Meghan has been assisting community cats in her area, getting them spayed and neutered with the support of her local rescue. About 1.5 months ago, she heard what sounded like a mouse outside her house.
When the squeaky cries persisted, she went to investigate and was surprised by what she discovered. “She found a kitten just a few steps away from her back door,” Jillian, founder of FosterBabyCats, shared with Love Meow.
It was a mystery how the kitten wound up on her doorstep. The cat mother was nowhere in sight. Meghan scoured her property for other kittens but couldn’t find any.
While Meghan continued to keep an eye out for the mom, she had to ensure the safety of the lone kitten.
The area is known to have coyotes and other animals that could put the newborn in harm’s way. Meghan decided to bring him inside and reached out to Jillian for help.
At 10 days old, the kitten named Tater arrived at FosterBabyCats with his eyes on the verge of opening.
He was bottle-fed around the clock and stayed in a cozy, warm nest layered with soft blankets. Jillian showered him with all the attention and love she could supply but knew that the little forlorn baby desperately needed a mom and siblings.
A few weeks prior to Tater’s arrival, Jillian responded to a rescue request for a neighborhood cat who was nursing a litter of kittens.
They were in poor shape living in someone’s yard. Jillian opened her home to the feline family, and with plenty of good food and a roof over their heads, the cat named Penny came out of her shell and started to fill out.
When Penny and her kittens (who are a month older than Tater) caught sight of the new kitten, they were instantly smitten.
Bernard, one of Penny’s tabbies, took Tater under his wing. He assumed the role of big brother, snuggling with Tater and washing his face after each feeding.
With Jillian’s catering to his every whim, Tater was thriving with a big personality. He would romp around with bigger kittens, venture on excursions and climb cat towers, keeping pace with the clowder.
When it came time to wean, Tater was very vocal and opinionated about it.
“The biggest challenge with Tater was getting him to give up the bottle. He thinks it’s the absolute best thing in the entire world.”
When Jillian called for Tater, he would jovially trot up to her, asking for a bottle or lap snuggles, often with Bernard following on his heels.
With tremendous patience, encouragement and post-meal cuddles from his foster mom, Tater is warming up to eating from a dish on his own.
“Bottle babies are different type of clingy, and he reminds me of that every day,” Jillian told Love Meow.
“I think he truly views me as his mom and that comes with a lot of really sweet behaviors – crying for me, wanting to sleep in my arms, expecting me to be his primary source of food, and trusting me explicitly.”
Tater is growing by leaps and bounds and surpassing his siblings in size. He’s honing his feline prowess and learning how to play appropriately with other cats.
The tiny newborn found by the back door has come a long way. Tater is now constantly surrounded by friends and living everyday to the fullest.