WHAT WE DO...
Lights, Camera… Paws!
A Day in the Life… A Foster Story
Linus, Ryder, Rory, and Merlin
Linus, Ryder, Rory and Merlin, a litter of four, were found in the woods, just days old with no mother in sight. Concerned they would be eaten by predators, a family brought them to the no-kill, non-profit cat rescue that I volunteered for. The rescue called me right away and my family and I received the litter of kittens within hours. We became their “foster mom” for approximately 8-10 weeks, until they were adopted to FUR-ever homes.
At this age, neonatal kittens need immediate care, 24/7 with bottle feedings of kitten formula every 2 hours. The kittens are tiny, smaller than your hand. It is best to keep them together in a box with a warm heating pad and blankets. To ensure the kittens are eating and gaining weight, we kept a record and always weighed them twice a day. Within a week, the kittens eyes open. Soon after they learn how to walk, jump and run. It is funny to see. They stagger, wobble and hop! We move them into our large bathtub where they will be safe and have a lot more room to grow. Before long, the kittens are ready to learn how to eat with a mushy mixture of wet food and formula. They sure do make a mess and we spend a lot of time cleaning the food from their faces. They also learn instinctively how to use a litter box. We always use clay litter with the little ones in case they eat it by mistake. At this point, they no longer fit in the bath tub and are big enough to enter the “kitty room”. The kitty room, void of furniture, is like an amusement park for kittens! It is full of toys, cat trees, soft furry beds, baskets, blankets and boxes for them to play in. Our neighbors’ children and friends come for visits to see them and hold them. The kittens are always well-socialized to say the least; they learn love and trust from humans. While they play in the kitty room, we take the opportunity to photograph them with toys, props, baskets, containers and colored backgrounds. They are very silly and love the attention. Watch them play in the video below- they are tooo cute.
When the kittens reach 7-8 weeks old, we take their adoption photos (below) and they are posted on the rescue organization’s online adoption site (which also feeds to Petfinder.com). It’s remarkable what bright, colorful, cute photos can do to help the kittens get adopted quickly. The kittens receive multiple online adoption applications within 24 hours of the postings and are adopted as soon as they are vetted. We are always sad to see them go, but we know there are always more baby kittens that need our help to survive, and we will have room to save more.
Fundraisers and Complimentary Photography For Rescues
Besides fostering, in the past, my family and I volunteered photography on weekends at PetSmart where the kitten adoptions were held. We set up a “photo booth” in the cat area of the store and took photos of foster kittens/cats that needed to be adopted. We were thrilled when the rescue reported to us that their adoption numbers tripled due to our help. We created “One Photo Saves” and offered complimentary photography sessions/images and pet photography workshops for all rescues in our local area. In addition, we donated our rescue kitten photography to the rescue organizations to use for calendar fundraisers and framed art auctions to raise money for the animals medical care, food, and other support.
Kitty Playtime Video
The video below shows 6 of my foster kittens: Linus, Ryder, Rory and Merlin, described above, and Siamese twins Remi and Roman playing together in my kitty room. Their little personalities shine so BIG. We love helping the kittens- how could you not? Take a peek, they can get C-R-A-Z-Y-!