///What this Month Means in My House

What June Means in My House

Cats, kittens, and the problems of homelessness

It’s June, so no surprise: My house is abuzz with kittens and moms. The playing is nonstop, and at mealtime, the sound of kittens eating — all that adorable lip smacking — is priceless. Another kitten thing I love is the sneaky side trot, clearly intended to instill fear but always getting a laugh instead. There is a lot to love about kitten season, with one big exception: There are too many cats and kittens in this world!

I read an article recently that estimated the number of street cats in New York City at 500,000, many of them COVID adoptions that failed for economic, housing, and other reasons.

The result is a population explosion in homeless cat colonies in all five boroughs, which means an extra burden for the good people caring for those colonies plus countless annoyed New Yorkers with a NIMBY attitude toward stray felines.

Another article I read talked about a town in Germany that has imposed a temporary lockdown on free-roaming cats to protect various bird species, with big fines for owners who do not comply.

The best response to this complicated, worldwide problem involves a variety of tactics: trap/neuter/return programs, spay/neuter education and low-cost programs, and adoption. And for their sake and the sake of wildlife, we should keep our cats indoors! Period.

I also believe that much suffering could be avoided if responsible adopters got medical insurance for their pets. I get so many requests from people to help them fund their pet’s medical care. I currently have a dog in my program who got hit by a car and the family opted to have him euthanized since they couldn’t afford the life-saving surgery. The hospital called me and now I have a Poodle named Cookie! (Although one of the nurses wants to adopt Cookie, so that’s good!)

It can feel truly hopeless to those on this battle’s front lines. I have so many requests filling my inbox about cats about to give birth or from people who can no longer care for their cats. And there are so many litters of kittens in need!

But when we see families like Mama Garden’s saved from a brutal life on the streets, it just makes sense to do whatever you can. As the saying goes, “Saving one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal.” In Mama Garden’s case, that’s seven worlds saved, nurtured, and loved.

Mama Garden and her six babies (above and below) were rescued in a garden and are now thriving at my house. Mama went home in mid-June and her kittens are spoken for.

While kitten season never stops completely, it certainly goes into high gear this month. So, it’s fitting that June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. And I emphasize CAT, because there are just too many wonderful adult cats looking for forever homes, and as we know, kittens have an easier time being scooped up and adored. One of the adults at North Shore Animal League America (NSALA) who stole my heart recently is Floki (right). This super mellow, seven-year-old declawed (ouch!) hunk was the talk of the town with a personality to match his looks. Just a few days after I posted his photo on IG, one of my preapproved adopters went to our Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center (BFF) and wasted no time bringing him home!

I’m hoping the same magic will work for these two deserving felines now waiting at BFF for a home of their own. Here’s what my friends at NSALA have to say about them:

“Petite momma Lucy Liu (NCI3370) is waiting out kitten season, although she could be mistaken for a kitten herself! A rough adjustment to a new lifestyle had her needing support to settle in, but now that we understand she wants to be the only pet in her home, she’s proven to be a very chill little lady. She’s not entirely sure what toys are for, but she certainly understands treats! Lucy would thrive in a home of her own with kids over eight years old and adults who’ve had cats before. She’ll easily settle into life as a cherished pet!”

“Three-year-old Lefkada (H211337) has been with us since LAST kitten season. All of her kittens have enjoyed celebrating their first birthdays in loving homes, but it’s taken this tabby beauty time to adjust to life with us. We’ve given her lots of time, a space to herself, and treats, treats, and more treats to get her to trust humans. She’s chosen a favorite among us, proving she’s got it in her to trust an adopter too. Lefkada needs a life of continued peace; we’re seeking an experienced family with children 12+ years old to provide her the predictable environment we’ve seen her thrive in, and a place where she’ll be the only pet in her home.”

If you’re unable to adopt right now you can still play a role in helping cats like Lucy Liu and Lefkada find their forever homes. Contact your local shelter or rescue group and volunteer to socialize their adult cats so they can maintain their emotional well-being and be ready when that perfect adopter shows up. You can also promote adoption by using your social media to feature felines looking for homes in your community. And of course, you can foster.

Fostering cats and kittens brings me great joy and satisfaction, but I have to admit that it requires the kind of commitment that sometimes means going the extra mile.

At the moment, for example, I have two diabetic fosters in my program: eight-year-old Potato (below left) and 12-13-year-old Pearl (below right). Potato’s family “didn’t want to deal with his diabetes” after having him since he was a kitten. He came to us severely sick because his insulin needs had been ignored. He’s doing amazingly well now, is back on track, and is pure love.

Pearl’s former family took her to a municipal shelter where she was in danger of being euthanized due to her diabetes and not being easily adopted. Unfortunately, Pearl is not so sweet but will slowly warm up a bit to the person she trusts. She also only “tolerates” other cats. She’s a tough one but I know there’s a cat-experienced person out there who would love her for who she is.



In my experience, there are five things you must bear in mind when you decide to foster:

  1. First of all, you’ll need time. It takes a lot of hours every day to socialize fosters and provide for their needs. The most time-consuming commitment is to kittens, who need you almost around the clock. If you work full-time, you should consider an adult or senior foster.
  2. You’ll need an isolated area in your home. It doesn’t have to be spacious. Even a bathroom is fine!
  3. You’ll need access to a car or some form of transportation if an emergency arises or vet visits are needed.
  4. It’s important to work with an organization or shelter if you want food and supplies provided. Also, they can assist in finding forever homes. If you’re new to fostering, working with shelter experts will definitely help you learn the ropes.
  5. And above all, you’ll need not only a big heart, but a strong one, to eventually let them go (“time to fly”) when they’re ready for adoption.

And one thing more: If you decide to foster, be sure you have your family’s support. I could never do what I do for my nuggets without Howard. So, in honor of Father’s Day, I send a loving and grateful shout-out to my husband and partner for being such a hands-on, loving dad to all our fosters and family cats and rabbit(s).





In last month’s blog, I told you about Tazz, a sweet 20-year-old cat who was cruelly abandoned by the only family he’d ever known. When he was adopted from my program on May 15 by a fantastic couple, we knew he didn’t have much time left. Sadly, that time was very short. On June 5, his compassionate adopters made the decision to free Tazz from his suffering. I am forever grateful for all the love they gave this sweet boy during the last weeks of his life. My wish for all my fosters is to be loved as much as they loved Tazz.

P.S. Please sign North Shore Animal League America’s petition to end the Yulin dog meat event. I really can’t even write about this hateful topic. So just sign. Please. Thank you.

Sign the Petition
By |2023-07-12T12:38:10-04:00June 13th, 2023|