Two neonatal kittens began life by fighting just to survive. It was even worse though, because they were each found alone and suffering. The baby boys had luck on their sides though, since at least they were found! Thankfully, some caring residents in Bradford, England didn’t leave the poor babies to perish. They each found their way to Katie Lloyd, founder of Bradford Cat Watch Rescue, or BCWR. Because sometimes family is just meant to be, blood brothers or not.
Little did this soon-to-be family know that their fates would become so entwined.
On December 10th, 2018, the followers on the BCWR Facebook page were introduced to this little fluffy face. Meet Mr. Frosty.
He was found alone on the streets like so many others. He was scared and suffering from hypothermia. The poor little boy was only about 2-3 weeks old but it had been a rough couple weeks. Katie prepared to take the neonate into foster care herself as he’d need intense monitoring for 72 hours.
A kitten of this age has a very much guarded prognosis without his mum.
We are often asked why we can’t put orphans with a mum feeding kittens of a similar age. We do not advocate the practice of handing out orphaned kittens to poor mums who are already under such an enormous strain raising their own babies.
Not only is this unfair on mum it also carries a huge risk of cross infection. Many feline diseases lie dormant for several weeks or months before symptoms present. I’m saddened that any poor cat has to go through the trauma of conception, pregnancy and birth….. let alone bereavement and loss too.
While she was caring for Mr. Frosty, others were scouring the area where he was discovered. Sadly, even after months of searching, they were never able to locate his mother or other siblings in the area.
He was sweet as sugar and hard as ice, pulling through those first days with a fighting spirit and purring gratitude.
He was taken in by another fosterer once he was “out of the water”. His new foster mom, Emma Harley, was happy to welcome the pure white bundle of joy. He was still only a few weeks old so he needed to be closely supervised. The health of neonatal kittens–those that should still be nursing–can change in an instant. Those dedicated to the tiny souls know that it’s no small undertaking.
The commitment to hand rear kittens from such a young age is enormous. [BCWR] rescue is run entirely by volunteers who work tirelessly saving the lives of over 500 cats and kittens every year.
It’s also a rare thing to only have one needy cat or kitten in your foster care. Even in the middle of winter, there are many in need of saving. Most times, they appear out of nowhere. Which is what happened to Katie only a couple of weeks later.
While fundraising at a local grocery store, a man walked up to her and handed her a box.
The man blurted out that he’d just found a kitten abandoned in his garden. Before she could say anything, he turned around and disappeared as fast as he’d appeared. Katie looked down at another 2-3 week old male kitten, literally covered in fleas.
Taking him to the veterinarian immediately, they learned that he was also anemic from the blood loss. It made him extremely weak and he was suffering from hypoglycemia–low blood sugar. He was put in intensive support right away.
Volunteers stayed by his side all night to ensure his light shown, even if it was just a glimmer. As each hour passed, they anxiously watched the life seep slowly back into his fragile body. The next morning he was clearly showing signs of feeling better.
They named him Lollipop and he was taken to foster care until he’d be old enough for adoption. With his adorable little “perma-brows”, Lollipop looks curious about this thing called a “family”.
It was in this foster home that he met another handsome kitten–warm hearted Mr. Frosty.
The little fluffballs were feeling like actual kittens now because of the team at BCWR. They spent the next weeks learning how to cat together. Having another kitten to enjoy life now seemed to be exactly what they needed to thrive.
They could be seen lining up nicely for “eats”.
Once they were a bit older they were transferred to another foster home within the organization. Many times this is the case after bottle-babies are transitioned onto “slurry”. Slurry is a mix of wet baby kitten food and kitten formula. Their feedings are now further apart, so they can be taken in by fosters that aren’t required to stay up all night. Foster John Lee stepped in and ushered the boys into the next stages.
The boys flourished here as well, strengthening their bond as each day passed.
But then the day came that they were ready to be put up for adoption. It was sad to think the boys would be separated, but the group held out hope for them. Perhaps there was someone out there who’d be willing to adopt them both?
Come on, you’ve seen their little faces–of course there was!!!
Just after the beginning of February 2019, the Wainman family granted their wishes. The boys were adopted together, and “offurcially” become brothers.
Their new family is sure to share updates on the boys with the BCWR Facebook page.
They even received new names to fit their personalities. It was a nod to the slapstick comedy duo of old Hollywood. Lollipop was named “Stan”, and Mr. Frosty became “Olly”, after the famous Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
The silly kittens can regularly be found snuggling?…playing?…play snuggling? I’m going to go with all of the above because they go paw-in-paw.
Without fosters dropping everything at a moments notice for these babies, they’d not be here today. To support Bradford Cat Watch Rescue, please visit their social media pages and website to donate. Don’t forget to enjoy all the amazing rescue stories this dedicated team of animal lovers work tirelessly on.