November 28, 2018

News on Nala: Following up on ASPCA Kitten Nursery’s 1,000th Kitten

Nala as a kitten

Four months ago, Nala was celebrated as the 1000th kitten to cross the front door threshold of the ASPCA Kitten Nursery in Manhattan.

Today, the six-month-old cat—now named Finn—is a beloved family member in the home of Jamie S. and Sean H. of Worcester, Massachusetts.

“We’d been looking for a kitten for a while,” says Jamie, who browsed the website of Second Chance Animal Services in East Brookfield, Massachusetts, searching for a new pet. “When I saw his photo, he had the saddest kitten eyes. I said, ‘That poor baby, he needs a home.’”

Jamie and Sean then visited the shelter on September 22. 

“We played with a couple of other kittens, and my husband said, ‘You haven’t even played with the one you wanted,’” Jamie recalls. “Finn was all by himself, and when I picked him up, he curled up in the crook of my neck and started purring. Right away I said, ‘This is the guy!’”

nala as kitten with a vet

A Humble Beginning

Finn was just three weeks old when he was found as a stray in Queens with his sister Nina. Both were brought to the ASPCA Kitten Nursery on July 15 by a Good Samaritan. Dehydrated and suffering from diarrhea, the kittens were placed in a foster home until they recovered and were old enough to be spayed and neutered. 

Around Labor Day, the kittens were transported to Second Chance Animal Shelter, one of several ASPCA shelter partners that routinely accepts animals from the ASPCA and places them up for adoption. 

“The abundance of kittens can cause an overflow of cats in our Adoption Center, and we want to prevent that bottleneck,” explains Cheryl Fazio-Hardwick, the ASPCA’s Transport Manager. Cheryl coordinated the transport of 181 kittens to less crowded shelters in Maine and Massachusetts during this year’s kitten season.

Wendy Hall, Animal Relocation Director at Second Chance, recalls the fuzzy felines as very sweet. “And it wasn’t long before they were adopted,” she adds. (Nina was adopted by another family one week before Finn.)

“It’s an amazing feeling when our kittens get loving homes,” says Karina Josenhans, Logistics Coordinator for the ASPCA Kitten Nursery. “We couldn’t be happier knowing where Finn is now."

Nala at his new home

Finn’s New Life

In his new home, Finn adjusted quickly. He was excited to meet Jamie and Sean’s other cat, two-year-old David—named after the actor David Duchovny. The couple introduced the two kitties carefully at first.

“Finn loves David,” says Jamie. “David puts up with him and he’s pretty patient; they play a lot.”

Finn also loves curling up with Jamie, who has had cats since she was four years old.

“He’s such a lovebug,” she says. “And he purrs like a machine.”

Jamie reports that Finn is very friendly, even to visitors—a testament to the healthy socialization he received from his foster caregiver as well as staff and volunteers at the ASPCA Kitten Nursery. 

Finn can also be mischievous and has tackled more than one roll of paper towels. 

“He does have one funny quirk,” Jamie reports. “When he’s eating he purrs and kneads the food. He must know that food is comfort.”

Finn will never know he was once honored for a milestone moment, but finding a safe and loving home will forever be his most meaningful accomplishment.

Finn was one of 1,669 felines—which includes 1609 kittens and 60 nursing queens—who made their way through the ASPCA Kitten Nursery in 2018, and among the 918 kittens four weeks of age or younger. Since 2014, the nursery has admitted 7,000 kittens, with an average of 1,500 coming in each season.