We already know our society loves to obsess over sweet kittens on Instagram and we’ve certainly watched our fair share of cat videos, but it’s this movement to save kitties that have a low chance of survival that’s warming our hearts today.
There is a love fest happening between elderly residents of Catalina Springs Memory Care facility and orphaned kittens from Pima Animal Care Center — and it’s just the thing everyone needs to cheer up.
What many people may not know is that kittens who aren’t weaned from their mothers before being separated have a very low chance of survival. It is typically up to the mother cat to wean the kittens, but when a kitten is abandoned they run into trouble.
According to Pets Web MD, “The weaning process typically takes between four and six weeks, with most kittens completely weaned by the time they’re eight to ten weeks old.” Additionally, if a kitten is removed from their mother too soon it can have a “negative effect on the kittens’ health and socialization skills.” You can imagine how difficult it would be for an orphaned kitten to survive without assistance during this crucial weaning period. To combat this issue, the Arizona animal shelter has teamed up with their local assisted living facility to help take care of the kittens.
Rebecca Hamilton, Catalina Springs’ health service director, was the brains behind this collaboration. She thought that teaming up the helpless animals with the residents of the care home would both help the kittens stay alive and give the residents something to care for (and of course garner a few smiles, because kittens!).
Sharon Mercer, who is the Catalina Springs Memory Care Executive Director, explained:
“To some it may seem peculiar at first: Residents who are in need of around-the-clock care themselves, given the task to care for these young kittens, but there are skills, emotions and needs that do not just leave a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The desire to give love and receive love remains. The kittens have given us the opportunity to nurture this human condition that lies in each and every one of our residents.”
The first two kittens to participate in the program are adorably named Peaches and Turtle. When they arrived at Catalina Springs in October they only weighed a mere 7 ounces and needed round-the-clock attention. It’s been about a month since their arrival and they’ve already doubled in size! We have no doubt it’s thanks to all the cuddles and loving their receiving from their new friends at the care home.
It has been noted that soon Peaches and Turtle will be ready to return to Pima Animal Care to be spayed and adopted out. One of the nurses from Catalina Springs actually fell in love with one of the little guys and has already submitted an adoption application! Who wouldn’t want one of these cuties?
Thanks to thoughtful programs like this, many more kittens will have the chance to get the care they need and go on to become loving family pets.
h/t: Hello GigglesMore On