When three one-week-old kittens were brought into the Atlanta Humane Society just before closing time, one of the staff members brought them home with her because there was no time to find a foster. Once, home, she tried to keep them separate from her other pets, but when Mika, an AHS alumna, heard them cry, she insisted on standing guard and caring for the kittens.
Lauren Gaddis, adoption manager for the AHS adopted Mika from the shelter last year. Her name was Momma then, which now seems incredibly apropos!
“A patron came in to the shelter around 6:15 p.m. She had three very small (likely a week old) kittens that she had found outside,” she told PEOPLE. “She cared for them for two days but could not keep caring for them. Because it was so late in the evening, we were unable to find a foster to take them, so my husband and I decided we would take care of them for the night.”
Gaddis and her husband have a whole gaggle of pets, so she wanted to keep the babies sequestered so they’d feel safe and comfortable. But their piercing cries alarmed Mika, who refused to be isolated when she was so clearly needed.
“We let Mika smell them. She quickly stood over and ‘guarded’ them from everyone else, letting them know these were her babies,” Gaddis explained. “She continued to lick them, roll them over and clean them and guard them throughout the rest of the night. It was so amazing and sweet. It gave us insight to her life before us when she had been a mama dog.”
The kittens – named Catherine, Heather, and Tommy – are doing well now, thanks to Mika’s doting nature. They will need adoptive homes soon, but the Atlanta Humane Society – and most other shelters worldwide – are always in need of foster homes to give pets the love they need and prepare them for life with new families.
“Without foster parents and without people willing to step up and care for the kittens and puppies who come into our shelter, these little ones wouldn’t have a chance,” said Christina Hill, AHS Director of Marketing and Communications.
“Puppy and kitten season sounds cute, and it can be, but it is also an urgent time where we here at the Atlanta Humane Society, and at shelters across the nation, desperately need our communities to step up and help us care for these little ones. All shelters are in need of foster parents willing to save lives, but we’re also always in need for baby supplies like formula, bottles, blankets and toys.”