A warm welcome to new family

By Megan Walchuk

I had planned to write about the first blush of spring, and the upcoming gardening season, but all those hopes have been buried under more fresh snow. It’s that time of year when you want to pack away the snow pants, but you know doing so will jinx spring and trigger another snowfall. (Sorry everyone – we were just trying to be organized.) The weather doesn’t faze our kids – they can create fun out of almost anything, and our dogs prefer the cold. But one family member has been taking this seemingly endless winter a little harder than the rest.

We call her KitKat, though her proper name is Mocha. When we adopted our little brown tabby from Best for Kitty, her foster mom warned us she loves the outdoors, and will try hard to escape. Although she enjoys her creature comforts – warm sunny windows, blankets, and never-ending food – her heart is outside, climbing in trees, crouching under bushes, and stalking tiny critters. Winter has been hard for her. During the last snowstorm, I opened the door to let the dogs out. She was intent on zooming out between my feet. But when she saw the snow, she hissed, turned tail and ran back to bed. I’ve never felt such a deep kinship with an animal before.

We’ve tried hard to keep her happy, with lots of attention, treats and toys, and we even grew her some special “cat grass”, which she’s been eating ravenously. She hunts spiders and plays with the dogs and has her pick of any bed. She leads a pampered life, but her outdoor roots left her with a tiny wild streak, which makes her fun and spunky. She’s one of the lucky ones to have been rescued by Best for Kitty; she has spent her winter in warmth and comfort.

So many cats and kittens aren’t so lucky. Many strays barely survive winter, fighting for every bite of food. Some have kittens, others sustain injuries. Inevitably, some don’t live to see spring. That’s why an organization like Best for Kitty is so important to our community. Without them, the stray cat population would explode with unwanted kittens, bringing more heartbreaking stories of cold and suffering animals.

Helping Best for Kitty is easy – there’s a way to contribute for anybody. If you’re considering a new addition to your family, please consider adopting from Best for Kitty – there are so many deserving cats and kittens right here, in need of homes. Monetary donations help pay the vet bills, and donations of food and supplies help the organization to stretch their dollars. However, we hear time and again the biggest need is one of the most rewarding – foster homes. Anyone with a little space can foster a cat or kitten. Supplies and support are provided, and you’ll give a stray the chance to live a happy life of warmth and comfort – even when winter feels endless.