28 Dec Meet My Rescue Kittens
My RSPCA Rescue Kittens Simba and Bamboo
Early this year our British Blue Poppy died in a horrible accident. She was only eight years old. It had been a long time since having a pet die and I had forgotten how heart wrenching it can be. At one point all four of us were huddled together on the sofa crying: truly a moment that has bonded the family but one we could have honestly done without. I decided not to get another cat for a while but, working from home, the absence of Poppy was overwhelming. I missed having her sat next to me as I worked, or hearing her gentle snores or footsteps about the house.
Then, when my youngest spent every morning before school looking at ads for cats on Gumtree, I relented and decided to adopt two cats from the RSPCA.
So, along came Simba and Bamboo. Choosing them was relatively easy. They were at a foster carer’s home rather than kennels or a centre, so we had the ability to see them jump about in someone’s home: a lovely environment to observe their personalities. I had already reserved Simba who was the only boy of the litter, but choosing the girl cat happened in seconds as Bamboo latched onto my daughter and started licking her hand. It was love at first sight. The foster mum wanted to take them to the vets for a once over before we got them, and spend a day or two saying goodbye, so, a couple of days later, they arrived at our home, to much excitement, and it has been a whirlwind ever since.
They had very distinct personalities from the beginning, and very different from Poppy. Whilst the extent of Poppy’s affection was sitting next to you on the arm of the sofa, both Bamboo and Simba are incredibly affectionate, happy to jump into your lap, or knead your leg until you are holding your breath. They’re bouncy, jumpy and make that lovely chirruping noise when they see you. Poppy didn’t do this, but my old cat, Squeaky, did, and I loved it.
After Poppy’s accident, we are probably a bit over-cautious I admit. There is a family of foxes at the end of our garden and I’m nervous about the foxes attacking the kittens so, as yet, they’ve only gone out in their harnesses, which they love! When they’re a bit bigger, or the neighbour gets his fence fixed and we are less open to the foxes (I am nagging him!), then we’ll let them roam free, as cats should do.
My tips for getting a rescue kitten
- Unless you’re after a particular pedigree, rehoming a rescue kitten is so much kinder than buying from home breeders or pet shops as you’re giving an unwanted pet a home and your donation will help the animal charity
- Talking of which, there will be a donation. Sometimes neutering and vaccinations are included. Mine weren’t but I believe they are included with older cats
- The RSPCA is the obvious port of call, but there are often smaller independent shelters that exist locally so it can worth supporting those. A local vet should be able to point you in the right direction
- Always phone or email first rather than turn up. You can save yourself a lot of time and pinpont cats that fit your needs before you leave home
- Be prepared to be scrutinised. Some shelters do home visits to check your property. I just had to give my postcode so they could double check that there wasn’t a busy main road using Google maps and Street View
- Ask if the kitten can bring something with them: a toy or blanket to help them transition
- Don’t worry if the kitten spends the first day hiding behind the sofa or washing machine. Just make sure that they have easy access to food and water if they venture out. Let them find their feet in their own time.
- If you’re not sure about taking on the responsibility of a cat or kitten, then look into fostering. You can look after cats or kitten in your home and have all food and vets billed paid for you. The downside is you may have to part with them, but it’s an arrangement that may suit some.