Kelly Real believes it’s the little things that we do that can make a real difference in our communities. And sometimes good things in life come to those who do good deeds. Kelly and her family moved to their home about a year ago. Quickly they started to notice the presence of an uncared for feline lingering around. She told me that:
“We moved to our house a year ago. A few months prior there had been a family that moved out a few houses down and had abandoned several cats. After moving in we had one of the females come to our house who was approximately 10 months old, thin as bones and approximately 5-6 weeks pregnant. So, we began to care for her and all the other cats started coming. Here where we live we have tnvr through the local shelters so we began to take the cats one by one.”
No stranger to fostering and caring for cats, Kelly knew that by doing this, she was making a difference. She is a mother to two teenage daughters, and her children are also active in helping her with the cats. They care for the cats, name them, and name the kittens, and once the litters have been born they ensure the mama cat is spayed and properly vaccinated.
In just roughly a year since they’ve lived in their home, they’ve successfully found homes for 22 kittens in need. Well, *spoiler alert*—23!
In regards to their efforts, Kelly told me that:
“It is so rewarding to see families receive their new members and see these furry little lives that would not have otherwise had a chance to go to good families. Now we have a colony of approx 7 cats that did tnvr and have made a home in our yard and we feed them to ensure their care.”
This week, they got a unique surprise they felt was not only a little miracle, but a gift from their late cat who recently crossed the rainbow bridge. A male calico kitten was born from a foster they’d recently taken in. Kelly told me that,
“We had a senior cat that we had gotten at 3 weeks old, she was one of my original fosters. My 2 teenage daughters had her almost their whole lives and we were devastated to lose her a few weeks ago. We had decided from the beginning to adopt one from this litter anyway. He is such a little miracle that we feel like he was sent to us from back over the rainbow bridge. He will likely remain a part of our family.”
Sometimes it’s these little miracles in life that we cannot explain that fill our hearts with endless joy. Kelly was happy to share this little “unicorn kitten” with the world, hopefully to remind others of the power of fostering and TNR efforts.
“Only 1 in 3000 calicos that are born are male. These cats are so rare that they have often been referred to as the “unicorn” of cats,” she told, CBS12 News, her local news station. “Those who have worked in veterinary practice or in shelters can work for years or even decades without ever seeing one in person.”
Out of respect to the mama, the kittens are not handled until a few weeks of age. But the photos of these newborn babies are just too precious!
Although this rare boy found his home, Kelly would like to mention that: “he has 2 grey and white brothers that will be ready for adoption in approximately 8 weeks.”
And although she’s the one doing this selfless act each day for kitties in need, she feels that these efforts have done more for her, actually. Kelly says that:
“They helped me stay focused on something positive and productive. It takes more love than most can imagine to love an animal with the full love as if they are your own, but still love them enough to give them to their new parents/families.”
I’d like to give a special thank you to Kelly for allowing me to share her story. The world could certainly use some more kind-hearted people like you in it! And for the rare kitten they’ve named Romeo, it seems like you’ve found yourself the purrfect family to grow old with.
Love calico cats? Find out more about them here in my article dedicated to these multi-colored cuties of the cat world.
All Images Courtesy of Kelly Real