In 1997 as I laid my head down to sleep off Wilshire & La Jolla in Los Angeles … I heard the faintest cry of ” meow ” . That faint cry turned into my first rescue kitten. I pulled the screen off the access hole to the underneath of the house I was renting, crawled Army-style through the dirt over to a tiny orange and white kitten. The only survivor of a litter of 5. Mom had been hit by a car earlier in the day.
Although I had cats as pets my whole life, I had no idea how to care for a tiny baby kitten. I got a box, some towels, fired up the internet and desperately tried to find a 24 hour vet and any information on what I should do. I made it to the closest VCA that was open 24-hours – and thus began my crash course in the exhaustive, yet rewarding experience of saving a teeny tiny furry little life. The kitten, who I took to my start-up company was immediately adored, and adopted, and lived a very happy and loved 18 years.
As time allowed, I continued to take in “found” kittens each year during January~March, or as they call it in Los Angeles- “Kitten Season”. By word of mouth someone would come across a litter that had yet to open their eyes, and one way or another they would find their way to me. I had the ability to dedicate the time to bottle feeding them every three hours, and doing all the things little kittens need to stay clean, warm, healthy and loved.
Working from home gave me extra latitude to take care of a litter of kittens. A diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis left me unable to travel for work – and I was able to take in kittens year round – and Venice Beach Kitten Rescue was established. I always had two or three kittens just by word of mouth – and other rescue organizations found out I could bottle feed and had the time and ability to care for some of the more needy cases, and I became a go-to home for kittens that needed a little extra love, care and help.
In 2016 my neighbor contacted me about a stray she had been feeding in her neighborhood. She thought she was pregnant … and our particular area was just not conducive to any of the kittens surviving had they been born outside. The stunning Russian Blue mama was named “FiFi” – my neighbor got her in a carrier and I took her in. Fifi got as big as a house. I had never fostered a mama kitty and a litter. A week or so before she gave birth a vet took an X-ray of her while she was getting a check up. He said it looked like 5 kittens. The girls in the vet office said 6. A week later Fifi gave birth to 7 kittens. I had no idea what a breeze it was having a mama kitty around to do all the feeding and cleaning! It was a complete joy – I had several cameras streaming live on the internet in the room with Fifi leading up to, during, and after she gave birth. All the kittens were, chipped, spayed, neutered and adopted right away.
After Fifi I decided to expand how many rescues I could take in at one time. Los Angeles strives to be a “No-Kill” City, but for cats the shelters are just too overwhelmed with kittens to have that prospect be realistic. After deciding to dedicate my full time to kitten rescue, Los Angeles Meow Salvage was established.
I have traveled way out to Yucaipa to rescue a shelter mama with kittens, and usually grab whoever else I can while I am there. I have met other amazing fosters and support many great rescue agencies who all have the same goal in mind – saving cats and kittens from an unnecessary death simply because there aren’t enough people to feed help bottle feed the kittens, or the shelters are too crowded to help a cat sick with a treatable respiratory infection.
Los Angeles Meow Salvage now has an amazing team of dedicated folks to care for our rescues and foster kitties. We take as many as we can. We help as many as we can, with a focus on the ones that are sick and need an extra bit of TLC to get over the hump on the way to a forever home. We are always at capacity, but there is an amazing network of fosters and caring folks in Los Angeles – and we do our best to try and find a way to place rescues if we can’t take them in.
Los Angeles Meow Salvage