“I was in ceramics class and while I was working on a project, Ms. Schlief-Freese began to scream, ‘KITTY, KITTY!’ When I ran out and saw that it was a very young cat, black and relatively healthy, I immediately knew I had to help him.”
Not many Ursuline students expect to come across a small black mass of fur while heading up the East Campus staircase, but Lauren Goree ’22 and the rest of her ceramics class have their own story to tell.
Suddenly on Wednesday, Oct. 6, the senior class GroupMe exploded with questions about Goree’s discovery. She updated her fellow seniors with pictures, videos and short blurbs about the kitten’s latest activities.
“I just heard that mama cat was sighted a few hours ago,” Goree said to her peers on the GroupMe. “If anyone sees a cat near EC, please let me know so that we can spay and release her.”
According to Goree, looking for the mother should always be one of the first steps after finding a stray kitten.
“Sometimes a mama cat is either (A) moving the kittens to another place to find a better food source, or is (B) abandoning the kitten if it is taking too much food, or is too sickly. But since this kitty was relatively healthy, I should’ve waited for the mama for a couple of hours,” she said.
Ceramics and studio art teacher Ms. Schlief-Freese helped Goree transport the cat to his own newspaper-lined shoe box, where he had access to food and water while the ceramics students watched him admiringly as they became distracted from their projects.
After that exciting day in October, Goree began to foster the cat temporarily—and it wasn’t her first time fostering kittens.
“In the past I have fostered around 11 kittens in a span of two summers,” she said.
Given her extensive experience fostering, Goree knows a thing or two about the unfortunate realities of health whenever she finds a young stray cat.
“I have seen how easily a kitten’s health can turn,” she said. “My first year of fostering I sadly had a kitten ‘fade,’ which is when a perfectly healthy kitten gets sick very quickly and eventually dies.”
Although health matters always seem to be a hard decision in the moment, Goree believes that everything worked out as it should have.
“It’s a difficult choice to make… but I think the little kitty that we found has the best life he could’ve possibly had,” she said.
Devon Brannan ’22, who expressed that her family was interested in getting another cat, has agreed to adopt the kitten.
“As of recently, the Brannan family has officially adopted him,” Goree said. “When I found the kitty, I saw on the [senior] group chat that Devon was looking. It was like fate—Devon’s family had recently lost one of their cats, and they were actively looking for another kitty to keep their cat, Donut, company.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 9, Goree dropped the kitten off at Brannan’s house for the final step in his journey toward a “forever home,” or a permanent adoptive home.
“So far, I hear that he and Donut are getting along great! From my point of view, I think the kitty really benefits from having a playmate,” Goree said.
Thanks to the combined help of Goree and the Brannan family, this kitten made his way from aimlessly roaming the East Campus staircase to settling into a new home for the holidays.
“I am grateful that I could have helped our little guy and I am so glad he was able to find the most amazing home possible,” she said. “The Brannans are truly the best home for him. I know that he will be loved and cherished AND have a new brother!”