It's not uncommon to see stray and feral cats on the streets in North America. In fact, there are estimated to be between 1.2 and 4 million cats living on the streets in Canada today. That's why stories of these cats getting rescued and finding their forever homes are so incredibly uplifting.
Take Oreo, for example, who in December of 2021, was wandering the streets of Dundas in Ontario, pregnant and freezing. Not only this, but she also had sores all over her body, indicating previous neglect. Luckily, some kind souls helped her, and her journey to health and happiness began to unfold.
The people who found Oreo took her home and helped her give birth to five, healthy kittens. Then they reached out to Karly and Katelyn Saltarski, the cofounders of Salty Animal Rescue, in order to get mother and babies the best possible chance at finding new homes.
On December 7th, Karly and Katelyn posted on Salty Animal Rescue's Instagram about Oreo and her brood, stating, "Life still isn’t easy on us right now, but after receiving a message about a Dundas stray having given birth on the year anniversary of our mom’s passing, I knew I couldn’t say no." They asked their followers to help name the kittens as they worked on getting them to grow up big and strong.
After two weeks in foster care, the kittens had their eyes open as well as brand new names. It was decided that they should have a December theme, so they were all given holiday names.
Tinsel was named for her gray and white fur, the mini me of the black-and-white Oreo got the name Juniper, and one of the calicos was called Noel. The other calico got the name Clara after the lead character in The Nutcracker. Finally, the only boy of the group was dubbed Griswold after the name of the family in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
In addition to being excellent at posing for Instagram pictures, the kittens became rowdy and excitable as the days went by, learning to wrestle with one another and to chase their mother's tail. They also learned how to use their litter boxes and continued to develop quickly.
Oreo herself became an absolute sweetheart when it came to showing affection to her foster parents. Her favorite seemed to be her foster dad Chris whom she loved to bunt, an act where a cat pushes and rubs their head against a human to scent mark and to show affection.
As her kittens grew older, she also got better at advocating for herself, requesting her treats every day and showing her desire for love from her caregivers. She even became friends with the family dog, Nood!
Finally, after almost two months in foster care, Oreo was adopted by her forever family, as were her five kittens. It's heartwarming to know a story that started out with the saddest and coldest of conditions was able to end happily, thanks to the warm hearts of several individuals who were willing to open their homes to this adorable family.