thea and knox

Thea and Knox, a puppy who will be trained as a guide dog

Our granddaughter Thea, 15, lives in Salt Lake City. More than a year ago she began looking into raising a puppy that, when old enough, would be trained to be a guide dog for the blind. Last summer Knox came to live with her and she has been caring for him and teaching him. He goes to school with her and the school actually has a special class where students learn about caring for the puppies and providing early training, so she gets credit for this activity.   There are 30 puppies in her school.

Seneca loves cats and after learning about Thea’s experience and possibly the fact that we care for foster children, gave Seneca the idea of fostering a kitten for the local humane society. We checked on-line and learned that they do have such a program and downloaded an application. There was no age restriction for applicants. We agreed that there were some behaviors Seneca needed to get under control before we could be sure she would be responsible enough to care for a foster kitten. We made a chart and she worked very hard and finally we all felt she was ready.

Kit and shoe

On Friday afternoon two weeks ago, we went to the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society with her application. They chatted with her and showed her the cats and kittens currently available for adoption but they said it was not likely they would need her to foster a kitten until spring, which is their busy time.

kit sen green

Seneca loves cats and kittens

Seneca was disappointed not to get a kitten to take home and she asked each day if there had been a phone call. I reminded her that it was not yet spring. However, on Tuesday I got a call saying that there was a litter of older kittens needing socialization, and asking if Seneca be interested. I was sure she would be and said we would be by the following day after school.

Kit and Seneca with two

She can cuddle more than one at a time

Kit and Raven

Raven helps too

When we arrived with our traveling kennel, we learned that they expected us to take all five, they don’t like to separate a litter until they are ready to be adopted. What could I say, I have the same philosophy regarding siblings placed for adoption, they all need to go to the same family.
We had to change plans, with so many kittens, they stay in our mud room rather than a little wire pen we had planned to use. They seemed happy, ate well and began purring when picked up. Seneca has been very responsible about caring for them, even spending weekend nights sleeping on the floor in the mud room to be near them.

We were told that the kittens would be with us for a couple of weeks, then wewould need to return them to the Humane Society to be adopted. How will Seneca feel when it is time to say good-bye? She has had practice doing that with the many temporary foster children that have passed through our house. I think she will be sad but will look forward to fostering another kitten in the spring.

kit sen holding new

Happy girl, happy kittens