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ASPCA Happy Tails: Foster Kitten Becomes a Forever Pet

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 2:30pm
Tiny orange kitten

At the ASPCA, we have nothing but love for the members of our Foster Care Program. These generous, kind-hearted people open their homes to young, sick, or small animals that are not yet ready for permanent placement, and give them love and comfort until they’re ready to move on. So when we heard about Leia, a tiny kitten who won the heart of her foster mom, we had a feeling she was something special. We tracked down Emily H. to find out just how Leia went from temporary resident to full-time family member. Here is their very Happy Tail.

“When I first met Leia, she was so tiny,” recalls Emily. “She was smaller than her littermates, Han Solo and Padme, and she wouldn’t eat.” An expert foster mom, Emily syringe-fed Leia baby food for a week to help her gain some weight and find her appetite. The Force must have been strong back then, as the intimate feeding experience bonded the two in a way that Emily could not deny. “When the other foster kitties went back to the shelter to find their forever homes, I already knew that Leia’s forever home was with us.”

In the year since her adoption, Leia has grown into a perfect pet. Thanks to Emily’s persistence, the teeny kitten mastered the art of eating—in fact, Emily is thinking it might be time to cut back! She is so curious and playful that it’s almost easy to forget how timid and small she once was.

A true testament to the power of fostering, Emily left us with an encouraging message. “Shelters are full of beautiful cats with incredible personalities, and I cannot recommend the foster program enough. Your new best friend might be waiting for you right now at the ASPCA!”

For more information on Fostering, please visit the ASPCA Foster Program Page. To submit your own Happy Tail, email [email protected] and we might feature it on the blog!

Orange cat laying on its back with paws raised

Three orange kittensWant to read more ASPCA Happy Tails?

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Lisa

She is gorgeous and I love the Star Wars names. I nicknamed our two previous foster, now permanent, kittens Jarjar and Chewbaka. They and their two siblings were also tiny, undernourished, and sickly when they cam to our home to be fostered by my daughter. They are now over a year old and very healthy. Leia and our two may never have had chance were they not fostered.

Rosa Caldwell

Thank you Emily for fostering and adopting this precious baby. Thanks to all the foster parents. We couldn't live without them. Often times they do leed to forever homes. I think that is part of their cuteness.

Antoinette, Mid...

Hello, My name is Antoinette and I want to thank the A.S.P.C.A for all their help and to all the good,generious and beautiful people who help animals. This was another wonderful job that was well done. God bless you all !!!! I have a lot in commen with all of you. I have three cat's at home and they are all clean ,spoiled and very happy. I also foster care kittens and I do a great job. That is how I ended up with three cat's. One I adopped at North Shore and the other two I have foster cared for. My last batch was 5 kittens from the bronx. My boyfriend's workers found them in an abandom home which he was restoring, he was feedingbthe Mother cat and watching them for about a week, he could not get the Mother cat. He called me because he knows that I am the cat and puppy whisper and said, listen... I have 5 kittens on my hands here and one is dying can you help them. I said why did you even wait one week, I said absolutly, yes. He brought them to me and I set up my triage and was waiting for them to arrive. He brought them over to me in a box and had to cover them in a black plactic bag so they would not jump out or get hurt. They were only 4 weeks old. I had a job on my hands. I told him to go to petland discounts and get what I needed to make them survive. I always buy the kittens milk and the powder form. He came bach to me again and said "I do not know why they called that place discount when it is not". I told him to shut up. I received them on Christopher Columbus Day, I had 3 boys and 2 girls and I named them all. One was Columbo,Lucky because he was dying, Gabby and Gracie. I cleaned them up and feed them and brought Lucky to my vet. My Doctor Kenneth Kamer in Astoria exmined him and told me what to do and I did it. Doctor Kamer said to me do noe expect him to live throught the night and he also said to me , but he has a strong heart, that is all I needed to hear. With that I worked very hard on them all. I had two carrieries, but I knew I needed somthing bigger. So I went to Bobbie and the strays and told her my story she was very kind and let me borrow a big cage so they can grow and be safe. I bottle feed all of them, they got bath's and they all got medicine to get healthy. I called North Shore Animal Leauge and They loved my cat's and took them at about 10 weeks old. Little Lucky lived he was the runt of the bunch, he was gray and he looked like a little squrrel, but I kepted one cat the orange one who was Simba. I wish I could have kepped them all. I cryed so much and I made North Shore promise me that they would go to GOOD HOMES. I whish I had this on video tape. My boyfriend said to me not many people could do what you did. Granted I was not working at the time and still not, because it is very hard to find a good job now a days, but that is besides the point. I wish I could have kept them all. They were all very happy kittens and I hope the people who adoppted love they just as much as I did and even more. They are always in my thought and pryers. God Bless Them Always. My second grown cat I found when she was at three weeks old again with my boyfriend had a very bad eye infection I said to him she is going to be blind so right away we took her to the vet and got her medicien she was 8 oz. She also survied she is today a big cat and very happy and spoiled, yes she is blind, but she is very smart and is the love of my life

Mesha Casteil

Antoinette, my sweetie.... you sound just like myself when I started out 44 years ago. Some of my story is in a comment I left just a few below yours, here. But I just had to say that in reading your story, I could SO understand, and feel your pain and passion in what you were going thru, when you were in the throes of your rescue, .... AND in the re-telling of it. YOU are one of the SPECIAL ONEs. You have that 'Fire', 'gift', 'passion', and THANK GOD!! ... the TENACITY to be one of the BEST in this v-a-s-t task to save precious lives. ...I wont forget you and your story. You are yet another who has left a wonderful warmth in my heart for how BIG your heart IS. MAY GOD SO TRULY BLESS YOU IN EVERYTHING. Mesha

kelly

shes so adorable and she looks so happy .Thank the good lord above for good hearted person you are ,this makes my heart smile for I am a cat lover myself

Diane

Emily - What a wonderful service you provide by fostering. It is so nice to see somebody with the patience to help a kitten end up having a wonderful life. I am sure Leia will always reward you with lots of love!

Mesha Casteil

... well, what can I say, my Bible says there are Angels walking everywhere among us, "unaware to us"!! That's the closest thing to being what these people ARE who do the Loving Acts these individuals DO. I don't see my self as an angel, but I have lost count, at 57yr.s old how MANY I actually have rescued over 44 years. Cats, dogs, birds, raccoons, rabbits, opossums, moles, fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, bats, and on, and on....* Being Native American Cherokee, it's all natural to me. But those SPECIAL, 'every-day', sort of people are the HEROs!!! And I LOVE'm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DONT EVER GIVE UP, this problem is NEVER gonna' go away. Even as old as I am, AND in a wheelchair now, I just took on a feral, young, mother-cat with F-I-V-E wild, very sick babies (two years ago). They are ALL completely tame, loveable, healthy, and 'RULE!!' (My antique, lace curtains now hang in tattered 'memories'.)
BLESS YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO, DEAR GOD, MAY HE BLESS YOUR EVERY EFFORT & NEED IN LIFE............... I am Mesha Casteil

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