Meghan Ruggiero starts off each morning crawling on all fours into her kitchen. It’s her favorite part of her day, she says.
Before you start thinking she’s a little odd, consider who greets her each morning on her kitchen floor, pawing over each other to see her and get some morning-time cuddles.
They’re kittens. Seven of them in fact.
Ava, Avery, Caleb, Lexie, Millie, Tom and Torie come running out from their overnight sleeping spots — or play spots, as the case may be — to say good morning to their “mom.”
“It’s just a sea of purring and it’s my favorite thing in the world,” Meghan, who fosters kittens for the SPCA of Niagara with her husband, Kristian. “If I could capture that feeling in a bottle I’d carry it around with me. It’s the best part of my day.”
“When they don’t have a mother, you’re their mother,” she added, saying she often worries about them once they’re adopted by their forever families.
Kristian and Meghan, of Niagara Falls, have volunteered for the foster program at the SPCA for a little over a year now, one of more than 50 active foster families connected to the organization. They’ve so far fostered 28 cats and kittens.
Brittany Anderson, vet services manager and foster care coordinator with the SPCA of Niagara, said they’re always looking for new foster families, especially during kitten season, which runs anytime from February to as late as September and October.
“Last time I counted we had 200 animals in foster homes,” Anderson said. “At this current moment we are overloaded with kittens because it’s kitten season.”
The organization offers foster opportunities for other animals as well, including dogs and even ferrets and squirrels, but cats and kittens tend to have a higher population.