Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Fabulous Life of a Foster Caregiver: You Could Be Have That, Too!

Do you have what it takes to become a foster caregiver?

Do you like to play with kittens? Do you like to be covered in kittens clamoring to give you kisses... or tug on your hair? Do you like to hear purring so loud you swear the kitten has to be amped? Do you like to be greeted by a swarm of kittens excited to see you... and the food you bring? Are you prepared to be trapped under a half dozen kittens snoozing contentedly on your lap?

Okay. So fostering isn't always about the good. We do have to clean litter boxes many, many times a day. We have the pleasure of inspecting what was left in the litter box to make sure there aren't (or are) parasites. We have to wipe down walls after a kitten has had explosive diarrhea... or just plain missed the box while in training. Hours later, we then have to wipe the walls down again after a kitten splattered the wall with liquid medication that the kitten did NOT want to take. We have to vacuum (for what seems like daily) to pick up all the tracked litter, crumbs, and goodness know what else is lying on the floor that shouldn't be. We have to wash dishes. Kittens eat a lot. And use a lot of dishes. There will be times when your dishwasher is loaded only with kitten plates and bowls in it.

We worry about kittens who have the sneezes... and then may have to clear our schedules to take one to the vet unexpectedly. We have to worry when a kitten isn't thriving as well as it should. We have to worry that the kitten is going to climb to the top of the bookshelf and not be able to get down for hours... or worse, try to get down all by herself by jumping straight down. Our legs are covered in hundreds of tiny scratches. Kitten nails are sharp and grow fast.

And then there's the anxiety and exhaustion caused by kittens running in every direction and getting into everything they shouldn't (but they think they should). We have to remove a kitten hanging from the curtains while stopping another kitten from tumbling down the stairs and then grabbing something suspicious from another kitten's mouth while suppressing a scream as yet another kitten decides that your leg is meant for climbing...

But after you collapse in a heap on the floor from all the worry and extra cleaning, a tiny kitten crawls onto your crumpled lap, stands up on her hind legs to sniff your face, and then curls up into a ball on your lap, purring away. And that is what makes it all worth it.

Sign up to be a foster caregiver today if you LIKE scratches and cleaning litter boxes because you also like to hear kittens purr.

On-line Foster Caregiver Application Form:

Pauline and Ivy: A Purr-fect Match

Sometimes things just turn out the way they are supposed to, and this is certainly the case with Pauline and her little friend Ivy. Ivy was a stray kitten, born outside in St. Paul this summer and rescued along with her mom Juno and her sisters, the Shoebox Kittens.

Pauline was a stray in North Minneapolis, captured for Trap-Neuter-Return. But the garage where she took shelter burned and was not a safe place to return. Plus, life is hard on the streets for a little cat like Pauline. Volunteers could pet her and tell she was sweet, but she sat in a kennel for a long time waiting for someone to give her a chance and take her home to foster.

Once in her foster home, Pauline continued to seem depressed. She was healthy and ate well but was barely responsive to her foster mom's attempts to interact and make her happy. Then along came Ivy.

Ivy and her siblings Wilson and Pippi came to stay with Pauline for a couple days on their way to another foster home. But when her siblings left, Ivy had to stay behind for medical care, having succumbed to a bot-fly larvae in her eye and a respiratory infection that took two weeks to clear up. Ivy turned to Pauline for comfort. Pauline in turn began to blossom. She protected and cuddled little Ivy. And Ivy taught Pauline to play.

Now that Ivy is back to being a healthy and energetic kitten, the two are bonded and would love to  be adopted together. Pauline is still shy with people, though she waits eagerly for food and other positive interactions with her foster caregiver. Ivy is outgoing and just as loving with people as she is with Pauline.

Adopting this pair together would be fun and rewarding. They are just meant to be together. If you think they might be meant for you too, contact Molly for more information: call 651-295-37589 or email

Monday, August 17, 2015

Momma Cats Looking for Homes

Feline Rescue has some very sweet, gorgeous moms in foster care who are looking for a home of their own.

Clementyne came into foster very pregnant and gave birth to four babies. Clemmie (as her foster family affectionately calls her) also nursed and cared for two orphaned kittens as her own.  Clemmie is an affectionate girl and would love a nice warm lap of her own to curl up in.  She gets along well with the other adult cats in her foster home. Her son Mandarin is also still available for adoption and would be a perfect companion for Clemmie.

Mandarin napping

Clemmie's glamour shot

Ada was a homeless momma cat trying to care for her four kittens.  Their rescue was coordinated through Feline Rescue's outreach program.  Her kittens have all been adopted, her two girls found a home together and her two boys also found a home together.  Now it's time for this beautiful girl to find her own home. Ada is a bit shy when first meeting new people but is very affectionate with her foster family and also does just fine with the other adults cats in her foster home.

Moms like to play too

Ada chillin'

Little Bird came into rescue pregnant and homeless.  She had a difficult labor ending in a C-section.  Three of her babies passed away but she continued to nurse and care for four healthy happy babies.  Birdie, as her foster family also calls her, loves to follow her foster mom around the house.  Three of her kittens have been adopted. Birdie's daughter Sparrow will be ready for adoption soon and they would be a wonderful pair.  Birdie would certainly love to continue to have one of her kittens as a companion.

Little Bird and babies

Vera and Vanessa had a bit of a journey to Feline Rescue.  Vera and Vanessa are sisters who each gave birth to five kittens one week apart on the White Earth Reservation in Northern Minnesota.  They were transferred to Red Lake Rosie's Rescue and then traveled to St. Paul to Feline Rescue.  These moms are easy going, sweet girls.  They cared for their kittens together (all ten of their kittens found homes quickly) and are best friends so they need to be adopted together.  Their foster family has even observed them walking side by side tails entwined.



Monday, August 10, 2015

Meet Paul & TJ of 'An Engineer's Guide to Cats' fame!

Meet the Engineers 2015

Paul and TJ of 'An Engineer's Guide to Cats' fame
Feline Rescue Adoption Center
593 Fairview Ave N, St. Paul
Wednesday, August 12
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

You've seen them on Youtube - now see them at Feline Rescue for a pre-Internet Cat Video Festival event where you can also get your festival t-shirt autographed (suggested donation of $5) and visit Feline Rescue cats.

If you haven't seen their fun videos, check out their YouTube channel and see two professional engineers illustrate the proper care and practical benefits of cats.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Adventures of the Shoebox Kittens

Sneakers and Penny Loafer, the Shoebox Kittens, were enjoying the summer outside with their family. They were oblivious to the dangers surrounding them: traffic, predators, parasitic flies, heat, eventually impending winter, and all sorts of other hardships. Their Momma Juno was not so carefree. It’s hard work caring for 5 oblivious, wandering children in the city. Juno was a young house cat who somehow ended up a stray, unprepared for living on the streets or for motherhood.
Some neighbors noticed the little family and decided to bring them in to safety. Since mom was skittish and had raised her kittens to be wary too, they would all have to be live trapped. And one by one, they were. It took bowls of food, a wildlife camera to pin-point feeding schedules, and lots of waiting around by the dedicated rescuers.


Coming inside didn’t feel like being rescued to the kittens. They weren’t used to people up close or to houses with walls and stuff. It was scary to end up in a cage in someone’s living room. Mom went off to the vet to be spayed. And the kittens split up into groups to be socialized (in other words, to be forced to get used to people).
Before arriving in their foster home, Sneakers and Penny Loafer made a quick stop at the vet themselves. Penny Loafer, a little two-pound kitten, had an open sore 2 inches wide that was infected, and she smelled rotten. Turns out, her neck had been inhabited by some cuterebra fly larvae. If you’re wondering if that’s as gross as it sounds: yes actually it is. The worm was removed, and Penny was sent home on antibiotics, which she took like a champ.
In fact, Penny Loafer eats pretty much anything like a champ. Food seems to be her favorite thing about living inside. Within the week, little Penny Loafer had gained almost a pound. Her little sister is careful to stay out of the way so big sister doesn’t sit on her. 
The kittens were placed in a kennel to be socialized. This way, they are forced to be near people and to be handled. Otherwise, the kinds of things they might have become acquainted with would have been the inaccessible space behind the furnace, the inner workings of the sofa sleeper, and the dust bunnies under the bed.

Learning to be loved

At first, human hands looked very scary to Sneakers and Penny Loafer.  Between all the trapping, grabbing, vetting, and medicating, they had never really seen hands used for anything good. But they quickly learned that when a person strokes you, it feels a lot like it did when Momma Juno would groom you. And soon the kittens were purring up a storm at the first sign that a pet was coming.

Inter-species friendship is all about establishing trust. Food is one of the best ways for a person to earn a cat’s trust. Sneakers and Penny Loafer were served three meals a day of delicious wet food (plus treats!) by their foster family. The girls soon caught on to the routine and soon were running towards people instead of away. People coming meant good things were coming.

The next way the kittens learned to let down their guard was through play. An orange pipe cleaner or a satin ribbon tied to a stick proved too much to resist. Penny Loafer was the first to succumb to the urge to pounce. And soon Sneakers and Penny Loafer were pouncing on all sorts of toys.

The shoebox

Once Sneakers and Penny Loafer had mastered some of the typical housecat behaviors like playing, purring for pets, and going bananas at mealtime, it was time to be introduced to other aspects of the housecat lifestyle. Problem was the kittens were very reluctant to be held. (And their foster mom has the tooth and claw marks to prove it.) So the kittens were introduced first to a shoe box, which they took a liking to right away. What cat doesn’t love a box?

As long as the kittens were in their box, they felt secure. Their foster mom took them for rides around the house in their box several times a day. They saw the house, saw the resident cats doing normal cat things, and even met the dog this way. 
Now new surroundings don’t seem so scary. Penny Loafer even took the box to the vet for her follow-up visit (she’s healing well). The more comfortable they get, the more the kittens start to think outside the box. Sneakers especially now has the urge to explore. (And by the way, Momma Juno—and not the kittens— is the cardboard chewer.)


Next adventure

The Shoebox Kittens are almost ready to put all their lessons together and move to the next level—at your house. They will do great with a patient family. Set them up in a smaller room at first, feed them according to the routine, and bring their box along.  

If you want to be part of the next great adventure of Sneakers and Penny Loafer, contact Molly for more information about adopting them: call 651-295-3758 or email

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