The Foster Kitten Diary by artist Barbra Sundquist shares the story of mama cat Faith and her kittens named after virtues, Hope, Honor, and Valor –the Virtue Kittens. Barbra fosters kittens with the Nanaimo, British Columbia, volunteer cat rescue called the Cat Nap Society in her cute art studio/”foster cottage” on Vancouver Island.
When the family arrived in early April, she found out Faith was surviving in a feral colony. However, her friendly behavior indicated she wasn’t feral at all.
When rescuers found the kittens, they were inside the shallow crawlspace under a home. Thus, they first became known as the Crawlspace Kittens, born on March 30, 2022. First, the rescuers captured the kittens, and a volunteer began bottle-feeding them. Two are white boys, Honor and Valor, and one is a tiny tabico girl, Hope. At first, Barbra thought the girl was a calico or tortie, but she became a tabico with tabby stripes as she grew. All three kittens are beauties as you will see.
“You’ve heard me refer to Hope as a calico, but did you know that actually she’s a tabico? That’s tabby + calico. They are uncommon – you don’t see many of them,” she said.
Meanwhile, the rescuers worked on trapping a nervous mama, but it took a few days. So, Barbra was concerned the cat wouldn’t nurse the eight-day-old kittens when they were reunited in her home.
“All I know about them is that they were in a feral colony but mama is not feral. I was able to handle her with no problem (wearing gloves to be on the safe side). The three babes were rescued first and have been bottlefed by a volunteer while we worked on trapping mama. It took a few days, but fortunately she started nursing them as soon as they were reunited,” Barbra shared on Instagram.
Images and video via Instagram/fosterkittendiary
Faith and the Virtue Kittens
The next day, Faith seemed to quickly adjust to life in the home, purring while she nursed the hungry kittens.
“Faith is a really good mom, and she seems content,” Barbra said.
Overall, the babies were too small for their age but otherwise healthy aside from eye infections, which responded quickly to antibiotic ointment from the vet. Hope was the tiniest of the three but didn’t let her brothers keep her from feeding. As she grew, she became fearless, exploring everything before her more timid brothers.
“She may be the smallest, but she’s feisty,” Barbra said of Hope.
On Instagram, Barbra live-streams the cute family regularly so everyone can find out more as she narrates with a very soothing voice.
Although very tiny, the kittens were “growing steadily.”
“Mama and babes are warm and safe. It fills my heart.”
Faith Takes Breaks from the Virtue Kittens
By mid-April, the kittens were two weeks old, and friendly Faith was regularly taking breaks to visit with Barbra. Other than nursing and bathing duties, she preferred time with her human.
“I find that Faith seeks out my company much more than other mothers of two week old kittens. She’s definitely not a helicopter parent!”
By now, Hope’s eyes were wide open, and she was still tiny, fitting inside a cup to be weighed.
“Hope weighs 250 grams now 👏🏻”
“You’re weighing her in a “ramekitten!” commented one person.
Three-Week-Old Virtue Kittens
By three weeks old, the Virtue Kittens became curious and started exploring their surroundings. Also, the kittens started play-fighting with each other for the first time, although still small for their age. Now, they needed a playpen.
The two boys began developing “flame point” markings, an unusual peachy color on their ear tips and tails.
“Three-week old family portrait 🥰”
Four Weeks Old
At four weeks, the kittens ran and played and started climbing everything in sight. As you can see, their eyes became a beautiful blue, and they were catching up to the average size for kittens of that age. As flame point kittens, the boys would keep the blue eye color as they grew, Barbra explained. For most cats, their eyes change around six to eight weeks old.
“Hope’s eyes will change and become green or gold, but the little boys, their eyes will stay blue,” she said.
Maybe, Hope will take after Mama Faith and her green eyes?
“What is Faith (mom) thinking? 😹”
“Faith with Honor, and Crown Prince Kitty Cat in the background.”
Five Weeks Old
At five weeks, the kittens are even more playful, but little Hope is still the most energetic by far.
“I think we know who is the troublemaker in the family😹”
Now, Mama Faith is beginning to spend more time with her kittens. Surely, she must be very proud of how they have come along. Thanks to Sundquist, this beautiful family made it and has a chance for happy lives.
“Faith is always with her babies now. This contrasts with the first four weeks of their lives, when she appeared indifferent to them. She fed and bathed them but other than that she didn’t spend time with them. I don’t know what has changed but it’s nice to see ❤️” Barbra posted.
For more of the Virtue Kittens, you can follow along on Instagram.