Amy Kee holds a newborn kitten at a cat adoption event for the Ontario Feral Cat Project. The nonprofit cat shelter holds the event every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)
ONTARIO – Amy Kee, a volunteer at the Ontario Feral Cat Project, a nonprofit cat shelter hand fed a mewing kitten swaddled in a blanket with a syringe feeder.
The kitten was one of six that arrived at the clinic without their mother on Aug. 16.
The kittens, who still had their umbilical cords, were only a couple of days old, Kee said as she gently placed one kitten back on a heating pad, picked up another, wrapped it in the blanket and began feeding it.
Kee said she is in the process of tracking down the kittens’ mother, and that she hopes to find a foster family that will take both the mother and her babies, because “nobody can take care of them like momma.”
“We are just hoping to get people to catch on to these weekly events,” Kee said.
The cat project runs an adoption event every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 84 NW 2nd St. in Ontario.
Kee added that while 65 kittens are in foster care, there are over 50 cats in the shelter that still need families.
Not all the cats in the shelter are kittens, and Kee wanted to make it clear to people that despite what people think, older cats are still going to be playful.
“Chances are the older cats will be more loving than a kitten that has kitten things to do,” Kee said.
Kee explained that when it comes to older cats, a lot more is known about their personalities.
“These guys were kittens once too,” she added, motioning around the room. “They deserve families too.”
Inside one of the cat rooms, Buddy, an elderly cat who is blind in both eyes, popped up out of his bed. Buddy is due to be adopted in the next couple of weeks.
Claire and Kathryn, Buddy’s bunkmates, occupied the cage right below him and sat curled up together watching lazily from their cat hammock.
Kee said that Claire is beautiful and she knows it, and that some of the cats living at the clinic, like Claire, have what she called “cattitude.”
“Our beautiful ones are always the sassiest,” she said.
The shelter has received donations to convert the room where Buddy, Claire and Kathryn are currently staying into a cage free room, Kee said. The project will be complete in about a month, she added.
Kee said that the cat shelter is currently looking for volunteers, and that anybody can sponsor a cat by paying a $100 tax-deductible donation that goes toward paying for vetting for the cats.
A sponsor, Kee said, gets to name the cat and receive a weekly photograph of their cat.
“They get a weekly picture of a cat,” Kee said of the sponsorship program. “What can be better than that?”
While the weekly adoption event happens on Saturdays, people can reach out to the clinic to make an appointment to come in and meet the cats.
In addition to being spayed and neutered before being placed for adoption, the cats at the clinic are all indoor cats, Kee said.
You can find out more about the Ontario Feral Cat Project online on the organization’s Facebook page.
Reporter Joe Siess: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.
SUBSCRIBE TO HELP PRODUCE VITAL REPORTING -- For $5 a month, you get breaking news alerts, emailed newsletters and around-the-clock access to our stories. We depend on subscribers to pay for in-depth, accurate news produced by a professional and highly trained staff. Help us grow and get better with your subscription. Sign up HERE.