Daphne’s Adorable Surprises

Back in February, one of ARFP’s rescue team volunteers, Jenny, was contacted by someone who needed us to find homes for four cats. Two were younger, about 4-6 months old. Two were adults, about a year old. Technically, our focus is on kittens and puppies 12 weeks and under, but Jenny is a softie and couldn’t say no.

So all four cats came into the program. ARFP volunteers, being the awesome lot they are, got them set up in cages in the cat room at the adoption facility. (If they’d been younger, they would have gone to foster homes, but once they reach six months cats do better staying at the adoption center. Familiar territory, not having to travel — those of y’all who have cats know what I’m talking about.)

Three of them have already found forever homes. All except the black and white, year-old male named Daschel. He was really shy and just hid under his bed in his cage all the time. Normally, cats who live at the adoption center only stay in their cages full-time for a few days to a week while they’re getting used to being in a new environment. After that, they get to come out and have full run of the cat room whenever we’re not having an adoption fair.

Because Daschel was so shy, we let him stay in his cage, where he felt safe, and worked on socializing him in there. We didn’t try to pick him up or pull him out, just petted him and talked to him and gave him time to come around. We’ve dealt with that before. We know how to handle it.

Now, the man who surrendered Daschel to ARFP told us he was a boy. We had no reason to doubt him, and since we were trying not to stress Daschel we didn’t double-check.

We should have. Because when the volunteer who cleaned the cat room Thursday night left, there was only Daschel in the cage. When our executive director came in Friday morning, there was Daschel — and four newborn kittens!

Girl, why didn’t you say something?!

Yep, Daschel was actually a girl and had been pregnant when she came to us. Which could have been part of the reason she was hiding so much. (Plus, you know, strange new place.)

Anyway, Daschel was quickly renamed to Daphne. (I would have gone with Schrodinger. Possibly Heisenberg. But I wasn’t there, so I didn’t get a vote.)

Chad and I only had two foster kittens, and one of them — Fable — was adoption pending. So we told Sharon that if she could move Fable’s sister Rumour up to the adoption center, we could foster Daphne and her babies. They need a quiet, calm place that isn’t filled with people wanting to touch them, but that at the same time can work with Daphne to get her over her shyness. And Rumour is of an age that moving up to the adoption center will help her be more confident during adoption fairs. Plus, Yelena puts a hard veto on any foster kittens having 24/7 free run of the house. Oh, Yelena.

We delivered Fable to his new home this morning (he’s going to be SOOOOOO happy there!) and got Rumour settled in at the adoption center. Then we came home, scrubbed and sanitized Chad’s office (a must between any litters, but especially with newborns), and got Daphne and her babies settled in.

Well, okay, Daphne and crew hung out in their carrier in my office with me while Chad cleaned and sanitized his office. What? It’s too small for two people to clean at once! (This is my story, and I will forever stick with it.)

Aren’t they adorable? It’s taking everything I have not to sit on the floor by their box and stare at them all the time. Although I do have a sneaking suspicion that the one with the marking on its back that looks like a flying dragon is going to be the troublemaker of the bunch.

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