An Update on the Kittens

An Update on the Kittens #FosterFriday

It’s with a heavy heart that I tell you that sweet little Ear Muffs, the male of the litter we were fostering, passed away on Tuesday this week at the shelter.

black and white kitten
Ear Muffs (Eskimo in the background)

Here is what I posted on Instagram earlier.

So sad to tell you that our little #fosterkitten Ear Muffs ran off to the rainbow bridge yesterday morning. It was completely unexpected. He appeared normal the day before, eating just fine. But yesterday morning at 4am when I got up, I noticed he was a bit lethargic. When I fed the kittens 30 minutes later, he had no interest in eating, which was quite odd for him. I called the #BestFriends emergency hotline and they advised to provide Karo syrup and bring him into the shelter. We dropped him off at the shelter to be cared for, and I received a call a few hours later that he didn't make it. There was no obvious cause. The foster team said that unfortunately sometimes this just happens with small kittens. Failure to thrive? Fading kitten syndrome? I don't know. Needless to say, I'm heartbroken. I sat with Eskimo and Evergreen later in the day, cried for Ear Muffs, and watched the other two play and groom and just be kittens. We will be taking Eskimo and Evergreen back into the shelter today so they can be observed closely and ensure they are healthy. They seem fine, are very playful, wrestle with each other and eat with gusto. But to be safe, the vet would like to see them. Since we live a decent distance away, they will stay at the shelter for the time-being. They may go back into foster, or they may stay under supervision at the shelter. We will miss the sweet babies. #Fostering definitely has its ups and downs. But overall, it is worth it. I'm sad to have experienced this extreme low so early on (if ever). But I know that's just a reality of fostering tiny kittens. We will foster again, as it is so important to do. But until then, we will hug our resident cats and find comfort in their purrs and kitty kisses. RIP, Ear Muffs.

A post shared by Three Chatty Cats (@threechattycats) on

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Evergreen with Ear Muffs
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My selfie with Ear Muffs.

Eskimo and Evergreen

Tuesday afternoon after we had returned home, the foster coordinator advised that the vet would like to examine the other two kittens in the litter as well, just to be safe. Since Ross and I wouldn’t be able to continue to drive up to the shelter during the week or if another emergency did arise (depending on traffic, it takes us anywhere from one to two hours to drive up, one way), we decided it would be best to return them to the shelter. So, we trekked up again Wednesday to drop them off.


Please rest assured that Eskimo and Evergreen were doing well, but of course we thought the same about Ear Muffs. I imagine that Eskimo and Evergreen will return to foster with someone who lives closer. We will likely stick to fostering adult cats or older kittens. This was our first litter of kittens, and they were estimated to be three to four weeks when we picked them up earlier in the month.



It’s been a very hard week, and we’ve learned just how hard fostering can be. Some people say they can’t foster because they wouldn’t be able to give the cats or kittens back. It never really crossed my mind that one might pass away, though. Of course I know it happens (I’ve seen it on other cat blogs), but I just didn’t realize how often it happens and for no obvious reason sometimes. And when it happens to you, it’s just devastating.

I will update you as I hear updates on Eskimo and Evergreen. Thank you for all the kind words everyone has left this week on social media.

black and white kittens
Evergreen and Eskimo

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  1. The photo of Angel Ear Muffs looking straight up is one of the most adorable images I’ve ever seen! Thank you for reaching out to foster these babes, and am sending purrs and hugs to both them, the vet office, and to you and hubby. Praying that the rest of the litter thrives.

  2. I can’t click “like” because I know how this must have devastated you. I am so deeply, deeply sorry. Praying that the rest of the litter is ok. Sending you much love and many, many (((hugs))))

  3. We are so sorry that you had to go through this and of course, sorry for Ear Muffs.He was adorable and just what we are looking for in a little brother for Colette and Simone. Take comfort in the short time he had with you he was in good hands as will others in the future.

  4. I imagine I would be devastated as well – and want answers. I also imagine I’d blame myself – but it sounds like there’s nothing you could do – and that’s even more frustrating. I’m so sorry. I wish I had the right words or could give you a hug. You gave Ear Muffs the very best in the time you had him – and I bet it meant the world to him even if his body wouldn’t cooperate.

  5. Oh no, we are so sorry. That must have been so hard to go through. Just know that little EAr Muffs, knew some good love while he was with you and so he was a very lucky kitty. Hope the other two continue to do better. Have a great day.

  6. So sorry for your loss. Thankfully we have not lost one of our fosters yet but know there is always a chance as we foster neonatal kittens.

  7. We’re so sorry to hear of Ear Muffs’ passing, Rachel. Sending comforting purrs and prayers to you, and hoping that Evergreen and Eskimo are okay.