Workers and volunteers at the Fraser Valley Humane Society (FVHS) in Mission have seen a lot of cats and kittens come through their doors in need of help.
However, some animals tend to pull at the heart strings a little harder than others.
Last week, a three-day-old kitten was brought into the shelter, with an unusual story.
According to Amanda Dixon, shelter manager at the FVHS, a Good Samaritan brought the kitten in after her own cat brought it home in her mouth.
No one has any idea where the kitten came from, who the mother is, or why the cat brought it home.
The kitten was very cold and very hungry, but fortunately, took to bottle feeding well, which Dixon said not all babies do.
“It was a critical moment,” Dixon said about the kitten’s arrival. The FVHS immediately called on one of its foster homes and placed the kitten there for special care.
“It takes every other hour of bottle feeding and stimulation to go to the bathroom. Round the clock care for these little guys,” explained Dixon.
While litters of newborn kittens are often brought to the shelter, having a single kitten, picked up by another cat, is an uncommon event.
“In 17 years of being in the industry, as a vet assistant and working in shelters, this is probably my second one. It is very rare,” said Dixon.
The kitten has been named Journey.
“Quite often our foster homes name the kittens because they are the surrogate moms and they grow up with them. So Journey is her name, it’s very well suited for her,” said Dixon.
Journey will now stay with Pam Miller, who is acting as the foster mom until the actual mother or owner is found, or until the kitten is ready to be adopted in about three months.
“ I used to foster kids, now we foster kittens. My daughter always wants to adopt them,” explained Miller who has volunteered with the FVHS for the past year.
Journey, now two weeks old, will be bottle fed until she is four weeks old, then moved on to soft canned food and eventually regular food.
As much as they love having Journey, they are still looking for her real mother.
“Perhaps there is an owner out there with a missing kitten, or a nursing mom.”
Theoretically there is a mom and brothers and sisters missing a kitten.
While Dixon has no way of knowing what actually happened, she has some ideas.
“It’s very likely that something happened to the mother cat. Mother cats are very instinctually aware of their babies. So either the mother cat, when moving the litter, something happened to her, or she abandoned the baby for unseen reasons to us.”
Journey has been checked by a vet and given a clean bill of health.
While an extraordinary story, Journey is just one of 23 kittens and cats that the FVHS has taken in the past month.
More volunteers are always needed.
For information, contact the FVHS at604-820-2977 or visit fraservalleyhumanesociety.com.