By Janet McAfee

These two precious kittens, Foxie and Fiona, were found dumped in a trash can in a cruel act beyond comprehension.   While there was no video capturing the culprit, luck was with these little 1-week old animals when a good Samaritan heard sounds that led him to their shocking discovery.  Sergio quickly checked the internet and discovered Loving All Animals/Pet Rescue Center shelter in Coachella.  Loving All Animals knew these tiny motherless kittens could not survive long without continuous bottle feeding from an experienced foster home.  Their first phone call was to Roz Landsman, a local resident well equipped to give these little animals the best chance of survival.  Fortunately Roz was home, and she said “Yes”.

Roz Landsman, foster mom extraordinaire, immediately headed out to retrieve the pair of kittens and brought them to her home.  The future isn’t always guaranteed for such young neglected animals that are likely to be malnourished and/or have other medical complications.  One of the kittens had an eye infection, and Loving All Animals quickly scheduled a veterinary appointment.  The two kittens, named Foxie and Fiona, thrived under Roz’s loving care.

I recently interviewed Roz while Foxie and Fiona, now 14 weeks old, played happily in the background.  Roz explained how she came to foster 31 litters of cats and kittens during the past 22 years.  In 1997, Roz was the Volunteer Coordinator at Animal Samaritans.  One day she observed a woman enter the facility with two tiny motherless kittens she found in the bushes.  The receptionist told her, “They are too small for us to take them.”  Without thinking, Roz blurted out, “I will take them!”

Luckily a veterinarian was on duty at Animal Samaritans that day in 1997, and he provided Roz with a list of bottle feeding supplies to purchase at Petco.  The vet instructed her about how to bottle feed very young kittens.  The tiny creatures, estimated to be only one day old, still had their umbilical cords attached.  Roz happily undertook the round the clock feedings required for kittens this young.  Roz recalls, “My adult cat Sadie took over caring for the kittens, keeping them clean and warm, and helping potty train them.  The kittens thrived, and I ended up adopting them both.”  Without Roz’s quick decision to foster, it is likely that Dookie and Princess would have perished.  And in 2019, Foxie and Fiona, might not have survived had it not been for this most knowledgeable and animal-loving foster mom.

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Roz explains, “Fostering is my joy!  My children are now grown, but I still get to be a Mom.  When my husband, Arnie, was alive we were known as the ‘kitten bottle feeding couple’.  We all look for a purpose in our lives, and I’ve found mine with fostering.  I will never stop fostering these precious kittens and cats!”   

Cats are in a crisis throughout the Coachella Valley.  Overpopulated homeless cats roam parking lots and fields, giving birth to countless litters of kittens many of whom perish from disease, predators, and inclement weather.  Last year, 2018, California killed 111,000 animals in public shelters, more than any other state except for Texas (source: Best Friends Animal Society).  The majority of those animals were cats and kittens.  The valiant efforts of shelters, rescue groups, and low cost spay & neuter programs are making a difference, but the problem is overwhelming.  Public shelters usually cannot house motherless underage kittens and puppies because they do not have overnight staff to bottle feed. Unless a foster home is obtained, tragically these underage animals may be euthanized.

Mary Ewing, Loving All Animals’ Whiskers & Purrs director, reports, “If we had a few more dedicated people like Roz to help, it would make a difference to so many cats and kittens.  Many of the groups that need foster homes are 5 weeks and older so they don’t need the frequent bottle feeding.”  Public shelters cannot house underage motherless kittens.  Can you help?  Call Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000 for information about fostering cats and kittens.  Working together, one day we can save them all!  

Foxie and Fiona are now ready for their “furever” home.  They are fully vetted, including spaying and microchipping.  It would double the love and double the fun if they could be adopted in a home together.  Their happy kitten antics and lovely little “purrsonalities” will bring holiday joy to your home!  Contact Loving All Animals at www.lovingallanimals.org, (760) 834-7000 to meet Foxie and Fiona.   

Janetmcafee8@gmail.com

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