CALIFORNIA – A stray cat, whose head needed to be freed from a peanut butter jar the night before, was euthanized due to her medical condition Tuesday, March 21, according to Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
However, before she passed, the cat — called Skippy –gave birth to four kittens in the county’s San Jacinto shelter overnight.
The names of the little miracle kittens: Peanut, Butter, Jelly and Honey.
Ryan Long, who is the supervising resident veterinary technician, said the mother cat was infested with maggots, had spots of dead tissue, was badly malnourished and dehydrated.
By mid-morning, Brittany Fonseca, who is the rescue coordinator, had networked online to find foster moms for the kittens — real life mother and daughter, Diane Chase and Elizabeth Coyle.
They arrived at the shelter to scoop up the four newborns to begin the ritual they know well — warming up the kitties and bottle feeding them just about every two hours. The kittens are now being cared for at Chase’s and Coyle’s Murrieta home, where a dining room serves as a nursery.
The mostly black kittens will reside with their foster moms for about two months and must weigh two pounds each before they return to the shelter for adoption. Fonseca stated it is too soon to tell how adoptions will be handled,
The entire kitty saga began Monday, March 20, when Alyssa Cline, 23, of Homeland, explained that her nephew first spotted the cat struggling with the plastic container in the unincorporated community west of Hemet.
“I’m definitely an animal lover, so I wanted to help,” she said in a news release. “I didn’t think it was cute. I need to get out and help that cat right away.”
She and her nephew, Charlie Isaac Delarosa, put the black medium-hair cat inside a crate, and she the tried using scissors to cut open the thick container. However, the scissors broke.
Animal Services Officer Carra Mathewson arrived and was indeed able to cut off the container with a heftier tool.
When brought to the shelter located on Grand Avenue, “She was very fractious. She was hissing and swatting,” stated Long, the vet tech, so a complete exam could not be done.
The very next morning, Long and a kennel tech went to check and discovered Skippy in the front of the kennel, and to the rear in a box with umbilical cords and placentas still attached, the four kittens.
Long referred to it a high point of his work on Tuesday.
“You never know what to expect, except to expect the unexpected,” he stated.
Elizabeth Coyle went on to say that she happened to check her cell phone Tuesday morning and saw the kitten foster alert.
“I have five children and this is an experience they will take forever,” she stated. The family menagerie also includes reptiles, parrots, and chinchillas.
Chase is the chief bottle feeder and Coyle helps out when she isn’t working in leasing customer service at an apartment complex.
The newborn kittens all fit in a small cat carrier with a black and white fleece blanket inside. At their temporary home in Murrieta, heating pads are awaiting, as does a female calico family cat who will act as a surrogate.