Rescue Family Friday episode 2.08

A little over 2 years ago, my good friend had found a stray kitten. Between her and her landlord,

there was a combined total of 3 large dogs and 3 adult cats. Both were trying to move and

couldn’t take on another animal. I’ve always been the person to call when trying to find a home

or rehome an animal for some reason. The landlord had taken the kitten to the vet and they

estimated he was about 6 weeks. A little orphaned baby living outside near Elysian.

When my friend asked if I knew someone who could take him, I immediately started looking into

‘no kill’ shelters in the area, but I thought it was very important to spend a few hours with this

little guy so I could properly ask around to people I knew and shelters.

All this came to a halt. Jasper wasn’t necessarily the cutest kitten I’d ever seen, but my

boyfriend and I knew right away that this was going to be our first baby together and there was

no reason to ask anyone else to take him. August 1st, 2017 we brought him home.

Jasper still has the energy level of an 8 week old kitten. He loves to play fetch like a dog, he

actually played very aggressively but would purr while doing it. We later found out that was a

very common trait of an orphan when we went to BENCHs in February of 2018 looking for a

sibling and companion to Jasper. I knew he needed a playmate within the first year of having

him, we just needed to be considerate of roommates and their timelines as none of them had

ever lived with cats.

I’m the kind of person who could pretty much fall in love with just about any animal so when I

walked through the doors of BENCHs and staff asked what brought me in, I had to tell them that

I couldn’t look at any of the cats, they would need to tell me who would be the best fit for my

precious Jasper. When describing what he was like, they got very excited because they had a 6

month old kitten exactly like what I had described who was also likely an orphan kitten based on

how aggressively he also played with humans. I looked and right there in condo 3 was a kitten

that just looking at him I knew it was going to be a match made in heaven.

Buttons condo card and story was a lot to take in. When he came to BENCHs a month or two

prior, someone had brought him in from the side of Highway 22 with his jaw almost detached.

Upon his arrival he had to be brought into one of the local vets for emergency surgery to

reattach and construct his jaw. Post op, he was sent to a foster home to recover. Fast forward

to us meeting him, he had this clear little button in his jaw with some wires in it. This didn’t deter

us, but I did ask a lot of questions about if he would be normal, what his diet would be like and if

this would have an impact on how long he may live. Basically, all that would remain from this

former tragedy would be the MOST precious little underbite of all time.

After extensively talking with staff and meeting Buttons and getting bit and scratched while

playing, I decided that this was my baby and he would be the newest addition to our family. My

boyfriend told me that I couldn’t adopt the first cat I had seen and so to humor him, I spent some

time with others and he also said we needed to see a cat at least 3 times before signing official

paperwork. I came every day to the shelter for 3 days and then told him I signed the adoption

papers for Buttons.

When we brought him home, Jasper was so mad at us. He was already developing a strong

case of what I like to call ‘only child syndrome’ at about 8 months old. After about the third day,

he realized that Buttons wasn’t going anywhere. It took about 2 weeks to fully introduce them to

the point where we didn’t feel like every interaction needed to be supervised and about a month

before they started cuddling and grooming each other in addition to playing and wrestling non

stop.

Fast forward to now, Jasper and Buttons are the best of friends and great companions for my

boyfriend and me. I would be lost without my boys, we do a lot together, including going on

walks in their stroller and on their leashes.

Buttons has taken on an amazing paternal role with several foster kittens last summer and this

year. He loves to play a game we call cat and mouse where the kittens chase him (the mouse)

and it’s quite entertaining to watch. Not only does he love to play with foster kittens, but when

they want to cuddle with a bigger kitty because they don’t have a mom, Buttons grooms them

and then takes a nap.

Due to Jasper’s former ‘only child syndrome’ he still hasn’t quite figured out how to be as good

as Buttons is with incoming fosters. He is pretty jealous so he likes to knock the kitties over and

let them know who is boss. Each time we would take in more kittens, he would slowly become

better and I even saw him give a kitten a kiss one time!

As someone who has adopted a kitten who wasn’t ‘the cutest’ in the world, and another that

clearly had perfect imperfections, I highly encourage future adopters to look past the physical

traits of an animal and look at their personalities first. You will fall in love if you take a chance

and they could bring you just as much joy, if not more than a ‘perfect’ animal. I am so glad we

took the leap of faith on both of our boys and cannot wait to see what our future holds.

Erik Jensen