Saving six abandoned kittens
When a concerned neighbor heard muffled cries coming from a trash can, she took a look and couldn’t believe what she saw. A litter of kittens had been thrown away like garbage. The little bundles of fur, dubbed the “treasure kittens,” were taken to the Best Friends Kitten Nursery in Salt Lake City. Although someone had treated these tiny tykes like trash, from that point on, they would be treated like gems.
The goal at the Best Friends Kitten Nursery is to save 1,200 kittens in 2014. Foster families make this possible by opening their hearts and homes to the precious bundles. While kittens’ care requirements vary from litter to litter, all kittens get the individualized care they need.
Longtime Best Friends volunteers Jane and Steven Hambleton have been fostering kittens for more than four years. They love seeing their personalities emerge, and are happy to help kittens who need the extra TLC their home provides.
“We hadn't heard about the treasure kittens until we picked them up for fostering. Then Jenny Wright, our foster coordinator, told us what had happened to them,” says Steven. “We feel privileged that Best Friends trusts us enough to pick us to foster them. We have had 95 foster kittens and every single one of them was important to us.”
Kittens with delightful personalities
Damian, Mulligan, Micah, Veronica, Cami and Lacey are all doing well now. But their journey to wellness has been a bit rocky. “This was one of the toughest batches that we've ever had,” says Steven. “Three of them got really sick, and we were afraid we were going to lose them.”
But thanks to the dedication of Jane and Steven, they all got better. Best Friends has begun to accept adoption applications in order to match up the darlings with their new people.
“All six of them have very different personalities,” says Steven. “Damian is really self-assured and people-friendly. Micah is just tiny and cute like a little mouse. Veronica is sweet. Lacey is a bit shy, but really good company. Cami is really playful, and Mulligan is one of the sweetest kittens we’ve ever had.”
While their beginnings were bereft of fun and happiness, they’ve made up for it since. “One of the funniest times was when Damian rounded everybody up in the middle of the night and got them all sliding around in our tub,” says Jane. “They were having so much fun and making so much noise that it woke us up.”
A jewel of a rescue
Jane and Steven are sad to see the kittens go off to their new lives, but are happy to have helped them.
While they didn’t feel like they did anything special, getting these kittens healthy, socialized and happy has made all the difference in the world. The treasure kittens went from being discarded to highly regarded, something that committed supporters of Best Friends Animal Society-Utah accomplish every day.
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Photos by Franci DeLong