A mini-panther kitten wound up abandoned and found herself in a shelter. But soon, she would join a “mini-panther palace”, in a kind foster mom’s home.
In early July 2022, rescuers at Helen Sanders CatPAWS in Seal Beach, California, shared the story of Brooke, the kitten. The nonprofit has a mission to rescue at-risk public shelter cats and TNR (trap, neuter, return) efforts as started by Helen Sanders before the TNR method even had a name.
First, the rescue took in the five-week-old black kitten from a shelter in Los Angeles. At the time, Brooke was covered in fleas and needed a bath. She also had a limp from an injury to her rear leg. However, they were confident the kitten would soon recover in a special foster home.
Even though it’s the busy season for rescues everywhere, they were fortunate to find someone ready to take care of Brooke. A kind foster care provider named Bev bottle-feeds kittens and has a particular fondness for mini house panthers. In the home, she has many black kitties, and all of them are rescues.
Ultimate Mini-Panther Palace
On the foster mom’s Instagram, someone noticed this looks like the “ultimate Panther Palace.” Clearly Brooke has arrived in a great place to grow. Here, the foster mom often takes care of mini panthers since they can still be at a disadvantage in shelters.
“Some people have asked why it seems I’m always fostering black kittens,” Bev shared in April. “Black kittens get passed up more than any other color of kitten. Our rescue, I’m proud to say, pulls a large number of black kittens from the shelter, and if they’re single bottle babies, I usually foster them,” she explained.
Here are the beautiful mini-panthers that Brooke would soon be joining below:
Quarantine for Brooke
When Brooke was strong and ready, she would join many new friends. So, she will grow up well-socialized and have everything she needs. For the time being, Booke would need to stay in quarantine. So, she stayed in a playpen, but she could see the others, including a black kitten named London.
“Remember one of our recent rescues, Brooke? Right meow, she is still in her playpen, quarantined from other fosters,” the rescuers shared on Instagram.
By keeping her apart, it helped prevent the spread of any potential illness.
“This is our protocol with all new fosters coming into a foster home where there are already kittens there. It’s a precaution we take against any possible illness they could be harboring or other issues like ringworm,” they continued.
Nevertheless, London wanted to play with Brooke outside the playpen.
“…Brooke’s friend London says… just because Brooke is still quarantined in her playpen doesn’t mean she can’t play! Look at London making the best of the situation and finding a way to play with her new friend!😺”
Brooke Joins the Mini-Panther Line-Up
When Brooke’s quarantine was over, she joined seven little rescued mini-panthers. Eight panthers in all, and all about the same age. As cute as this is, it shows how many kittens need help. The nonprofit rescue, like many, generally relies on a handful of foster providers and donations from caring folks to make it all possible.
Helen Sanders and the Jetty Cats
After the kittens are old enough (generally around 10-12 weeks), they will be ready to start new lives. Somewhere out there, the kitties will bring their furever humans love, companionship, and funny antics over a lifetime. Without caring folks like Bev and Helen Sanders CatPAWS, there couldn’t be this wonderful beginning.
To help, you can share this story, follow Helen Sanders CatPAWS on Instagram and Facebook. The facility was named for Helen Sanders, a volunteer who worked for the city’s feral cat colony called the “Jetty Cats.” She passed away in 2005 at age 65, but always dreamed of the center named in her honor. In 2012, her son was there for the dedication of the no-kill facility.
“My mom was praying for this for years,” said Paul Sanders, 52, of Westminster. “This is what she always wanted … a place where we could take care of the cats,” he told the Orange County Register.
The city of Seal Beach donated the property for the shelter in the 60s.
Top: “A picture of Helen Sanders with a plaque honoring her as “Passionate Protector and Devoted Guardian of Homeless Cats” hangs in the new 14-room, 2,400-square foot shelter named in her honor.” via Orange County Register. Bottom: image via Helen Sanders website.