A RESCUE CATTERY LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN
Yesterday, we visited an amazing rescue organization called Animalkind, Inc. in Hudson, NY. Katrin, the woman behind Animalkind, Inc., and her devoted staff pull cats from death row, manage feral cat colonies and rehabilitate injured cats to adopt out every furry soul they can. This shelter is unique. A house rather than a facility, every amenity is provided for the cats, the majority of whom roam free. Let me just say, being surrounded by more than 100 free-roaming felines in one room is quite an experience, one you have to see to believe.
What I found most special about AnimalKind, Inc. is the way the cats’ relationships and emotional health were considered and preserved. If a cat came from an irresponsible barn situation, Animalkind, Inc. requests that a responsible barn situation be provided. If two cats have bonded at the house or prior to rescue, they adopt the pair together. Impressed by the sensitivity to cat relationships especially, I bought an extra cat carrier and went with an open mind. Two were certainly a possibility if both were a fit.
OUR NEW KITTENS!
The minute we picked these two kittens up, it was clear to every one present that we were meant to be a family. For us, it was important to know that they had been raised with dogs and, at four months of age, they were young enough to acclimate well in a household where good inter-animal relationships are key. For the staff at the shelter, it was a relief to know that this pair would never be split up. So … making our final choice with confidence, Tim and I are proud to introduce our latest family members, Jackson and Jed!
Brothers from the same mother, our kittens have different fathers. While I never knew it was possible, the scientific term for this is “superfetation.” As it turns out, roughly 10% of female cats go into heat between the third and sixth week of pregnancy and, although these cycles are rarely fertile, it is possible for a cat to carry fetuses of different ages resulting from separate matings. Typically, the youngest litter is delivered prematurely along with the oldest and they are not able to survive. In extremely rare cases, the youngest kittens remain in-utero until fully developed. (For more on this, visit “Tom Cats and Kittens”) I guess we have ourselves some rare and miraculous little super beasties. Against scientific odds, these guys found a way to be together and that’s how they’ll remain.
Loving up our new babies until deep into the night, I didn’t look carefully at the adoption contract until today. Noting birthdates that didn’t align with our cats’ history, I counted back from the vaccination records. Guess what…
The youngest, orangiest kitten who jumped out of the carrier and plopped right into my lap was born on October 28th, my birthday! I named him Jed. While my first choice was Carter, this little guy has a hip and cool attitude with more confidence than the name Carter reflects. Oddly, he responded to Jed immediately. While I thought this strange at first, the adoption contract reveals why. His original name was Red.
Jackson, originally named Sunshine, is listed as being born on October 7, 2009. His little white mitts and the white under his chin differentiate him from his younger brother. While Tim and I liked the name Jackson from the start, it became readily apparent that this name suited this kitten. The minute he entered into his new home, he bounced around the room ready for action. This guy is totally Tim’s kind of cat. Affectionate, of course, but also happy to play all the live-long day. That Tim picked this name – and the cat who picked Tim settled into it nicely – feels absolutely perfect.
There will be many new adventures in this household, to be sure. Keep your eyes peeled.