Spring has sprung and the nation’s first Kitten Nursery is opening for its 10th season! In 2009, the San Diego Humane Society opened the first 24-hour Kitten Nursery in the United States. Since opening, it has cared for more than 10,000 underage, orphaned kittens in need of around-the-clock feedings and specialty care – each with their own unique story of survival. Here are the top 10 stories from San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery:
Oscar the Trash Can Kitty
A humane officer was sent to a neighborhood park after meowing was heard coming from a trash can. The officer found a sealed garbage bag that contained a tiny, barely alive kitten. He was in critical condition, but San Diego Humane Society veterinarians didn’t lose hope. Under the care of the Kitten Nursery, Oscar was stable within two days. He is thriving in his new home!
Mail Order Kittens
Two kittens with their umbilical cords still attached survived a 130-mile journey from Hollywood to San Diego mistakenly packed up in a sealed box full of fiberglass equipment. The kittens were quickly shuttled to San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery where they were cared for and adopted.
Sophia the Bionic Cat
Sophia arrived at the nursery with her umbilical cord tightly wrapped around her leg, leaving her with a severely infected back paw that needed to be amputated. Once she was feeling better, she was quickly adopted by a San Diego veteran who is working to get Sophia a prosthetic paw and fondly dubbed her, “Sophia the Bionic Cat.” The pair visits wounded veterans and amputees to help bring them comfort and inspiration. Sophia’s mom even wrote a book about her and made her an Instagram page, @sophiabioniccat1!
Sweet as Pie!
Found as a pregnant stray on National Pie Day, March 14, Pie was transferred to the 24-hour Kitten Nursery because she was in need of specialized care and around-the-clock monitoring alongside her newborn babies: Pecan, Key Lime, Lemon Meringue, Rhubarb and Huckleberry. Pie was undernourished but determined to care for her babies. Once her kittens were old enough to be without her, Pie went to a barn home where she has the freedom to roam and explore, thanks to San Diego Humane Society’s Wild at Heart program. The program matches special outdoor cats with adopters who have a barn, shed, warehouse or other secure structure to offer as a safe home.
Jack and Jill
Jack and Jill, two blind kittens, were rescued by SDHS’s Humane Law Enforcement team from an animal hoarding situation. These kitties were sent to a specialized foster home with another blind cat who could help the tiny kittens acclimate. After several weeks in foster care, and guidance from their “mentor cat,” Jack and Jill were adopted! Their adopters have since become some of SDHS’s most dedicated volunteers, fostering animals and volunteering at the Kitten Nursery.
Miss B Haven
Found stuck in the engine of a car, Miss B Haven was undersocialized and scared. She became an office kitten to help her get better accustomed to people and come out of her shell. After a few months, she finally learned to trust and was adopted by a loving couple!
Love is Blind
Davey arrived at the Kitten Nursery emaciated with his nose crusted over, eyes bulging and fighting for his life against a severe respiratory infection. San Diego Humane Society’s veterinarians performed a lifesaving surgery when he was only five-weeks old to remove his badly infected eyes. Even though SDHS’s Kitten Nursery Supervisor sees hundreds of new kittens come into the nursery each day, she felt an extra special bond with Davey and adopted him as soon as he healed. Check out his Instagram account, @daveyc_blind_cat!
In the midst of Hurricane Harvey, a family showed up to an emergency shelter in Beaumont, Texas with a box of kittens. The family’s home was flooded and when they went to check the damage in their garage, they found kittens on top of their car. Fortunately, San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery Supervisor was deployed to the area to help care for displaced animals. She went right to work creating a makeshift nursery to care for these tiny babies and provided them with around-the-clock feedings to nurse them back to health.
When this cross-eyed kitty named Bum came into the Kitten Nursery, he made everyone smile. He looked worried all the time, but he was actually super playful and silly! His adopter fell in love with him instantly and you can still see his cute, worried face on his Instagram account – @worried_cat_aka_bum!
When Fuego was in the Kitten Nursery, he was diagnosed with a condition called megaesophagus, which meant that he struggled to move food down into his stomach. Kitten Nursery staff gave Fuego upright feedings in a baby carrier and carried him wrapped up like an adorable burrito after each feeding. Staff also got creative with elevated feedings, often using a little doll chair to prop up his food tray while he ate. He found a loving home with a special adopter who continued his specialized care.
Facial Hair Kittens
These sweet little kitties came to the nursery with markings that resembled facial hair. Enough said.