An old grandfatherly cat needs kittens.
Sounds odd, indeed, but the Langley-based rescue organization Tiny Kittens has put out a plea for help.
“This is going to sound weird at first,” Tiny Kitten founder Shelly Roche said, acknowledging it’s a strange but “important” request.
She hopes someone knows of a cat owner in the area willing “to give us two or more kittens for Grandpa to love?” She even went as far as to put out a plea through social media and CraigsList more than a week ago.
Grandpa Mason is an ancient, battle-scarred feral cat with terminal kidney disease, who is in need of kittens, Roche explained.
He was rescued in 2016 by Tiny Kittens, and instead of euthanasia, they hoped to make him comfortable and free of pain in what they call his “sunset months.”
What happened next completely melted hearts.
He’s adjusted remarkably well to life indoors, although he’s still is not a big fan of humans. But what floored them was that Mason become an incredible grandpa to many of the organization’s foster kittens.
“He loves kittens more than anything in the whole world… He lets them nurse on him, styles their hair, and teaches them important Grandpa secrets about how to be a cat,” Roche said.
Mason has raised several litters now, and is “happiest when he is covered in a pile of purring kittens.”
His story has been told on social media, and one of his transformation videos has received in excess of 6.6 million views.
His last litter of kittens was adopted out in January, and Tiny Kittens has been unable to find replacements for him since then.
“It is not currently kitten season here, which is actually a good thing,” Roche said. “But we just want Grandpa to live out his final months surrounded by as much love and joy as possible, so we are looking for kittens now.”
They are specific in asking that the kittens not be ill.
“Because Grandpa is old and has kidney disease, we have to be careful not to expose him to kittens who are sick, so we are looking for at least two kittens who are around four weeks old (so he has enough time with them) and who are relatively healthy. Malnourished, fleas, parasites, etc. are no problem – we can fix that fast,” Roche explained.
“Orphaned kittens would benefit most from being fostered by Grandpa, but we are happy to take mama, too, if you have kittens with a mama – since four weeks is too little to be separated.”
The idea to post the ad, Roche said, came when she was watching a video posted to Facebook featuring one of Mason’s past kittens.
Bean Bunny, as she was named, was very demanding when she woke from a nap, so Mason was accustomed to finding her and giving her a “smoosh.”
When Roche was listening to the video, the meows coming from Bean Bunny awoke Mason from his cat nap. He began searching the house for his ‘little babe’.
That’s when Roche realized he needed some more kittens, sooner rather than later.
“Kittens are just starting to come into our local shelters, but they are not yet overflowing to the point where they would benefit from sending them to Grandpa,” Roche shared with the Langley Advance.
“We had offers from the southern United States, and were looking into transport options, but I know in a few weeks, we will all be flooded with kittens up here.”
Fearful, however, that a few weeks might be all Mason has, she didn’t want to wait and so put out the call for some local kittens.
“In the meantime, we brought in a three-year-old feral, named Riska… It turns out, Grandpa loves Riska, too,” she said, noting they’re both ferals that came from the same area.
“I thought they might enjoy each other’s company while he waits for his next litter of kittens… they play together, he smooshes her and makes biscuits on her, they snuggle together, and the scamper around the house at 4 a.m. trilling to each other.”