How I Made it Through 2020 with Kittens

January 4, 2021   10 Comments »

2020 hasn’t been a normal year – we all know that. But with the end of this year on the horizon – I wanted to give a little love to what got me through this tough year.

Kittens

My normal purpose is showing people the world of travel; ways to travel that they hadn’t thought of or heard of, helping them discover a new destination or experience, or give them the push they need to get over the fears of travel. That is my passion and why I turned that passion into a career. This purpose what motivates me to get up every day and work, write, edit and do what I do.

When that suddenly all came to an end in 2020, I had to find a new purpose and passion. I decided to throw myself into kitten fostering – it would be my new purpose. They became my focus not only because it was important to give them a home, but they were also necessary for me to not feel overwhelmingly alone or depressed that I wasn’t traveling/working.

I channeled my normal travel energy into learning how to foster kittens, and they made it ok for me to be home. They saved me as much as I saved them.

2020 in Foster Kittens

foster kittens

I fostered 13 kittens from March to December. I lost one of them to sickness, and my latest one, Lenny, is still at the shelter and will hopefully be adopted soon.

I’ve seen and done it all this year, from a trapping (inside my apartment) of a semi feral mama cat who hated me, to eye infections, upper respiratory infections, dehydrated kittens, syringe feeding, taming feral kittens, mouth ulcers, diarrhea…lots of diarrhea, and finally kittens with ringworm.

Taking care of kittens are harder than you think. Much like my travels – you see the beautiful parts, the fun parts – but like everything in life – there are ups and down associated with everything. And there are plenty of hard parts to fostering kittens. However, their cuteness and love make up for those hard parts every time.

Little learning to eat and defend his bowl from siblings

Forever Homes

Some stayed 7 weeks, some stayed 2 weeks…and everything in between. It would make me so happy to know that the kittens would go to their forever home to someone that needed them more than I did at that time. And I would get new ones to care for and needed me.

Even though it’s not my responsibility to find them a home (that’s what the shelter does), I was able to find 9 of the 13 their forever homes through friends or followers. That’s what makes me the happiest – mainly because I have a chance of seeing them again and experience the joy of seeing my kittens grown up!

Foster Kittens Grown Up

I’m a travel blogger and really have no business writing about kittens. Most people will never see this post because I only have a handful of people who are interested in my foster kitten antics…but for those people…here it is…My 2020 in foster kittens and where they are now as grown up kittens!

Moira – aka Marshmallow

She was in my first litter of fosters and came to me at about 3 weeks old. I had her for 6 weeks. She was the most laid back kitten I had all year. You could pick her up, her siblings could step all over her, she didn’t care…she was never phased. She went to a home in Denver with an adorable French Bulldog, Piglet (@CityPiglet on Instagram where Moira makes occasional appearances) and I knew she’d be just fine with a dog…because she was fine with everything you threw at her!

Then/Now – Marshmallow Grown Up

A Note from her Forever Family

From the moment we brought her home, she’s been fearless. So little but so mighty. Her favorite room quickly became the greenhouse. She would spend hours scaling the screens, hunting birds and baking in the sun. Our frenchie Piglet showed her the ropes and she’s taken on quite a few dog-like qualities in the past few months. Her one true love is the outdoors. She cries at the door after breakfast and joins us for afternoon walks. When she’s not exploring she can be found napping or snuggling. Her most prized spots are her hammock and the top basket in my closet. Every morning, like clockwork, she jumps on my chest and makes biscuits until I wake up. It’s tuna time. She meows at me constantly. We have deep chats. She is such a perfect addition to our family. It’s hard to imagine life without her now.

Newly Acquired Skills:

  • Has been on 2 flights
  • Grasshopper & Lizard huntress
  • Amazon package opener
  • Fence and Screen climber
  • Sits for dried minnows
  • Has endured a move into our new house

Personality:

  • Attention seeking fluffball
  • Super Talkative
  • Adventurous
  • Loves cooking, especially when there’s cheese involved
  • Obsessed with water
Video from her new family

Thank you for making this all possible. I would love to help foster in the coming year. We are now signed up with Rocky Mountain French Bulldog Rescue, partially as a result of how wonderful this adoption process has been. We can’t wait to help make a difference for another lucky family in 2021.

Thanks!
Tiffany, Adam, Piglet & Moira

Simi aka Brave Little Toaster

3 week old kitten
Brave Little Toaster – first to explore

Also in my first litter with the feral mama – Toaster got his name because he was the first to venture out of the arms of his watchful mother. He was the first to come sniff me and interact with me. He was brave…and he was adorable.

He went to one of my good friends here in Denver so I get to see him often on his little outdoor patio that he loves! He’s a big kitty – and is so handsome!

Then/Now – Toaster Grown Up

Update from Toaster’s new Parent

Brave Little Toaster was adopted on April 30th, 2020, sight unseen by momma Diana and sister Gabbi. BLT brought so much joy into the home, that he was renamed Simcha (Joy in Hebrew), and he is affectionately called Simi.

Simi quickly grew, enjoying time on the back patio, even played Superman a few times on the screen door. He has since grown too big for that shenanigan, weighing in around 8 pounds.

Simi loves his big sister, and they regularly tussle and interact, he continues to have a ferocious purr when his belly is rubbed, and his standard sleeping spot is right above my head, with his sister in front of me. The siblings have yet to ‘cuddle’, but I trust it will happen. For anyone adopting a second kitty, I highly recommend Feliway cat aromatherapy, I know immediately when mine runs out.

Simi loves climbing his tower, exploring boxes and paper, and laying in the sun (esp in his hammock). He continues to bring great joy, and we are so immensely grateful for the gift of Sherry’s early parenting. She comes by to visit when she can, and he always rubs his chins fondly, I am quite sure he remembers that dedicated care.

–Diana

Nilla

kitten toys
Nilla Wafer

Nilla Wafer was the third of that first litter. She was the smallest, but was so kind. I had her for a few extra weeks as she made it to 2 lbs later than her brother and sister. She loved Styrofoam peanuts and to be carried around like a baby!

Nilla went to a volunteer at the shelter for her forever home, but I’m not sure who. I’m sure she’s giving lots of cuddles to her new family.

Tilly

Kitten 4 weeks old
Tilly was stunning…always a diva

Tilly was pretty rough when she came to me – she had a bad upper respiratory infection and her eyes were horrible. And – she had the LOUDEST meow I’ve ever experienced! She cried and cried and cried those first few days…but eventually she got used to me.

Despite her infected eyes – she was beautiful with her little curly ears and spotted tummy. She was an eater…and had this cute little tummy and short legs that made her even more adorable. She was a solo kitten, but after I had her a few weeks, the shelter gave me another foster about her age so that they would have each other. Sadly, Tilly wanted nothing to do with Claude at first…another saga in my fostering!

I know the family Tilly went to – however I haven’t had any updates from them. I know they loved her though!

Stanley aka Claude

Claude
Claude always had food on his nose!

Oh how I loved Claude…he was the happiest little kitten – nothing phased him…not even when Tilly (his step sister) would beat him up. He always had food on his nose because he ate like a little piggy…pushing around the food with his nose!

He lost his voice at one point and had a sad, croaking meow that sounded like he smoked 2 packs a day! He was a lover and a cuddler; he won Tilly over (despite her diva-ness) and they were best buds.

I’ve been to visit him at his new home and loved seeing him just as playful as he always was when he was just a squirt.

Then/Now – Claude Grown Up

Update from His Parents

Stanley (you probably remember him as Claude) is living his best life with his new brother and fur parents who love him to pieces. I (Amanda) just had to rename him because I am huge Golden Girls fan. When I lost my two senior kitties recently, I needed a new friend to keep me company, and Stanley has been the perfect addition to our home and my life. I was so happy when we found him through Sherry.

Stan plays hard and loves hard. His two modes are distinctively crazy kitten, and snuggly sleepy boy. His hobbies these days include ripping apart cardboard anything, chasing fuzzy balls, attacking his own tail, nibbling on mom’s earrings, and annoying and grooming his big brother, Harvey. Harv tolerates Stan’s antics very well, and I know they are going to be the very best of friends.

We did have a bit of a health scare with Stanley late this summer. Within a few days, his appetite and energy plummeted, and a trip to the vet gave us scary news: Stanley had FIP–a usually fatal disease. I was crushed, and refused to accept that his short life would end before he even became an adult. But thanks to a very new treatment, I am so happy to report that Stanley is thriving. He is happy and healthy, and somehow has even more energy than ever before. Nothing has stopped this little boy!

When I first got Stan, he seemed so tiny at 2 and a half pounds and 10 weeks old. Today, he is over 9 pounds and almost 8 months old. I work from home, and I sure love having my boys around all day, every day. Once Stan has gotten tired of knocking office supplies off my desk and stepping on my keyboard, he settles into my lap and purrs away. He likes helping me binge-watch the X-Files, and wakes us up by running laps up and down the bed. The only things he doesn’t like are the vacuum and getting his nails trimmed.

His go-getter personality has helped Harvey come out of his shell, too. I just adore watching them together! Since we adopted Stan during the pandemic, not many friends or family have been able to meet him yet, but he has definitely won over the vet’s office. Stanley brightens up every day, and I look forward to many more years to come with this little fluff monster.

–Amanda

Big (still known as Big!)

kittens
The Big, Medium, Little trio was so fun!

Big, Medium, and Little came to me as the cutest black and white trio – each of them with distinct markings and distinct personalities. But one thing they all had in common was their cuddles. They LOVED people, and loved to snuggle. As you’ll read below, they have all taken that trait to their new homes!

Big Brother
Big being the best big brother to Little

Big was the responsible older brother – he was the leader, and always followed the rules. His white boots made him look regal. But he was always a gentle giant – looking after his ‘little’ brother.

Then/Now – Big Grown Up

Update from Big’s New Home

After waiting what seemed like forever to get Big home, I ended up keeping his name because I had already been referring to him as that. Mostly I call him little boy and punkin pie.

Big has been in and out of the vet for runny eyes, but he is the most playful, ornery, sweet, cuddly boy. He loves to snuggle and have his paws held, he still does his rabbit kicks and is not afraid of anything!

He has slept on the pillow next to me since I got him, so I go to bed every night with a full heart!

Thank you for being such a special part of his journey!

– Kiera

Lucy aka Medium

kitten 6 weeks
Medium always alert and causing trouble!

One word described Medium – Sassy. She was a lover, a trouble maker, and always full of energy! She was the independent middle sister – the first to explore and not afraid to just go play and explore on her own.

Then/Now – Medium Grown Up

Update from her New Home

Lucy is a smart thinking, sassy, & snuggly little girl. And we’re COMPLETELY smitten with her!

In the past few weeks:

  • She’s been learning how to wear a harness & walk on a leash (which makes for great adventures in our backyard).
  • She’s practicing being a true huntress when it comes to catching & eating bugs and checks the wall in the living room daily for the spider that got away last week. 🕷🤣
  • She likes using the blinds as ladder rungs to climb up to the top of the windows for a better view outside or to reach the top of our front room ‘tree’. We’re working on this new trick as it’s not a family fav 🙄
  • She loves to play fetch – and to be honest we’re not sure who’s training whom. She chooses what she wants to chase & then drops it at our feet or beside us on the couch then looks expectantly at us until we toss the chosen toy. Ha!

And while I could go on & on about the things she’s learning & discovering I’ll wrap up w the fact that she continues to be an absolute love. Being held, kissed, snuggled with on the couch/under the covers, snoozing on our laps. You name it she seems to welcome it (as long as it’s not in the middle of play time of course – a girl has to have her priorities 😄).

-AnneMarie

Lafayette aka Little

Little was so tiny when I got him – half the size of his siblings Big and Medium. Quite frankly he was in really rough shape and I wasn’t really sure if he was going to make it. But he had fight…and boy did he have an appetite! He clearly got muscled out of feedings with his mom…but he learned how to stick up for himself when eating from a bowl…normally by standing in the bowl so his siblings could eat from it (see the video at the beginning)!

I had to syringe feed Little at first – and he got stronger and stronger and soon he could wrestle with Big and hold his own!

Then/Now – Little Grown Up

Update from Little’s New Owner

Lafayette is the sweetest boy! He’s super playful and loves to cuddle. Lafee is 7 lbs 7 oz!! They want me to restrict food because he’s getting a belly 😂

He’s so adorable. He loves to be held and is so easy going. I contribute a lot of that to your care!

– Lexi

Cassie

Kitten
Cassie learning to trust me…

Cassie was a scaredy cat when I brought her home. I’m pretty sure I was the first human that she had ever been around. It took a lot of patience but eventually she began to trust me. I taught her how to take out her kitten wrestling on my stuffed donkey. And she wrestled her way into my heart.

Cassie was adopted quickly, and I hope she is loving her new humans!

Westly and Buttercup

This duo was made up of two of the most beautiful (and fluffly) kittens I’ve ever seen. The moment I brought them home they were full of cuddles. It always made me laugh that Westly seemed to be attached to my every step. He’d cry if he didn’t get attention begging me to pick him up. While his independent sister Buttercup was completely fine on her own. She certainly was the alpha in this duo!

They were both adopted on the same day at the shelter, so I’m hoping they found a forever home together!

Diya aka Janie

Foster kitten tortie
Janie

Beautiful little Janie – my first Tortie. I’ll never forget her crazy eyes when she looked at me the first time. It took her a bit to warm up to me but when she did, she was full of energy! All she wanted to do was play. She always loved to sleep at the foot of my bed and eagerly wake me up in the morning letting me know she was hungry!

Then/Now – Janie Grown Up

Update from Janie’s new Home

We were so fortunate to be given your name & number from a friend when we said we were looking for a kitten. We met Janie on the first day of Diwali- the “festival of lights” in India. We fell in love instantly and were able to adopt her.

We both grew up in India & wanted her name to be meaningful so we renamed her Diya (Dee-ya) which is a small earthenware oil lamp used to decorate during Diwali. She is absolutely a bright light! You had calmed her fears & brought out her playful & cuddly side. She could not be more perfect! Every day with her is a delight! She discovers new things every day & loves to run up & down stairs (we had to show how they worked).

She’s been the perfect distraction for Tim as he recovers from knee surgery. If we’re in a different part of the house when she wakes up from a nap she’ll come find us & isn’t afraid of the few guests we have. You did a wonderful job with her!

Iris & Tim

Lenny and Squiggy

foster kittens
Lenny and Squiqqy were in pretty bad shape when I brought them home

These two siblings were brought in with 19 other cats from a hoarder house and all of the cats were in pretty bad shape. I took on Lenny and Squiggy – my most in-danger cats yet. I learned how to administer Sub Q fluids, I gave them meds in their eyes, noses and mouths. And I really thought I could help them.

Sadly, Squiggy didn’t make it and I experienced my first lost kitten.

But that made me even more determined to get Lenny on the right track. It was a long road – but Lenny finally overcame his mouth ulcers and URI. He was such a sweet kitten and when I took him in to be adopted – I found out that he had ringworm! So he’s still in quarantine which breaks my heart. However, when he does get better, he will make someone SO happy – hes so sweet and loving!

If you are interested in adopting him – please let me know!

Fostering Kittens Gave Me Purpose in This Weird Year

I have discovered that deep down inside this 50 year old body that never wanted kids…there are some mothering/caring traits that I have. Having the kittens for short bursts of time satisfied my need to the part of me that wants to take of something, make sure they are safe and happy. It also satiated my desire to mean something to another living thing.

Nothing made me happier than putting the key in my front door and realizing that my kittens are going to be happy to see me. My favorite ones were the ones that came running down the hall to greet me when I walked in. Granted – maybe they weren’t excited to see me but just wanted to see what was outside that door instead! Regardless – it made me happy to be home.

What these kittens did for me in 2020 was give me purpose.

I’m ready to go back to travel – but until then I will keep on taking care of kittens and they will take care of me.

I foster kittens at Dumb Friends League in Denver, Colorado – Learn more about how you can volunteer with them for fostering or other work around the shelter!



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