The call came into the Los Angeles-based rescue, Friends for Life Rescue Network. A woman's black cat had escaped from the house, came back pregnant, and was close to giving birth. The owner couldn't afford to care for the mama cat and her kittens, so she turned to the rescue for help. Friends for Life Rescue Network stepped in right away to give the mama cat a safe, secure place to have her babies.
In April 2017, the kittens arrived: seven male babies with surprisingly silver-colored coats. This type of coat is called a "fever coat," meaning that at some point during her pregnancy, the mama cat must have run a fever or experienced high levels of stress. The result was a litter of kittens whose color of fur was initially influenced by what their mother had endured.
Otherwise, the kittens seemed completely healthy, and their unique coats wouldn't last forever either. "As they age, the white hair falls out, and their real color comes through," explained Jacqueline DeAmor, co-founder of the Friends for Life Rescue Network.
The kittens nursed eagerly and soon began to grow. The rescue volunteers named the boys after various comic book villains: Bane, Penguin, Venom, Joker, Lex Luthor, Magneto and Riddler.
By around five weeks, the silver coats were fading away, and the kittens' real coat colors were slowly being revealed.
Even better, the mama cat and all her kittens were settling in comfortably at the rescue. The kittens were very playful and social, and mama was putting on some much-needed weight. "Mama is amazing! She's put on a lot of good healthy weight (she was extremely thin from nursing seven kittens!)," DeAmor noted.
Eventually, all the kittens found forever homes, except for one of the boys, Joker. Sadly, he was afflicted with Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) and passed away. "All kittens were adopted. One of them, Joker, recently passed away from FIP. He became my personal foster for three months until it was his time," DeAmor said.
Follow the rescue's Instagram page for updates on these kittens in their new homes. Share this story of courage and survival, and of these kittens' special coats with your friends and family on Facebook.