once a feral living on the streets. Both girls were present at an adoption event in their local PetSmart on January, 11th 2019. Finally socialized enough, they were looking for humans to love…or at least feed…them.
By the 16th, adoptions papers were signed for Anna. She’d found an animal loving family and was on her way home. Suzie Q didn’t find her perfect fit that day, but volunteers knew someone special would see her potential.
Then on the 17th, just one day later, Anna was returned.
Eager to introduce Anna to their family, her new parents made the mistake of rushing the process. Introducing a new pet should be a slow process–especially when that cat was a former feral.
Especially more so, when she was being introduced to the family dog.
“Well….. that didn’t last long!! Anna can add “I don’t play well with dogs” to her resume.
After just being adopted yesterday, her family did a sudden introduction to the family dog (we always encourage slow introductions to fur family members) and it didn’t go well. She has not been exposed to dogs and ended up attacking him out of pure fear, so she has been returned.”
Ontario Feral Cat Project were happy to take her back and continue searching for the right home for her.
When they shared Anna’s update on their Facebook page, they received some good news. A woman named Julie had messaged them on social media and emailed them expressing her interest in adopting Anna.
The catch was that she was going out of town for a few days.
Still wanting to fill out the application, she was simply drawn to Anna. When they reviewed her application, they realized Julie would be the absolute perfect fit for former feral Anna. She already had 2 other 10-year-old litter mate cats (with pretty epic names might we add)–B.S. and Gremlin!!! HAHA
Since Julie would be gone, OFCP arranged for a fosterer named Kerri to coordinate the official adoption hand off. Anna would stay at her home for the time being and continue her socialization out of a cage.
“I texted Julie yesterday to confirm she was picking her up at PetSmart today, she was very excited about Anna joining their family. I jokingly said you should adopt Suzie Q too… Four is the perfect number!!”
And with that one sly quip, everything fell into place.
Julie saw the cats together and knew they would be the best of friends–make that sisters! She happily adopted Suzie Q with Anna, welcoming both girls into her loving home.
Julie was already sharing amazing updates of the ladies in their new home only 2 days later. They seem to be settling in nicely!
If you are interested in mama cat Chantelle (below – no longer available), or any of the other cats that are looking for a family, please visit https://www.ontarioferalcats.org/.