When I met Kate, she had two cats: Libby and Maggie. When we lived in an apartment, we added a rabbit: Sophia. When we moved into a house, we added a dog: Cooper.
One day, Kate went for a run and rescued two tiny kittens off the street: Poppy and Jack. Unfortunately, Jack had a fatal disease called FIP, and we had to euthanize him after knowing him for only a couple of weeks. Poppy, on the other hand, grew into a big healthy cat. We think he’s a Maine Coon, which is a large breed.
We intended to foster Jack and Poppy and to find them good homes. However, we felt obligated to disclose to potential new owners that Poppy’s brother had the fatal FIP disease. At that point, we realized nobody would want Poppy, so we decided to keep him.
By April 2009, we had three cats, a dog, and a rabbit, if you are keeping count. We had been feeding a stray pregnant cat in the neighborhood at the time. We called her Charlotte. One day, we noticed Charlotte wasn’t pregnant anymore, so we scoured the neighborhood looking for her litter. Charlotte had given birth to seven kittens in our neighbor’s garage in an open suitcase. We volunteered to take them all in, and our neighbor probably let out a huge sigh of relief after we left.
That’s 13 animals in our little home.
We fed, fixed, vaccinated, fostered, and placed Charlotte and six of the seven litter-mates, leaving one little black cat with us. We named him Itty Bitty because he was the smallest runt.
We tried to place Itty Bitty for about a year and a half. Another neighbor took in Charlotte, the momma cat. We asked her if she wouldn’t mind taking Itty Bitty as well.
She took Itty Bitty into her home but returned him to us after only three weeks. Charlotte, his own mother, kept attacking him mercilessly. I guess Charlotte found her cozy little home and didn’t want to share.
We took Itty Bitty back and tried again to place him. We asked friends and family, we placed ads online, and we sought the help of a friend who does a lot of fostering. Local no-kill shelters were all exceeding capacity, probably with an abundance of foreclosure kitties.
Now, with an SMA child, we decided we could no longer foster Itty Bitty. We were left with no real choice but to surrender him to the local SPCA today.
We only knew him for about a year and a half, but we hope they can find him a good home.