Last week, it was brought to my attention that there was a drop off at Animal Care & Protective Services of a mother and her 5 recently born kittens. The plan that AC&PS had was to euthanize the mother and bottle feed the babies until they could be adopted. Besides the fact that the mother was naturally equipped to feed her young, the fact that they were going to put her down seemed absurd. So, Kim-poki Walker, friend to any animal in need, called me.
My office at Caribaltes Consulting, LLC has become something of an emergency drop off for animals that are set to be put down and no foster homes can be found. Kim-poki called and she brought the little family over on Friday morning. The mother and her 5 kittens were easily put in a large crate and given a bed, water, food and a litter box. The first day was a little more cautious on the mother’s part, but by the time the staff started to arrive and go “ooooooohhhh kitties!”, they were a fixture.
Over the weekend, they were cared for, but not a lot of attention was paid and that seemed fine with mom and kids. They had all of their needs met so all was good. Then Monday came and this was our first chance to get to “know” them better. We named the mother “Madge” from a inside joke amongst the office and set out to try and name the kittens, but as of now, they look too much alike to tell them apart.
What has impressed all of us the most is that Madge is a fantastic mother. We leave the crate open during the day allowing Madge to roam a little. The kittens just huddle together and sleep. Madge is never far away and always keeps an ear and eye on them. If any of the humans make a move towards the kittens, she is on alert, but not aggressive. She just makes sure we are respecting the line. When we pick a kitten up she gets closer, but doesn’t get neurotic about it. Then when the tiniest peep is heard, she is back in the cage to feed them. She will just lay there, sometimes as long as 30 minutes until they have been fed and are ready for their nap.
She eats afterward, even when food is put down before she is done. Her priority is those babies. The cool part about Madge is she is barely out of kittenhood herself. She is bone skinny, but seems to be in great health. We marvel at the interaction between her and her babies. They are all well-behaved and she is just an incredible mother.
When we think about how she would have been put down, and those babies would not know the love and caring of their mother, it brings about a feeling that is overwhelmingly intense. It feels like such an honor to be allowed to be a part of Madge’s family and watch her interactions and be able to watch these kittens grow. No amount of business or lucrative contracts could possibly compare to the feeling we get when we look upon these sweet faces and their mommy.