Today, I hugged a stranger. Actually, I stood outside with my arms wrapped around her as we both sobbed. I don’t know her name. In fact, I don’t know anything about her except that I jumped up from my seat at the Vet’s office to open the door for her as she walked out with a large cardboard box and a shattered face.  I walked outside with her, wordlessly,  as I took the keys from her hands, unlocked the door and helped her place the box on the seat. Then I looked at her face, and folded her into my arms, and we both cried. After a few minutes, we sniffed, and I told her I was sorry. She said, “This is the most responsible heartache I have ever had”.  She looked at me and said, “I know that I gave her a good home and  she was loved and it was the right thing to do, but this stinks.”.  I agreed, and we hugged again, wiped out eyes and went back into the vet’s office.

Ashton, one of our foster kittens, who later died from Fading Kitten Syndrome.

When I walked in, Ally was waiting for me, crying silently as well.  She and I sat waiting for our foster kittens, weeping for that poor woman. Our family has been providing foster care  for animals for over 20 years. We were at the Vet to get our foster kittens, the 5SOS (5 Seconds of Summer Kittens) vaccinated so they can go to the shelter tomorrow to hopefully find homes. These 4 kittens were taped shut in a box and dumped outside at our vet’s office in 90 degree heat. Two of them nearly died from dehydration and heat exhaustion. I sat up all night the first night feeding them glucose water with an eyedropper to help them rebound. I did a good job, they are all over 2 pounds and happy, healthy, playful and adorable kittens.  I spent many hours and lots of money we didn’t have to feed, train and take care of these kittens to prepare them to be adopted. The shelter I work with,  The Animal Welfare Society, will work hard to find great homes for them and they’ll be happy and loved.  They’ll also be spayed or neutered before they go to their forever homes.  I think about all those kittens, I wonder: will someone cry when their time comes?  Will someone softly stoke their heads as they look up gratefully for release? Will someone feel the purring that says, “Thank you for taking care of me, for loving me, for giving me a chance, and knowing when to let me go?”

I have 5 foster kittens and their Mama in my Cattery today, and there are 4 more waiting for me to pick them up  to foster until homes can be found for them.   None of these cats would be needing homes and sanctuary if their mothers had been spayed.   Please, spay and neuter your animals.