Jelly’s Place animal rescue in San Pablo, California, recently rescued three orphaned kittens who were abandoned on street by their mom. The babies were so young, so they needed a foster mom who could take care of them until they were ready to find a forever home.
When Kendal Benken saw a post online about three kittens on Facebook, she jumped at the chance to take in them. Benken has experience in fostering dogs and kittens, so the rescue approved her to be the kittens’ foster mom.
“The COVID-19 outbreak hit, and I was sheltering at home,” Benken told The Dodo. “I was looking for something to do. Who doesn’t enjoy cute little kittens? I saw it as a great opportunity.”
The little kittens had never known a mother’s love, so Benken tried to care for them as her own. However, Benken said she was not the only woman who loved the kittens and protected them.
Her 105-pound Lab mix, Truvy, fell in love with the babies and was willing to take over some motherly tasks.
“It’s so funny, when I brought them in she was immediately like, ‘Let me at ’em,'” Benken said. “She took to them immediately. They’re her babies.”
The giant dog helps them grow up strong and never lets the kittens out of her sight. She sits next to them, watches their every move and cleans them constantly.
“When I was trying to get the feedings done I’d have to put her out of the room, she would try to manage me,” Benken said. “When I’d let her back in, she would run over, check them, clean them and smell them. She has taken such ownership of them. She takes that role very seriously.”
“She will guard them, stand in front of them and push the other dogs out of the way. If another dog gets their nose in there while she’s cleaning the kittens, she will snap at the other dogs. She will give them a stern warning they are hers,” Benken said.
Benken adopted Truvy from a shelter in Texas when she was 5 weeks old. “She’s always been good with the fosters I’ve brought in. She’s extremely patient,” Benken said.
“I find it interesting she has such a strong motherly instinct [since] she’s never had puppies, she was spayed at 6 months old. For whatever reason, she has it. I think it is sweet.”
We are happy to know that the three kittens, Ed, Prissy and Louie, will be up for adoption soon. “Truvy will be sad when they do go, but I hope to replace them with a new litter we can foster,” Benken said. “It’s win-win: Truvy gets to be a mama, and the kittens get exposure to dogs. It makes them more adoptable. They’re not afraid of her. She’s always gentle and kind.”
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