Let me set the stage. Four years ago on May 8, 2019, we ‘plucked’ an orange fluff ball from our backdeck. The next day, we were accepted as a kitten foster home by Pittsburgh CAT and over the next five days, trapped the entire litter – all five of them. You may remember then as Sun Volt, Galileo, Furiosa, Artemis, and Muriel. The OG Foster Kittens.
Before I ponder that adventure, let’s jump to the fun part – four years later, another litter of five kittens landed in our bathroom thanks to Pittsburgh CAT. Meet the #FayetteFive: Liesl Obrecht, Selina Wu, Cyrus, Cesar (say-ZAR), and Higgins
These are their stories.
On May 5, 2023, a very nice woman near Uniontown in Fayette County found kittens. In her shed! She called a local TNR expert who told her how to secure the kittens in the shed and jumped into action. Once she realized the kittens were in the window to be socialized, that rescuer connected with Pittsburgh CAT.
So we scooped them up and brought them to their new temporary home.
Fun facts – two sets of kittens are lookalikes. The gray ladies are exact identicals who have to have marks inside their ears so we can tell them apart. We named them Liesl Obrecht and Selina Wu after two badass female characters on General Hospital. Yes, I was calling a community cat Liesl Obrecht, but her actual caretakers calls her Grandma so I reappropriated the name.
The other lookalikes are the black and white boys. Their markings and eye colors are different but you really gotta look. We named them Cyrus and Cesar (say-ZAR) also from General Hospital.
The fifth is a male brown tabby. We named him Higgins.
They were a little hissy when they first came into foster care. Not over the top, but they will need to be socialized so they can find good homes. We began as soon as we arrived home last night. We were able to pick each cat up several times with only a very few hisses that stopped once they were in our hands. They explored the bathroom – it is a little big for kittens this age, but it is safe for them.
Kittens and cats need hiding spots. We use a crinkle fish tunnel because it is easy to clean and sanitize between fosters and when new wee foster kittens poop everywhere. We also have beds, litter pans, a few toys, and a feeding station. Plus, a hamper for dirty pet laundry, trash can, etc. And the nanny cam aka the source of all delights.
Personality wise, there’s not much to know. Higgins is brave – first out of the carrier, first to pop his head out from the fish when we enter the room, first to eat. But he still puts out a little hiss vibe that may be him protecting his crew. He’s playful. The gray girls are a bit bashful, but exploring the room. Cyrus and Cesar tromp around with that little kitten swagger. While it is easy to think the twinsies would pair off, that’s not always true – it literally is a guessing game as to which cats are rolling in front of the camera. As they settle in and grow, we’ll start to notice their unique identities and behaviors to get the names right.
In honor of this latest foster group, our fosteriversary, and Mother’s Day, I set up a WISH LIST
It has been awhile since we had wee kittens and when I realized that we need everything, it hit me that as kitten season unfolds – a lot of foster groups, rescue groups, TNR groups could probably use items for their kitten fosters. Obviously, food. But as I was setting up the bathroom, I realized the wee litter pans needed to be tossed because they were too scratched to be sanitized. A bunch of our pee pads were dingy or had small tears – things are fine with older animals but not week kittens. Even our scale had given up the ghost. This was reinforced today when I went through an entire roll of paper towels cleaning up rounds one and two of d+. I was sure we had a good stockpile, but now that list for Target is growing.
The thing with wee kittens is you need wee little boxes, wee scoops, shallow dishes, and so many things. I understand not everyone can foster kittens, but perhaps you can make a donation to help all the lovely people are stepping up to do this work.
Here’s the wishlist –> https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/C85WAOOUIFPA/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_2
All donations will be divided between the folx who are part of our PghPetFolxProjects and includes Pittsburgh CAT. They will cover the veterinary expenses so bringing in a lot of supplies is a huge help.
You can also donate financially to buy these supplies:
Paypal bit.ly/PayPalPLC (no fees)
Facebook.com/PittsburghLGBTQ click Donate Button
Checks can be made payable to “Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities” and mailed to 1439 W. North Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15233
So let me go back to the beginning to wrap up this post. Since we began fostering, we’ve had 29 foster kittens and/or cats in our home. We’ve learned how to use a syringe, check the temperature of a kitten, the importance of poop and weight to monitor the health, the importance of socialization, how to treat a spiking temperature at 2:30 AM while also putting on slippers and grabbing car keys, the multitudes of diarrhea and puke that can come from a 2 lb critter that desperately needs rehydrated, the best meds for worms, all kittens will have worms, wash your hands even more than you thought, and so much more.
We do weep when they leave, but it is a mixture of sadness and joy knowing they are healthy and heading to a whole new world. We’ve been so fortunate that none of our fosters have been returned and all the families stay in touch with us. We are so grateful that all of fosters survived kittenhood to cathood and we’ve been spared that terrible loss. We are grateful to have some adult cats of our own who are good at helping the foster kittens learn skills like “don’t bite the bigger cat” and “how to find the nearest hiding spot” and “to cuddle or not to cuddle” assessment tools.
And we are grateful for all these opportunities to help our communities and neighborhoods, one kitten and one cat at a time.
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