Animals

The Big Surprises From Adopting A Pet In A Pandemic

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by Shari

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OUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE ADOPTING DURING COVID-19

Misty, the mama cat, had a 106.5 fever. The infection from the mastitis (inflammation from nursing newborn kittens) had returned.

When she was too sick to nurse any longer, she used her last bit of strength to carry her six babies to the top of my parents’ 13’ high terrarium inside her home (while my parents were sleeping!).

Her purpose (I believe) was to give her kittens a chance of survival – off the ground where they would not be vulnerable to predators.

Here’s the Quick Backstory

My parents adopted a cat at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Personal protective equipment was in short supply. Spaying would have to wait.

My mom’s new foster kitty was gaining weight quickly. Yep… pregnant!

The Humane Society hadn’t had her very long and knew nothing about her history. Well, we knew one thing… she met a nice young man sometime during her street adventures. 😻

We helped her through the birthing process and she LOVED being a mommy. She was the BEST mommy!

Unfortunately, yes, she got mastitis… twice! And the second time, they had no choice but to put her on stronger antibiotics.

Kitten posing

We’ll spare you the details of how far we had to travel to an emergency vet with a dying mommy cat and 6 newborn kittens.

And how we couldn’t even use the restroom at the vet’s office and had to wait in the parking lot at 10 p.m. at night while they looked over all the furballs.

And how my stepdad had Alzheimer’s, so we had to bring him with us each time and he didn’t understand what was happening or why we were in a parking lot for hours.

Back to the Kittens

Once Misty was on stronger antibiotics and could no longer nurse, we were left to bottle-feed the babies and teach them how to use a litter box.

Teaching weeks-old kittens to eat, poop, and navigate the world was no small undertaking. My 80-year-old parents live in a remote area, so the vet visits and Humane Society visits were all an additional challenge on top of the round-the-clock feedings.

I had to binge-watch The Kitten Lady on YouTube and get the help of family members.

Kittens

After 11 weeks of challenges, snuggles, feedings, training, vaccines, spaying, and travels, ALL of the kittens are now in their new forever homes. All of our friends and family who were able to adopt cannot believe their good fortune.

I miss those babies, but it was all worth it.

Misty, the mama, is back to good health and grateful for her spoiled life with my mom (my stepdad, Joe, since passed away).

She is now the star of a popular YouTube channel called Shari Likes Fruit! Of course, I never planned on creating the channel when all this happened.

But I sure am grateful I took all the kitten footage. They were TOO cute!

And it’s been an absolute blessing to share with the beautiful, kind cat-loving community.

If We Had to Do It All Over, Would We Still Want to Adopt?

Rescue cat and her 6 kittens

We’ll let these precious faces of Daisy, Biscuit, Kicha, Batman, Sydney, and Luna answer that question. 🙂

Certainly, our experience wasn’t normal. But it was definitely an amazing adventure we will never forget.

ADVICE FOR NEW PET OWNERS

Be patient with your new pet. Under normal circumstances, where the pet has met you before going home with you, it can take two to three weeks to acclimate to its new environment.

Adoptions during the pandemic didn’t afford pets the opportunity to meet their new owners before going home with them, but thankfully, this has changed.

Give your animal time to adjust to you and your home.

Consider purchasing insurance for your new pet.

Three kittens

Veterinary costs can be incredibly expensive, and some rates increased during the pandemic.

You never want to find yourself in a position where your pet desperately needs veterinary care, and you cannot afford the treatment. Pet insurance policies provide coverage for those kinds of challenging situations.

WHERE TO ADOPT YOUR CAT OR DOG

Here are a few shelters and resources you can visit to adopt if you’re in San Diego.

RAMONA VALLEY HUMANE SOCIETY

Kitten rescues

The Ramona Valley Humane Society & SPCA will be a no-kill shelter for Ramona and surrounding areas, a haven for lost and abandoned animals. They also plan to partner with local schools to teach children the importance of caring for animals. They are seeking grant money and welcome all donations as well.

SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY

The Humane Society offers discounts for senior citizens. And they include a free bag of food and a certificate for an initial “wellness” visit with participating vets. They have multiple locations throughout California.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER

Animal Services has many options on its website, including licensing your pet, finding a lost pet, and even volunteer opportunities. They also serve unincorporated areas.

Additional Animal Rescue and Pet Adoption Operations

LUCKY PUP DOG RESCUE

HELEN WOODWARD ANIMAL CENTER

PET ADOPTIONS NETWORK

SECOND CHANCE DOG RESCUE

PET ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION

FROSTED FACES FOUNDATION

“Frosted Faces Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that delivers the promise of family and quality veterinary care for senior animals whose love and lives are in jeopardy.”

THE ANIMAL PAD

K9 CONNECTION PET RE-HOMING AND ADOPTION

Kitten posing with avocado

If you have tips or suggestions as it pertains to pet adoption, please post them in the comments.

If you’ve gone through the loss of a pet, please post it in the comments, as well. So many of you have reached out on YouTube sharing stories of your snuggle bugs and the pain of losing them and I want to build a community of like-minded souls who support each other.

Sharing stories of our sweet furbabies can be a huge source of healing.

Thank you to everyone who’s subscribed to our YouTube channel – YOU are why it’s so fun to share.

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About Shari

Shari Likes Fruit is all about making fruit and vegetables enjoyable, loving animals, and cherishing the joy within all of us.

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