A box of kittens that were found abandoned in Hammond at the end of June are doing well and almost ready for adoption.
Tricia Liversidge, a volunteer at the Maple Ridge branch of the BC SPCA for 26 years, who has been fostering cats for 23 years, has taken on the litter.
The four kittens, one male and three female, were discovered on 113B Avenue by a man waiting for a train to pass. The man turned off his engine as he waited and heard the crying of the kittens.
Liversidge calls them the bean litter because they all have bean names: Garbonzo, Lima, Pinto and Lupini.
She guesses that based on when the kittens opened their eyes, they were probably about eight, maybe nine days old when she got them. They were overheated from being in the sun and the first couple of days, Liversidge said, “it was a little dicey” whether they would make it or not.
In fact, they were so young and needed so much care that Liversidge split the work with an employee of the local animal shelter who took two of the kittens for the first little while.
“It takes about a half an hour per kitten,” said Liversidge about their care. She said they have to be fed every two hours.
“So when there are four of them I don’t sleep at all,” said Liversidge.
Liversidge took charge of all four of the kittens when they were two weeks old and now they go everywhere with her.
She even took them to the ball hockey provincials and on the way home stopped in the area where they were found to see if she could reunite them with their mother. But to no avail.
Now they are running around her house and two of her own cats have been taking them under their wings.
“My great big tank of a male cat taught them how to use a litter box which has been a blessing,” she said.
Another one of her cats likes to hiss at them a bit but Liversidge says it is important for the kittens to be socialized.
“I don’t ever lock them up so that they are by themselves. Unless there is a medical reason to do that,” said Liversidge.
Liversidge said the biggest litter she ever fostered was a mother and ten kittens, not all hers. All of them were sick but Liversidge took on the challenge and they all survived. .
Just before she got this call she had a mother and four kittens.
Liversidge has fostered hundreds of cats, by her own estimation, and her husband, she says, “tolerates me and my habit.”
Although they are more independent, the kittens still pose challenges for Liversidge. For one, it was difficult getting them on and off a bottle, she said. And one of them is still not ready to give up the bottle.
“We’re on day three,” said Liversidge.
It will be another two to three weeks before the kittens will be up for adoption.
Anyone interested in adopting the kittens can contact the Maple Ridge branch of the BC SPCA at 604-463-9511.