I have been meaning to write this post for over a month now, and I know people have wondered about the status of this latest round of foster kittens. Every so often I’ll get questions about them on Instagram that I can never answer completely because that would take more time typing out an answer via text than I can tolerate. For those of you just joining us, my Mom is a cat whispering-wizard and she is a registered cat colony caretaker to a group of homeless stray and feral cats who live on skid row downtown. As long as I’ve been alive (longer, really) she’s been trapping and healing and adopting out cats and kittens as well as spay and neutering feral cats to keep down the population. She recently trapped two kittens, brothers, and sent them our way since we don’t have giant dogs as they do and could devote time to socializing and helping them recover their health and strength. The first one was a little white fluff of a dude with a gray smudge on the top of his head. We named him Skippy and Isobel fell deeply in love. The second arrived a couple weeks later and he was a black-and-white tuxedo cat with a broken tail and adorable stubby little legs. He also had a black marking near his mouth that looked just like a handlebar mustache and at the insistence of the little girl in the family who would adopt him we called him “Meowstache” but thanks to the creative imagination of Angela I think he primarily goes by “Kitler.”
Everyone who came by the house adored Skippy. This is not an exaggeration. Everyone adored Skippy. Not only was he white and fluffy and adorable, he was the most mellow kitten my mother has ever seen in her life, which is saying a lot. Friends and family would come over and Skippy would climb right up on them and curl up in a little ball in the crook of their neck. He wasn’t the sort of crazy, destructive kitten we’ve come to know and love. He just wanted to cuddle anyone and everyone all day long. I honestly believe he had healing powers and we all joked he was the perfect therapy cat. Several friends tried to convince spouses and partners and family that they needed this cat in their lives. We nearly found him a home four or five times as people lined up to take home little Skipperdoodle. In each case it just wasn’t meant to be and Isobel would let loose a huge sigh of relief. It was hard for her to let go of Meowstache and while he was here she spent most of her time like this.
Another obstacle in letting go of Skippy was the strong bond he immediately formed with senior resident alpha male cat, Zorro. We adopted Zorro as a young kitten who, though he was small, possessed a mighty flaming orange tail. He looked so much like a fox my Mom suggested we call him Zorro, which is Spanish for fox, and that suited him and us just fine. In less than a year this cat grew and grew and showed no sign of stopping. We eventually discovered he was a Maine Coon, the largest breed of cat, and a male no less, and now he’s in his sunset years and weighs a whopping 30lbs. He is the largest domestic cat I’ve ever seen, which made it even more adorable when Skippy started purring at the first sight of him and decided that this cat right here, this hulking orange beast, was an ideal replacement for his mother.
Zorro resisted at first, mostly because Skippy would try to nurse his mancat-nipples, but there’s nothing Zorro enjoys so much as an enthusiastic nap partner, and now they are inseparable. Who knew that Zorro would become a mother so late in life? No one saw that coming but their relationship is beautiful to behold.
Even though we’ve done lots of legwork to get Skippy and Meowstache adopted, and as I’ve said from the beginning, these are strictly foster kittens, our main job was to socialize them and get them healthy. They were both filthy and malnourished when they arrived and although they weren’t feral they had a long way to go to become socialized. (Isobel took her socializing duties very seriously.) My Mom was supposed to be the driving force behind the adoption process while we served as a safe harbor for them. Life gets in the way, sometimes, and my Mom ended up having her hands full managing a serious health condition that affected my father. Anthony sustained a serious injury and required surgery, and I found myself unexpectedly pregnant. Life happened and fate intervened and we’ve called off the search for Skippy’s new home.
He’s found his home. It’s here with us.