When fostering kittens found abandoned or from unfortunate circumstances, you never know what to expect. Many newborn kittens fight to survive from the very minute they were born. Some go on to live happy lives and find homes with people to love and care for them. Others never make it off the streets and even more suffer a sad, short life. With the help of foster families and TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) efforts, there are more of these cats in happy homes and less on the streets. Happily, more people are adopting pets that were rescued, giving them that chance. They too, don’t know what to expect but it doesn’t stop any of them. Even when tragedy strikes, they know every second in a safe home was worth it for the furry souls.
For one family who recently adopted, they were fated to experienced both the best and worst moments of kitten life.
On September 19th, 2018, two newborn kittens were rescued near Tampa, Florida. They were born to a young cat who had seemed to panic at the idea of becoming a mother. Considering kittens can become pregnant as early as 4 months of age, some are still babies themselves going through this. It’s a scary time indeed!
For this feline, she was so scared she ended up having each baby in a different area of someone’s backyard. They were also born prematurely, possibly from the stresses of pregnancy. The poor girl didn’t even clean her babies off after labor. She was so completely unprepared for birth. Fortunately, the two little kittens were found and brought to the Suncoast Animal League. They were placed in the care of one of their experienced fosterers Dani Giroux, or Dani The Cat Lady.
The tiny siblings were named Pumpkin (orange male) and Spice (black female).
Neither of them were in the clear just yet though. Over the next 2 months, Dani had to fight to keep them gaining weight and hitting all their important milestones. They didn’t mind hanging out at her house though with her other foster cats–and lots of fun TOYS!
But best of all, they were together, and that is exactly how they stayed too.
Once they were old enough and met the minimum weight, the adorable duo was fixed and then put up for adoption. Dani was blessed with finding the absolute perfect family that wanted to welcome them BOTH into their home. So on December 15th, Pumpkin and Spice were off to their new lives with their very own mini-human servants.
Dani visited them in January and both babies were loving life and their new family. They were loved just as much in return.
It didn’t take Dani long to fill her foster home with another needy kitten.
Sadly, in Florida’s year-round weather, “kitten season” is year-long. On one Friday night, while others are out celebrating the end to a long work-week, Dani was out helping save another life.
She picked up sweet young Oliver from her friend @niqueipoo. He was a TNR kitten who’d turned out to be surprisingly friendly. Instead of “returning” him to the colony, he’d eventually be adopted out.
He wouldn’t take much socialization to become ready for an indoor lifestyle.
Since Oliver had been caught as a stray, he’d gone through the proper procedures of being neutered, vaccinated and ear tipped. Dani had another foster about the same age and hoped they’d bond quickly.
But Dani’s world suffered a tragic blow only a few days after Oliver arrived.
Dani shared the sad news on her Facebook page. Many of her followers also become very invested in the lives she’s saved.
Sometimes in animal rescue they’re hard days, and then there are even harder days. Today is one of the hardest. In the last month, I have lost two of my previous foster kittens to rare awful diseases. They were just tiny babies who still had their entire lives ahead of them. I feel heartbroken. Heartbroken for their parents, human siblings and pet siblings.
Pumpkin, who you may remember was adopted with his sister Spice a few months back, came down with an extremely rare form of lung cancer. So rare that the vets involved said they had only ever seen it in textbooks, there was no surgery or chemo that would have been able to do anything. I’m so sad for Spice having to go on without her brother.
I can’t imagine what their adopters are going through. I loved each of those kittens as if they were my own. Now I am sad, wondering what I did to the universe to deserve this. But the thing is I save kittens all the time and I don’t know their history or back story, and there’s nothing I could have done to stop/prevent cancer from forming, but I still can’t help but feel immensely sad.
One thing I can be grateful for is their adopters. These kitties got to know so much love and happiness, even if it was only for a short time, and I would be honored to adopt to them again in the future. The world lost two great cats and now two stars in the sky shine a little brighter.
With the loss of their beloved Pumpkin weighing heavily on their hearts, the family didn’t want Spice to be alone.
On March 10th, they paid Dani a visit. The stars may have been aligned just perfectly for what happened next.
As some of you know, one of my previous adopters recently lost their kitten named Pumpkin to a rare and aggressive type of lung cancer. They were devastated, and he also left behind his sister, Spice. Pumpkin was her son’s cat, and today she surprised him with the gift of Oliver. As soon as he met Oliver, they instantly were in love. Oliver just melted and was rubbing all over him, purring, and following him around. It’s like it was meant to be.
For this family, it was more like the best moments, the worst and thankfully, the best again. We’re wishing them all a long, happy life together. From the size of the smile on their son’s face, I’m betting he’s going to do all he can to make sure that’s what happens.
It takes a VERY special heart to open up again during the healing process. To find a whole family of them is a refreshing treat to animal rescuers. And it all began with Dani’s willingness to foster those fighting, deserving tiny hearts that have no one else.
If you’re interested in fostering in your area, please reach out to your local shelter and rescue organizations. We can guarantee they ALWAYS need help!
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!