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Four Kittens Need Your Help to See a Bright Future

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UPDATE September 20, 2016: The summer has brought many changes for our young kitten family. All the kittens have grown into playful bundles of fur, and have become staff favorites in our Port Washington adoption center. But the biggest change of all is Willow and Cosmo have been adopted! Originally these two siblings were presented as a double adoption due to the strong bond they had as kittens. But since they've been back from their foster home they have become really independent, even making other feline friends in our feline habitat. Willow was adopted last month by a longtime supporter of Animal League America, and Cosmo was adopted this week.

We're especially proud of Cosmo, since he was expected to be the least adoptable as he still receives eyedrops 3 times a day, as well as having to deal with all those silly "black cat" superstitions. But we never should have doubted him! His playful and friendly nature made him an ideal choice when North Shore Animal League America Volunteer, Foster Parent, and National Spokesperson, Beth Stern asked about spotlighting a special cat on her Instagram feed. When we suggested Cosmo, she fell so in love with his photos that she even offered to foster him herself. But first she shared his story and photos with her followers, and Cosmo found that special someone in no time at all!

Cosmo and his new mom, Jennifer Leo and Harlow

Leo and Harlow are still available for adoption. These loving siblings are truly a bonded pair, and will bring years of happiness to some lucky adopter. If you're interested in meeting this loveable brother/sister team, contact Dorit Shani at 516-883-7900 ext. 327 or

UPDATE May 23, 2016: The Kittens are back and they are ready to find their new homes! After surgeries and several months of recuperation this loveable little family is back at our Port Washington Adoption Center, eager to purr their way into the hearts of some lucky adopters. Since these kittens have such a strong bond, they will need to be adopted as pairs - Leo & Harlow or Cosmo & Willow. Foster Mom, Kathy Robrecht provided some insight into the different personalities of these four siblings. You can see more of these playful kittens on Kathy's Instagram page,, where she shared their story and highlighted their progress.

Leo is big on cuddling! Leo is a compassionate little boy. He loves to sleep in bed with you, and will even tuck himself under the blankets. Sometimes he may want to tell you a story during the night, but you tell him its bedtime and he’ll snuggle up and go back to sleep.   Harlow loves to hunt for treats and she’s very smart about it. She even responds to a dog clicker trainer and comes running to see what treats she will receive when she sits. Harlow also as the cutest little meow, and she’s so soft!     Cosmo is a big boy with lots of love to give! He really loves to watch the birds outside the window. Cosmo might think he’s a parrot since he enjoys taking a ride on his Foster Mom’s shoulder. Cosmo also takes his eye medication without a problem.   Willow loves to play! Loves to hide behind curtains! She will even jump out at one of her siblings like she’s playing hide and seek. Although she can be a little scaredy cat at times, she is still friendly and loves to snuggle.

If you’d like to meet these special siblings, and maybe make one or more  a part of your family, contact Foster Care Manager, Tara Guclu at 516-883-7900 ext. 352 or

UPDATE April 28, 2016: When the kittens were about three to four months old and capable of enduring surgery, Leo and Cosmo underwent surgery first at our medical center, while the females, Harlow and Willow, were taken to Animal Medical Center in Manhattan for a more specialized procedure. Although the kittens underwent surgeries at different times and in different locations, they shared the heart and the home of the same Animal League America foster parent while they recovered. Kathy Robrecht began fostering all four of the kittens in November, giving them the freedom to roam free, play, and experience what it’s like to live with a family in a responsible, loving home.

“All four of these kittens are so loveable and affectionate in their own way. They all have different personalities and they’ve grown so much as the months have gone by. They’ve brought so much love and a lot of laughs into our home,” said Kathy who has cared for 24 animals since becoming a foster parent almost two years ago. “I don’t see their condition affecting them much at all now that they’ve had their procedures. They are your typical playful, loving cats who enjoy being cuddled, giving kisses and getting spoiled with belly rubs.”

Soon, these adorable kittens will be ready to find homes of their own. If you’re interested in learning how you can make them a part of your family contact Foster Care Manager, Tara Guclu at 516-883-7900 ext. 352 or

When Leo, Cosmo, Harlow and Willow arrived at North Shore Animal League America, the four fuzzy kittens were so young, they were small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. At just weeks old, the litter of siblings were rescued by the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization particularly because they were all born with a disorder that would require highly delicate corrective surgery to repair.

Animal League America Senior Vice President and Chief of Veterinary Staff, Dr. Mark Verdino said the kittens, now five months old, have a genetic disease called Eyelid Agenesis, which means their upper eyelids were not fully formed. As a result, their hair and eyelashes rub on the corneas causing severe irritation, which could result in corneal ulcers, dry eye, and other long-term issues.

“We rescued this litter about four months ago when they were very young and very little,” said Dr. Verdino as he examined the kittens in the Emergency Care Unit of our Alex Lewyt Veterinary Medical Center. “Each kitten’s condition varies in severity, the females are more affected than the males, but all four of them will need surgery. We had to wait until they were mature enough and strong enough to undergo the procedure.”

Upon examining the kittens, it was determined the two female kittens are missing close to half of their upper eyelids, while the males are missing slightly less. As a result, the females will need to undergo a more specialized reconstructive surgery, which will be performed by a board certified ophthalmologist at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan. The boys will undergo the procedure in-house at Animal League America. Doctor Verdino said the litter will be placed in Animal League America’s one-of-a-kind Foster Care Program once the surgeries are complete, ensuring they receive the utmost medical care and recovery time they need.

“The eyelids are a very delicate area; you’re trying to reconstruct an area that can be very difficult. Hopefully this isn’t the case, but sometimes it can take more than one procedure to get the result we’re looking for,” he said. “If the surgery can’t happen because there’s too much of the eyelid missing, or if it isn’t as successful as we’d like, they’d be dealing with a life of constant eye drops and ointments in order to alleviate the symptoms as much as possible.”

Other than this unfortunate disorder, the four kittens are as happy and healthy as can be. If the surgeries are deemed a success, these siblings will be placed up for adoption in hopes of finding responsible, loving homes.

By supporting Animal League America’s Help Me Heal Program, not only are you helping animals like Leo, Cosmo, Harlow and Willow, you are helping to care for the thousands of sick and injured animals that come through our doors each year. Animal League America never gives up on an animal in need, but we can’t do our work without the generosity of animal lovers like you. Please donate today.

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