During the spring and summer months, the ASPCA rescues untold numbers of kittens. Mothers accompany some, but many are orphans. Usually, these kittens are too young to be vaccinated, let alone spayed or neutered and placed available for adoption. Our solution is to place them in temporary foster care.
No one has been more enthusiastic to foster kitten families than volunteer Suki. Born in South Korea, Suki moved to New York when she was four, and currently works for a real estate firm.
"When I was younger, I was blessed with my very own adorable gray Tabby cat who stole my heart at first glance," says Suki. "I named him Precious because he had the most beautiful tear-shaped eyes that resembled the Precious Moments figurines. Having him in my life taught me the most valuable lessons I could learn about companionship, responsibility and unconditional love. Precious was my best friend and was there for me with unwavering loyalty. At ten years old, he was diagnosed with liver failure and passed away shortly after despite all the aggressive treatments we tried to save him. A part of my heart died that day."
"When Precious passed away and I joined the ASPCA Foster Care Program, which gave me the opportunity to honor Precious' memory and show him that he brought the best out of me, and now I can share it with his fellow cats."
Joining our foster program in March 2008, Suki has personally provided foster homes and temporary shelter for more than 80 cats, many of whom have been bottle-fed, litter box-trained, socialized and given special medical care, all by Suki's own hands.
"Sunshine was one of my favorite kittens," Sukie says. "She was born with three legs, but her disability never inhibited her curiosity or her playfulness; I don't think she was even aware of her missing hind leg. Sunshine is a prime example of perseverance and utter joy."
"Cinco, Cecilia and Demille were three kittens I had the hardest time giving up," Suki muses. "Besides being so adorable, I just had a connection with them. Demille was the runt of the litter, so I had to supplement his feeding with bottles, and when you bottle-feed a kitten, he forms a strong bond with you. Cecilia was my girl with sass and lots of sweetness. She would purr when I pet her and never let me down when I wanted a hug. Cinco was always so gracious, a gentle big brother with the cutest little face that would melt your heart."
The ASPCA would not be as successful solving the "kitten conundrum" if it wasn't for the help of dedicated foster parents and volunteers like Suki, who adds: "The ASPCA always thanks me for taking foster families, but I should be the one thanking them. I feel privileged to have these kittens in my home, and I am truly grateful for having this amazing program in my life."