When you walk out your front door, the last thing you expect to see is a newborn family of kittens. But for a resident in Holiday, Florida, they found a mama and her four neonates at their feet needing help. Because without help, it would be deaths door they knocked on next. In this case, they knew the mama cat, Beverly, as a local stray that was fed who had become pregnant. Unable to touch the semi-feral cat, they knew they couldn’t leave them where they lie.
So they carefully and gently scooped up the delicate little newborns and coaxed the scared mama into a carrier. Knowing the litter would need experienced care and eventually forever homes, they reached out to a local rescue for help. And the most important thing they knew, would be to get Beverly fixed so it would be her last litter.
With “kitten season” in full swing in Florida, luckily one of the Runaway’s Animal Rescue foster homes had space for the family. Sheridan McNeel was happy to welcome them into her home. But now she had the fun task ahead of her in naming the felines! Which actually can be quite a challenge when you have literally hundreds of animals being cared for in a rescue.
Fate intervened when celebrated author, Beverly Cleary passed away at the ripe age of 104 just a few days before the litter was discovered.
And in her honor, the family was given the names of her most beloved storybook characters.
Beverly Cleary, the celebrated children’s author whose memories of her Oregon childhood were shared with millions through the likes of Ramona and Beezus Quimby and Henry Huggins, has died. She was 104.
Trained as a librarian, Cleary didn’t start writing books until her early 30s, when she wrote “Henry Huggins,” published in 1950. Children worldwide came to love the adventures of Huggins and neighbors Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, Beatrice “Beezus” Quimby and her younger sister, Ramona. They inhabit a down-home, wholesome setting on Klickitat Street — a real street in Portland,Oregon, the city where Cleary spent much of her youth.
Now mama Beverly and her babies are safe and their story will have many chapters to come.
Momma Beverly and the gang are doing well today. I was still able to pick mom up and hold her. She wouldn’t eat much yesterday, which is normal, but she’s eating well today. She ate 1/2 can of Royal Canin mom and baby so I gave her a second can. It doesn’t appear that she’s touched her dry food or water. So we have to make sure the milk bar stays fully stocked.
When they are ready, the kittens will be adopted out through the rescue. For now, they are gaining grams and eating like champs. As for mama Beverly, if she is unable to be socialized, her story will have a different ending.
Thankfully, a caring family lives in the home where she was found. They have stated that should she remain “feral”, she is more than welcome back to the home. Here, they will care for her as a colony cat, feeding and monitoring her for any health issues.
Hopefully, the entire feline family is just as successful at life as the talented Beverly Cleary was. <3
Photos courtesy of Sheridan McNeel / The Runaway’s Animal Rescue