As a young mother, Kirby was brought to the local county shelter with her three young babies.
In the short time she was there, the volunteers helped her nurse her young children, fed her, and cared for her. The county shelter was not the ideal place for a mom with three babies. A staff member at the shelter saw the sadness in her eyes and that was when we received the call.
It was the middle of March and it was still cold out; we hadn’t expected kitten season so soon. We were very wrong. East County Animal Shelter had called us, the Valley Humane Society, to tell us about Kirby and her young babies who were just days old. We were ecstatic because it was our first “mom and babies” of the season. This meant that kitten season was finally upon us!
Our Animal Care Manager started calling her foster families and seeing who was interested. We got a quick response from a new foster who wanted to get her feet wet in the kitten fostering world. We knew this family would do a great job and we couldn’t wait to go pick up Kirby and her kids. Shortly after confirming the foster family, our Animal Care Manager drove down to ECAS with a kennel in tote. When she arrived, she met a beautiful brown tabby no older than a year, with three small kittens. There were two brown tabbies and one Siamese.
We were still in our old building at the time and needed to keep them healthy until their foster home arrived. The safest place to hold them was our storage room.
This may sound silly, but they were not at risk of catching anything that may have been floating in the air there. While our Animal Care Manager and myself sat in the storage room with this new mom, we took photos and thought of name ideas.
Sitting next to us in the room was no other than a vacuum cleaner. As silly as it was, we named those kitties after vacuum cleaners. As you already know, the beautiful brown tabby mother was named Kirby. Her three kittens were named Dyson, Hoover, and Bissell.
Kirby and her kids went into foster only a short time after we named them. Their foster family exclaimed that Kirby was quite the talkative cat and loved chatting. Kirby and her babies were in foster for about two months until they could all get spayed and neutered.
Once they were all fixed, they came back into the shelter and were put up for adoption. Bissell, Hoover, and Dyson were all adopted almost immediately. Yet, Kirby stayed behind and nobody noticed her true beauty and kindness.
Our staff members could tell she was getting frustrated with having to live her life in a kennel. Our staff and volunteers were doing everything we could to try and comfort her and assure her that she too would find her forever home shortly.
We had even put her in one of our back rooms and she had the ability to be out all day in this room without having to be kenneled.
Nothing seemed to help, Kirby was very stressed out and we could all tell that all she wanted was a forever home. Then, the time came for us to move out of the old modular and into the brand new facility next door. Kirby was one of the first ones to move into the new Kitty City.
We chose one of the biggest kennels and gave her the comfiest beds. But, even as time passed, she still was unhappy. Our volunteers would sit and talk to her and let her out into our enclosed cat run, hoping this would help her out. The cat run certainly eased her spirits, but she still chose to be grumpy instead of happy.
After about two months of living in Kitty City, I couldn’t handle seeing Kirby so upset anymore. She was so stressed that she had even developed diarrhea and began acting very lethargic. During the day, I took her out of her kennel and brought her up to my desk in the reception area. I made sure she had access to a litter box and food. That was when I fell in love. Kirby’s attitude had totally changed; she just needed somebody to be her “person.”
After two weeks of her spending the daytime in our reception area, I permanently moved her up here. She got to live in the office, making her our “office cat.” Just a few short days after, she perked up and her diarrhea stopped. Kirby was finally happy.
I can definitely say that Kirby is a sassy cat but she means well. She is a typical cat; she will love you on her own terms. But, she will always chat with you and keep you occupied if you are looking for a friend. She has charmed our office staff and volunteers and everybody always asks, “Where is Kirby?”, “How is she doing today?”
We all love her and have taken her under our wings. Sometimes I call her “my own,” but I know I cannot take her and I play the role of a temporary foster mom for her.
I have two alpha female cats at home and neither would be pleased if I brought another alpha cat in. I also just adopted a wild puppy who would frighten Kirby. Nonetheless, I love this cat with all of my heart and it pains me to see her stuck here at the shelter and not in a forever home bonding with her “person.”
Kirby is a delightful cat. When I come in in the morning, she greets me with a head butt and many loud purrs. When I sit at my desk, she jumps up and curls up behind me. Sometimes she will jump on top of my purse and lay there for hours.
Aside from these two locations, she has a kitty castle that she sleeps in. Her kitty castle is one of her favorites! Lastly, our Executive Director’s office has two beautiful windows that Kirby absolutely adores. Kirby enjoys being an indoor kitty, but if you have an enclosed kitty area in your backyard, she would be delighted.
Kirby is a wonderful cat who just needs somebody patient and willing to take the time to get to know her. She would make an absolutely wonderful feline friend and I promise you she will keep you company by curling up next to you and chatting to you when you engage her. Kirby deserves more than living as an “office cat” and I want to see her find a home sooner rather than later.
Please help me find this beautiful, chatty kitty find a forever home. Kirby will be waiting for you.
If you are interested in Kirby or any other pet at the Valley Humane Society, call 925- 426-8656.