Kittens are cute, right?
|Bask in our ridiculous adorableness.|
Adorable. Fluffy. So playful. Unfortunately we have to burst the kitten bubble. We have to tell you honestly: they don't start out that way. We don't want to say that they start out homely but...
|We're sure he has a great personality.|
An enormous amount of work goes into building the finished product. And not all stages of kitten development are something for Hallmark Cards.
Kittens come out basically looking like a cross between a soaked hamster and a terrible stuffed toy mistake. They are helpless, blind and deaf and need help with everything. Not just the eating bit...
|Like a small, adorable Gollum with a drinking problem.|
But the bit where they get rid of the eating bit. Yes, the pooping bit.
|We are coming. And we are needing to poo.|
Usually these things are not a problem as they have mother cats that are pretty ace at handling them and are not icked out by the helping-with-the-poop bit.
Unfortunately mom is not always around. Sometimes it's because she's injured or stressed or hurt or because the kittens are purposely taken away. Sometimes it's a case of good intentions gone awry - people see very young kittens without mom and assume they're abandoned. They're usually not - mom just went to grab something to eat or use the restroom but that's a whole other story. Front Street Rescue in Sacramento tells it beautifully and succinctly.
Anyhoo, the long and short of it is we get a lotta little fluffy jellybeans that require a whole lotta care.
|Poooooop time! Get to it!|
Luckily we have amazing foster parents who are willing to take care of the little muffins in their home. They do the bottle feeding, poop-helping and raising them to go be good feline citizens. Foster parents like Kristine and her seven year old daughter Emma, who are foster veterans. Emma even makes special beds for the kittens.
And foster folk like Jessica who gets some help raising her kittens from nanny dog and HSSV alum Maggie.
|I'm a very busy, very tired pibble.|
Jessica not only has fostered a ton of kitties for us, she also runs the cutest instagram EVER.
We're not just writing this as an excuse to fill you up with tons of adorable kitten photos. Oh no. We're telling you this because saving orphaned kittens takes a village. It takes more than a village, it takes a large city. Or something with significantly more population than a village as 'village' implies not very many people at all. It requires a lot of people and a lot of resources.
|Resources like boxes. Lots and lots of boxes.|
Underage kittens can be the most vulnerable population entering shelters. Their immune systems aren't developed. They're totally helpless. And, as cats are seasonal breeders, they arrive in huge numbers, swamping shelters and draining foster home and supply resources. In the past few days we've had over two dozen coming in daily. All need care. All need foster homes. All need forever homes. And all need to be spayed/neutered before going into those forever homes to stem this tide.
The good news is that you can help.
|And yes, we are looking at you.|
If you live nearby, you can foster. While we do have a lot of the super teeny-need-help-to-poo kittens, we also have some that are weaned and pooping just fine but are too young to be in a shelter. Whatever your ability level is, we have some kitties that want to crash with you.
|I can poop by myself, thanks. But I could use a crash pad.|
If you don't live near by but you lurf us, you can help out by purchasing beverages for the underaged. Which means going to our Amazon wishlist and buying Kitten Milk Replacer, bottles, beds and other stuff that we go through by the mountain load during kitten season.
If you don't live near us but want to foster, PLEASE check with your local shelter or rescue. We guarantee somewhere near you there is an organization that is probably in desperate need of your help.
Don't know where that rescue or shelter is? Google it!
|C'mon guys. You don't need to be in Silicon Valley to know how to google.|
Last year we sent over 2,000 kittens out to foster homes. A veritable drop in the national kitten bucket. Yes, they come out looking like damp hamsters. Yes, they need help with the pooping thing. But yes, they deserve happy lives and forever families.
So let's build some kittens.