Yes, he’s darned cute! And really bad! A typical kitten.
Meet Foster, who’s having the time of his little kitten life. Foster Failure is his full name, because he was so incorrigibly cute that his foster mom had to keep him.
Foster has a home today, but just a few weeks ago his future was uncertain. At just about five weeks old he was rescued from a home where a neighbor had seen his owner put a rubber band around his testicles, sort of a clever home-remedy neuter. This is also known as animal cruelty. The neighbor got the kitten and removed the rubber band and contacted Pittsburgh Feral Cat Movement about rescue and temporary foster. After a flurry of messages on a Facebook post, one person offered to get the kitten in a bad part of a town outside of Pittsburgh, then a series of people would get the kitten to the person who had offered to foster.
It’s almost funny now, especially when he’s so cute and bad and playful, and no permanent damage was done. But it’s a reminder that people do things like this every day and animals suffer for it. Some people are intentionally neglectful, cruel or abusive, others are uninformed or have other ideas of appropriate care for pets. In all cases, we have to find a way to reach them and stop them before they harm or kill an animal.
I don’t have any one single answer to this problem, but one thing that has worked in many cases is just talking to people, getting to know your neighbors and co-workers, even relatives, and talking about them to their pets to see how they take care of them and if they need any help with the necessary basics. I’ve often found people who either couldn’t afford spay/neuter or who had no transportation, and friends, relatives or agencies who were happy to help with their personal daily living needs but weren’t interested in helping them with their cat. I’ve also found people who have some “interesting ideas” about what was necessary for a cat, and when and how care should be given and then had the opportunity to enlighten them. And it’s never a bad thing to get to know people who love animals, and though sometimes views can differ widely in how we care for our cats and other pets you may just as likely be helping them solve an issue, and widening the circle of caring rescue for animals. We who love animals are their voice.
But it can never hurt to keep your eyes and ears open, watching and listening for clues to where cats are and how they are being cared for, and speak up when you hear of cruelty and an animal who needs to be rescued from an abusive situation. Keep up-to-date information on low-cost services to share with people as well as humane resources and keeping in touch with others who rescue to share ideas or backup in a rescue situation if needed. This one rescue of Foster took four people and a veterinary clinic ready to receive him for exam as soon as he was rescued.
You read about many other rescues here, and every day another rescue is carried out by willing volunteers who can’t see an animal suffer. Several weeks ago a family of cats was spotted at someone’s workplace, a male cat was trapped and a female cat with several kittens of various ages in tow was also spotted, limping with an injured leg—volunteers spent two days in the pouring rain at the end of last week and were able to catch a few of her kittens as well as her. Her leg was amputated at the clinic, and who could imagine the pain from her injury or how she would survive the winter that way?
And if PFCM, the Homeless Cat Management Team and Frankie’s Friends didn’t work together to rescue and treat kittens like Foster there would simply be a lot more cruelty and pain for animals. Consider donating to Frankie’s Friends, through which all the spay/neuter and veterinary care are done at the HCMT clinic in Tarentum; information is below.
P.S. You haven’t seen the last of the photo of Foster, above! the person who adopted him suggested I paint him at just abut the same time I decided I’d like to! My goal is for next year, to paint him and a few other rescued cats in holiday attire to sell the art and cards and other items to benefit the organizations who rescued the cats.
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Home for Christmas
These two cats are Molly and Romeo, and despite Molly’s sour expression she’s as sweet as can be, but she’s warning you not to try to split the two siblings up—they had been adopted but cried for each other, and are now looking for a home together. According to their foster home and those who know them, they are total love bugs. They are at the PetSmart in Cranberry, north of Pittsburgh, where you can meet them and adopt! They are spayed and neutered and are up-to-date on shots, ready to join your household.
And if you are considering adopting a cat or kitten, consider one of the cats or kittens who’ve appeared on this site. Most of the cats and kittens rescued through PFCM have gone on to a shelter or rescue organization for adoption services after their veterinary care, but if everyone is full they stay with their foster home. All the cats are spayed or neutered and up to date on shots, plus you can talk directly to the person who fostered them about personality and physical and emotional needs, so you’re a step ahead when you adopt a fostered kitten.
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How you can help homeless cats and their caretakers
Lots of cats and kittens have Frankie’s Friends to thank for their lives, including critical veterinary care for injured or ill rescues to providing winter shelter and food for cats living outdoors. And where there used to be a break in the flow of kittens during the winter months, there are kittens nearly all year round now.
From the rescues taken in to find another home to the cats who end up living outdoors because there is no home for them dedicated individuals volunteer their time, expertise and money to feed and provide shelter for all these cats, in all seasons, every day of the year. Right now we are headed for the often deadly winter months where sturdy straw-filled shelters are needed to be built and maintained for cats living outdoors, and often critical emergency veterinary care is needed for kittens born in the cold, and cats suffering injuries caused by or made worse by wintery weather along with the usual street injuries and, unfortunately, abuse.
All photos courtesy the cats’ foster homes.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
Yes, Barney and Fred are still looking for homes!
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.