Mini black panthers Carter, Hershey and Cash who were handed into the Animal Welfare League Queensland as motherless orphans at two weeks old and are the most underweight fosters we’ve ever had.
Only the weight of new borns they ranged between 112 and 139 grams instead of the expected 250 to 350 grams for healthy two week old kittens. Luckily for these tiny bubs a beautiful young mama cat, known only as Muther, was returned to the shelter the day after they arrived.
First time mum Muther had first arrived at the AWLQ with her own litter of kittens and when they were ready to be weaned she became surrogate mum to another group. By the time she took on the boys she had already been looking after kittens far longer than usual and was more than ready to find a new home of her own.
At first she was overwhelmed by another new placement and decided that down behind the sofa was the best place to be. We renamed her Angel, to reflect her guardian role in the lives of so many teenies and with a little encouragement she soon came out of hiding and claimed the entire downstairs of the house.
Queen of clean Angel had a beautifully loving nature and despite being over the baby experience took fantastic care of her new brood. Even so I was more pleased than usual to send Angel on her way knowing she would finally get the stable loving home she deserved.
I got a little emotional when the kittens looked and called for Angel after she left but they adjusted quickly as kittens do and soon settled into their new routine. As they grew their different natures became more and more obvious.
Cuddly Carter was the goofy boy next door who would make my heart melt with his enthusiastic welcomes. The image of him falling over himself to say hello to me each and every time he saw me still makes me smile and he was so much fun to photograph when he got into some silly situation.
Sweet Hershey was the easiest to photograph as he would get into and sit quietly in any container I gave him. I had to be quick though as it would quickly turn into a goofy game when someone else turned up.
He was also the one that like toys the most. While the other two were busy chasing each other around Hershey could often be found figuring out how a new toy worked before hiding it from everyone else to play with later.
Cash, the smallest of the group was also the most adventurous. He was the first to hit all his milestones, like starting to wean and eating dry food, and loved to explore. He was also the most difficult of the three to photo as he would grab the camera and try to eat it whenever it came near.
I soon worked out that trying to get angelic pictures of the boys wasn’t the easiest thing to do and I ended up spending a lot of my time videoing them instead. In the end I had to buy a new bigger memory card and was devastated when it became corrupt and I lost weeks worth of photos and videos of them growing up.
Luckily my sweet boys posed for a rare group shot on their last day with me before going back to the AWL to go into the adoption program. As it turned out Cash soon came back to us, and joined anxious to have a friend Brut for a couple of weeks.
Slán abhaile little ones, I hope you have wonderful lives and know you’ll fill your new homes with laughter and goofiness.