OAKLAND, Calif. — The two kittens couldn't be more different. Aspen, a mini snow tiger with blue eyes and an easy purr, was quick to warm to people, while Leaf, a fluffy girl with faded tortoiseshell markings, trembled in the corner anytime someone approached.
From our perspective, these sisters needed each other. And we needed adopters who understood that. Then on a Friday in September, we met Tricia and Aiden, a mother-son pair who visited Cat Town for Aiden's birthday.
"I didn't plan to adopt two kitties when we went in," Tricia said.
We've heard that before.
"My son just fell in love with Aspen, and I took a liking to Leaf, and the fact that they had to come together, that was OK," Tricia said. "But I tell you, those two, they remind me of me and my older sister. They just adore each other."
And here's the thing: Kittens benefit from being raised together. They learn positive behaviors from each other and keep each other entertained.
"Our house has come alive with these two little babies," Tricia said.
Just before Thanksgiving, we checked in to see how the two were adjusting. Cats can take weeks to get comfortable in a new space, and a shy one like Leaf could be prone to hiding and take extra patience to help her relax.
"She not only needed a patient person," Tricia said. "But she really needed Aspen. She wouldn't have seen what it is like to be a confident cat."
Leaf and Aspen illustrate key facets of the Forgotten Kitten Project. The siblings were deemed unadoptable at the municipal shelter because one had bitten someone when they were surrendered as strays. Their chances at a happy ending without Cat Town were low. The Forgotten Kitten Project is designed for cats just like these, to socialize kittens who didn't get positive human interactions in those crucial early months. Volunteers and staff worked with Aspen and Leaf for over a month.
But then it's up to adopters willing to help these kittens further develop in their new home.
"This Thanksgiving we're so thankful we now have two precious baby girls in our house bringing all of this joy," Tricia said last week. "We were missing something in our hearts and they really filled a spot, together."
Come meet the newest members of the Forgotten Kitten Project in the Studios and main adoption center, Wednesday through Sunday at 2869 Broadway. And if you are feeling moved to support the work we do, consider making a tax-deductible donation. All contributions will be matched through December 15th up to $30,000!
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