Winston & Company
Winston & Company
My family has recently taken to fostering very young kittens. We got Winston and his siblings Violet, Coco, and Poppy when they were only a week old. Just last week the time came to give them up - but we decided to keep just one.
Picture Above: Main-Winston, Top Left-Violet, Top Right-Winston, Bottom Left-Coco, Bottom Right-Poppy.
Don't get me wrong, we all adore each and every one of these kittens and it was the hardest thing in the world to choose just one to keep forever. But this brings the total number of cats in my house indefinitely up to five so we really couldn't keep them all. In the end Winston was the chosen one because, we thought, he was the most attached to us. We just pray that Violet, Coco, and Poppy found the homes they deserve. And to their new owners, if you ever read this - feel welcome to ask us for pictures! We have some really cute ones of their infant days, learning to walk - all that wonderful jazz (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In spite of the pain of choosing just one kitten to keep, I would definitely want to foster again. These guys were some of the most wonderful cats I have ever met. They have such big and different personalities. I would walk into the room where they lived and immediately be surrounded by fluffy little kittens purring as hard as they could. Nothing could have been more rewarding.
They were just little 'caterpillars' when we first got them - little fuzzballs barely 5 oz in size with their ears still sealed shut. They purred right off the bat in spite of the fact that it took them a while to take to the bottle. All four were always active, crawling as soon as they could. It was so sweet to watch their little bellies drag on the floor as they pulled themselves along. Winston was particularly curious about the outside world. Violet climbed on anything she could find (though she often stopped to fake-nurse on a stuffed sheep they had in their box). Coco liked nothing better than to sleep in our hands. Poppy was a bit of wild card, doing whichever of these took her fancy.
As they got older we moved them to a small dog kennel so they could have more room to move when we weren't around. It was full of fuzzy blankets. We also let them explore more and more of the room. We had to block areas like the one under the dresser to keep the kittens from getting lost there. There was one time when when we were trying to put everyone to bed but we couldn't find Violet! We looked and looked but she wasn't anywhere. Then we opened the closed closet door... and she was sitting there looking up at us with that innocent kitten stare. We still don't know how she got in.
They grew so quickly. It seems like one minute they were crawling tentatively across the floor and the next they were jumping from piece of furniture to piece of furniture like wild things. Up until this point we had been hoping that as they aged the difference between Winston and Poppy would become more pronounced. But the truth is that they're very nearly identical - except for the gender difference, of course.
When they were five weeks old we were given a lone black kitten to foster: Teddy Bear. Not wanting to leave Teddy alone we introduced Teddy to the four just as soon as he had been tested for Feline Leukemia. They all bonded with him instantly. Coco and Poppy were especially close with him, often licking and cuddling him.
Finally the time came to take them back. We knew we couldn't bear to part with all of our beloved babies. There honestly wasn't a downside to keeping any of them. Coco was our love. She's so playful but cuddly at the same time. And the way she looks up at you with those soulful eyes... Poppy was the baby of the group. She'd lay in my arms with her spotted tummy in the air and sleep so peacefully. Before she woke up to bat at and play with my hair, that is. Violet would jump up on her hind legs, paws wide open every time any of us entered the room. She liked to sit on our shoulders as we walked around the room in spite of the fact that she was fast growing too big. She also loved to 'help' clean the litterbox. And Winston... he was the biggest personality. He was the wildcat of the group. The scamp. And while the rest of them loved us as dearly as we loved them, Winston was just so dedicated to us. In the end it had to be him, however much we love all of them and always will.
Right now Winston is upstairs in my room, tearing around with Teddy Bear. They're really close friends, licking and grooming each often. They love to sleep and cuddle both with each other and with us. I love having Winston as a part of my life and I am so glad to be able to know him so well. It is truly an honor and a wonder to be able to watch him grow up.