Happy ending was in store for mother cat, her kittens
Mamma discovered by grocery workers reunited with babies after shelter sojourn
By TASLEEM MAWJI Wed. Sep 30 - 4:46 AM
Superstore employee Lori Aikens plays with the five rescued kitchens at her Halifax apartment on Tuesday. (Tim Krochak / Staff)
The sight of a tiny black and white kitten and the sound of crying led a manager of the Superstore on Joseph Howe Drive to four more hungry newborns hidden in a storage room.
"She had them hidden really good. . . . It was actually in the wall where she had the kittens, so they had to pull out the wall to get them out," Lori Aikens, an employee at the Superstore, said Tuesday.
Their mother had been found some days before. She was taken home by two employees on the night crew who named her Kipper.
When the Superstore employees found the kittens they immediately thought they belonged to Kipper, but they were unable to contact her rescuers, so they called a veterinary clinic.
The clinic put them in touch with Inge Sadler of Pick of the Litter Society, a seven-year-old rescue organization that specializes in bottle-feeding orphaned kittens and operates from Mrs. Sadler’s home.
She bottle-fed the kittens until Kipper’s rescuers could be contacted.
"They brought the mother cat here and we had a reunion with mama cat and kittens," Mrs. Sadler said from her nursery.
The squeaking of 20 kittens was heard in the background
Mrs. Sadler makes up the entire staff of the rescue society that has seen 264 kittens pass through her home already this year.
While this case had a happy ending, Mrs. Sadler said most lost kittens are never reunited with their mothers because the mother is run over by a car, carried off by coyotes or is too young or too malnourished to care for the litter.
The Superstore kittens were 10-days-old when they were found about a week ago, and about the size of Ms. Aikens’ hand. Kipper is only 10 months old herself.
After the reunion, Kipper and the kittens were taken in by Ms. Aikens on a temporary basis because Kipper’s rescuers didn’t have room for the mother and her kittens in their home.
"I’ve had them for a week now and they’ve grown quite a bit, and the mom’s finally putting a little bit of weight on her," said Ms. Aikens. "She was pretty starving and scrawny."
"There’s a little one that’s all black and that seems to be the one that is a little more timid than the rest. "(It) wanders off a little bit, but the mother’s really good at scooping her back in if she loses her way."
Kipper will be returned to her rescuers after the kittens are weaned. The kittens have already been adopted, even the runt of the litter.
Twenty kittens is the average number that Mrs. Sadler cares for at a time. She said she has been lucky and has always been able to find homes for all her orphans.
But she said Halifax has the same problem other cities do, there are just too many kittens being born to stray and feral cats.
"The number of ones I’ve had to say no to is probably as many as I’ve said yes to," said Mrs. Sadler.
"All of us rescue people are trying desperately together to get HRM on board with a TNR (trap-neuter-return) program so that we can solve this problem."
In a world so full of unhappy tails, its always nice to see stories like this. Not only does Pick of the Litter fill a very important specialized animal rescue niche, but Inge Sadler has been a strong advocate for the kitties long before most people heard of TNR. In fact, their expertise has also saved a few orphaned puppies and last year even five baby squirrels: )))
If you live in Nova Scotia, go to the Community Cat Corner to find out how you can help the folks working for the kitties in your own area.
What time is it? Its always time to remember that everyone has to play their own part to solve this huge homeless cat problem in a humane way:
- the solution starts at home .... spay and neuter your own pets
- let your municipal councillors know that you strongly support municipal funding for TNR ... that you want your tax dollars spent saving lives instead of killing, and as always
- talk, talk, talk. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth.
One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others. Lewis Carroll