More than Flowers Blooming as Spring Begins…
Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (April 4, 2018) – With the beginning of spring, flower fields are causing newsworthy traffic congestion and flower companies can be seen making deliveries all around town. But Tuesday morning, a tiny kitten was the first springtime delivery to make its way to Helen Woodward Animal Center. Hidden near the wild weeds of a parking lot, the fuzzy baby, named Gardenia Greg by the Center’s veterinary team, serves as an important reminder that the blossoming months are also the beginning of Kitten Season and San Diego residents may find these tiny new “blooms” in easy-to-miss and dangerous places around their homes.
The months of April through the summer are known as Kitten Season, a time when shelters see the largest influx of orphan kittens come through their doors. Indicating the start of that busy season, a caring animal-lover arrived at Helen Woodward Animal Center looking for a safe haven for a tiny 6-week-old kitten.
Greg Martindale told Center staff that he was alerted by co-workers taking classes at City College that they had heard the cries of a kitten when returning to their cars. He went to the campus and began searching for the frail feline but found none. Determined to help, he began to make meowing sounds in hopes the lost kitty would respond. Sure enough, he started hearing the baby’s calls coming from the fender well of a car parked in the college parking lot. Following the tiny meows, Martindale was able to pull the squirmy feline to safety.
Center staff named the kitten Gardenia Greg, in honor of his rescuer and the promise of spring. Currently, the kitten is receiving medical care, a cozy bed, and plenty of nourishment until he is old enough to receive his neuter surgery and begin his search for a forever family.
“We are very grateful to Mr. Martindale for the effort he put in to find this kitten,” stated Helen Woodward Adoption Animal Care Supervisor Tracy Woodworth. “Stray mother cats seek warm spots to have their litters but often the litters end up in dangerous spots and their stories can have tragic endings. Cars parked outside, garden sheds, garages, attics, and even outdoor barbeques, are all very common spots for stray kittens to hide and they can be easily overlooked. We ask the community to check these spots regularly during Kitten Season.”
In the coming weeks and months, the Center will continue to see more and more of these situations. The Center’s amazing kitten foster network has been activated and all hands are on deck to respond to the influx of little furry fighters.
The community can pitch in to ensure the safety of these fragile felines by following these tips:
• Check your car! Kittens tend to seek warm spaces and often hide in wheel wells or under the hood.
• Be kitten aware around your home by checking sheds, garages, attics, and under decks and porches. Kittens also tend to hide in bushes or long grass.
• Come across a litter of kittens? Observe from afar first and wait to see if a mom cat returns. Kittens have a much higher chance of survival if they have their mom.
• Consider making a tax-deductible donation to fund kitten season resources at www.animalcenter.org or purchase items from our kitten wish list on Amazon at www.animalcenter.org/kittenshower
• Donate your time by becoming a kitten foster parent. Our kitties need time to grow strong before starting their search for a family. Find more details on becoming a foster volunteer here, www.animalcenter.org/foster