Less than a week ago, Wednesday morning, as I blearily looked out my kitchen window I spied a tiny tuxedo kitten not much bigger than a softball playing in my backyard. Astute Daily Gryffin fans will know… we don’t have a tiny tuxedo kitten. I immediately went outside for a better look… and accidentally scared the poor kitten off. I watched for Momma or littermates all day, but no one came for him and he was so small and alone, so we decided to trap him and see if we could help him find a life off the streets.

Tiny Q before being trapped

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The evening came and we baited a kitten trap with stinky tuna and wet cat food, and within the hour we had trapped the hungry baby. Poor thing was absolutely terrified, throwing himself against the door of the trap trying to escape, and crying, crying, crying tiny kitten wails. We moved him to a crate with fresh food and water and a litter box, and talked to him quietly, trying to help settle him. It was clear he was quite feral and very spicy, hissing at us and meowing fitfully. After a while, we covered up his crate and let him rest overnight and get a belly full of food, and planned to work with him again in the morning.

Thursday morning Quentin, or Tiny Q as he more often got called, was still quite spicy and we  figured the best way to tame him would be to move slowly. We started by quietly reading books out loud to him while sitting a little bit away, then talking to him, not making any big moves toward him except to put food in his crate and freshen the water and clean the litter box. Poor baby was still scared, and would try to climb the sides of the crate to escape the giant human hand invading his space when we did this. He looked like a Spider Kitty! 

Spider Kitty!

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But by Thursday afternoon, he allowed us to sit next to him outside of the crate, and by that evening, let us pet his head with a toy: a simple string tied to a stick that we began to refer to as the “Anti-Spice Stick." He would hiss at the stick and us when we put it near him, but as soon as we started petting his head with it, he’d immediately settle and start purring. It was like flipping a switch from a wild little thing to a tame housecat! After a while with the Anti-Spice Stick, I got brave enough to put my fingers in the cage and pet him, and he loved it. So we purritoed him in a towel, and held and pet him for the first time. It was clear this baby was meant to be somebody’s beloved kitty; Tiny Q just has such a sweet, loving nature. And a HUGE, non-stop purr-box.

By Friday he was basically tamed: he would give the tiniest, silliest little perfunctory hiss when we would first come in in the mornings before switching to full-volume, diesel-engine purring. We spent the day together snuggling and playing and building trust and confidence. We finally got to weigh him: only 780 grams of tiny fluffball, putting him roughly in the 5-8 week age range. Enough to have left his Momma, but still so small and vulnerable to be alone! Still no sign of Momma or siblings outside; it’s a rough life for kittens to be born on the streets and the best we can figure is that he was the only survivor of the litter. We’re still not sure how he ended up in our backyard and plan to set traps to try and catch Momma for TNR and make sure there are no more unwanted litters in the future.

Chillin in the crate, Purring non-stop

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The only trouble we had during this time was that he developed diarrhea. Poor baby, he was so young, we weren’t sure if it was just kitten digestion issues or parasites. So we tried to get himan appointment to the vet. Unfortunately, our usual vets didn’t have openings for at least a week or more, and the local Pet ER said they couldn’t take care of him til he’d been with us for two weeks. He needed to be seen before that, so we kept looking, and fortunately we got an appointment at a different vet we had never been to for Saturday.

And that’s where Fate intervened, and Tiny Q met his Forever Momma. I had mentioned during intake that we were fostering him and hoping to find a family to adopt him out to. Our six cats are about the limit of what we can handle! Within a few minutes of him being back in the vet’s working area, the vet tech came out and asked if I would consider adopting him to one of her fellow vet techs who worked there. She had recently had a cat who had passed on, and had already fallen in love with Tiny Q. She came out to talk with me, and words simply can’t describe the look of absolute trust and love and adoration that Tiny Q had in his eyes as his new momma held him like a baby. He was totally spellbound as he gazed up at her. He gave me one quick look as if to say, “Foster Dad, you and Foster Mom were great, but this is my Forever Mom and I love her.” The vet tech (name redacted for privacy!) and I spoke for a while, and I felt very comfortable entrusting Tiny Q to join her family. Even the vet came out to vouch for her! I know that he will be absolutely loved and cared for, and that’s what we wanted most for this wee small kitten who just days before had been all alone on the mean streets of the world. 

Sleepy boy!

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Tiny Q’s new Momma has sent several updates and it’s pretty clear he’s settling in well with his new family. We are lucky to have had him in our lives for a brief time… and in less than 72 hours we nearly became Foster Fails to this sweet-natured boy! We’re so thankful to his new Momma for giving this little sweetheart a good home and family.

Tiny Q with his new Forever Momma

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