cats, foster cats, fostering, Humane Society of Shenandoah County, kittens

Let Me Introduce You to ‘The Ladies’

You know me, never one to go all-in on anything when it comes to animals….

My latest foster kittens have all moved on. Chett and Poe found a great adoptive home not too far away. Their adopter sent this picture of their new spoiled life:

And Harper, Hemingway, and Twain caught a transport headed to a rescue in Carroll County, MD in need of kittens (WHO is in need of kittens anywhere at this point in history??).

So…when the cat foster coordinator texted and said, “Would you consider five more ‘middle-aged’ kittens?” I thought, I survived this last lot, so, why not?

My five new ‘kittens’ (Is this like rescue people who call all dogs puppies?) arrived last week and took up residence on the sun porch. Since the current heat wave shows no signs of letting up and there was NO WAY they could fit in the hot-weather digs I had set up for the kittens (a large dog crate in my office), Nick installed an air-conditioner on our sun porch (and yes, we do realize what a ridiculous endeavor that is in terms of energy-saving and electrical bills).

Now ‘the girls’ are luxuriating in the cushy, cool space. Four out of five have warmed up to me, and Willow is coming around. She no longer hides at the sight of me, but stays in her permanent spot on the windowsill next to the air conditioner and just considers me.

At first blush, I have to say that I enjoy middle-aged kittens much more than regular kittens. These kitties don’t wreck the place, they love me without scratching the crap out of my legs, and don’t bum-rush the door every time I open it. They are more affectionate every day.

It’s understandable that they were a bit stand-offish at first. After all, they were evicted from the only home they’ve ever known, spent one night in a hot garage and a second in a bathroom (cat-fostering provides many more options than dog-fostering), before being vaccinated, dewormed, and taken to the vet for testing (everyone’s negative – hurrah!).

And then I hauled them here and plopped them down on our hot sunporch where they scattered to the corners and hid in the heat for a night while we tracked down an extra AC unit.

As I said, they are just starting to warm up to me, but here is a quick intro:

Wheezie is the biggest and has the coolest markings! A Facebook friend told me that she is a classic tabby, and here I thought she was special. The article she posted explained the different tabby patterns, and my three are all different. Wheezie has the biggest snaggle tooth protruding straight up out of her mouth almost to her nose, like a horn protruding from her mouth (which means she can never completely close it and always looks like she’s about to say something). The vet said it doesn’t hinder her eating (she’s a chunk) and it’s in there very tight, so her recommendation was to leave it alone. I think Wheezie’s wonderful personality will win an adopter, snaggle tooth and all.

Shadow is the pushiest of the girls, shoving her way to the front of the line for attention and following me like an (ahem) shadow. She is very vocal, demanding my attention. Her eyes are startling and we sometimes have staring contests as I try to figure out what is going through that busy mind. Shadow has a few boo-boos healing on her back. Her previous owner reported that Shadow was an indoor/outdoor cat and an excellent bird hunter. Those cuts are from birds attacking her when she went after their nests. She seems content on our porch, though, just watching the outside action so far.

Mittens is gorgeous. I am in love with her white whiskers. She’s maybe a tad shyer than the others, but is definitely coming around. She loves to snuggle more every day. She also loves to play with strings and lounge on the windowsills watching the comings and goings of the ice cream store parking lot.

Prissy is the sweetest of the pack, probably because she’s had kittens at some point in her short life. Everyone is spayed now, so no worries there. Still, like mama dogs, I think it makes a cat special – more patient, more gentle, more appreciative. When she was spayed, though, instead of ear-tipping her, someone chopped off half her ear. I still think she’s adorable. According to the article, she seems to be a mackeral tabby.

Last is Willow who I don’t know much about because, as I mentioned, she is still warming up to me. She seems to be the one cat truly morning her losses. I rarely see her out interacting with the others and for the first three days she hid completely squished behind some cat carriers. Several times I panicked when I couldn’t find her. If I approach her now, she doesn’t run away, only braces herself for my pets. And once, when I was playing with the others and made the universal cat-calling sound of ‘tsch-tsch-tsch’ she ran towards me as if I was a long-lost friend, allowed a few pets, and then wandered back to her spot, disappointed. She has an awesome coat pattern (spotted tabby!) and sweet white paws and bib.

All of these ‘middle-aged kittens’ are available for adoption or rescue through the Humane Society of Shenandoah County (who could use a few more fosters!).

Cats are growing on me, but don’t worry, the dog days are coming! After the Saving Webster Dogs work weekend, I’ll be bringing back two foster dogs! We could use your support as we raise funds for the projects planned to help the 100+ dogs living outside 24/7 in harsh conditions. Click here to learn more and support our work (or if you don’t do Facebook, click here for the information on our Betterworld page).

And if you want a peek at my future fosters, I’m sure you’ll catch cameos of them on the videos and pictures we’ll post on the Who Will Let the Dogs Out Facebook page over our work days (August 5-7).

Until Each One Has a Home,


For information on me, my writing, and books, visit

If you’d like regular updates of all our foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips, and occasional foster cat updates (!) be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.

And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit and subscribe to our blog where we share stories of our travels to shelters, rescues, and dog pounds.

If you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. Or its follow up that takes you to the shelters in the south One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues.

I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at

5 thoughts on “Let Me Introduce You to ‘The Ladies’”

  1. I can give you a lot of info about why cats are going to Carroll County, none of it good, and put you in touch with others who are trying to deal with the situation if you wish. Email me at if you want the info. Debra


  2. Look at you and Nick, becoming cat people (and if getting an a/c unit for the cat room isn’t on the road to Cat Town, I don’t know what is :-D). You gave great and appealing descriptions of the Ladies. Willow will probably come around, but it caught my eye that she wasn’t interacting much with the other cats. Do the other cats groom each other or sleep next to each other? Could she be somewhat bullied by one or more of the other cats? I’m guessing not enough to be avoiding the litterbox (or you would have mentioned something), but in a more subtle way. Cats who don’t grow up together can definitely co-exist peacefully, but they generally need some space, whether horizontally or vertically. I could easily be completely offbase, and Willow is just shy and needs more time than the others to warm up. You’re doing a great job!


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