Boy’s Secret Rendezvous Saved Starving Street Cat

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on March 15, 2012. Enjoy!

Written by Dawnrose D’Aloia of New Jersey

It was one of those hot, summer days when my son, Mark, burst into the apartment stating he needed “a bottle of water and a dish of cat food right away.” Since we already had two rescues, I had a feeling I knew where this was going. I asked him what he was feeding and he assured me I did not need to know. Three days this went on, and finally I demanded, “Show me what you’re feeding.”

He took me around to the end of the complex, bent down by a dirty bowl that once held food, and called “ChaCha! ChaCha!” This poor, pathetic little kitten walked up to him, looking like she had just been beaten up. Her ears were chewed to shreds, and she was clearly undernourished and weak.  She nuzzled up to him, lovingly, as though he were her best friend. Need I describe how this tugged at my heart?

So I called my boyfriend, whom I thought would be the voice of reason, and asked, “Should I take her in?” Thinking he would say, ‘What are you, crazy? Three cats? No!’ Instead, he said, “Sure as long as Marky agrees to help with the care.”  Sigh. “You are no help!” I told him and hung up. I looked down at my son, with this sweet little critter lying in his lap, and said, “Bring her.” He was overjoyed, telling ChaCha how she now has a home!

Her Ears Were So Painful

I gave her a flea bath, as I do to all my new additions, and while cleaning her ears, she shrieked in pain and shook her head violently. I thought it was hurt from a fight, but when I cleaned it out with a cotton ball, cotton swabs and a tissue, found the culprit – ear mites.  I ran to the store and picked up some ear mite treatment, and after a couple weeks of “challenging” treatment, she was free of this problem.

I noticed her stomach was slightly swollen, and thought worms, since she seemed too young to have been in heat yet. I bought a deworming liquid and, since worms are very contagious, subjected all three kitties to the deworming. After about three weeks, her stomach looked even more swollen. I was alarmed, thinking blockage. As I was palpating her abdomen, I felt a lump, then movement. I gave my son my diagnosis: ChaCha did not have worms, she had kittens.

September 12, 2011, while I was at work, my son called me frantically that ChaCha screamed, ran around the living room, and he noticed a kitten’s head was sticking out from under her tail. I told him what to do, and he delivered five precious little monsters like a pro. As each came out, he gave them names. It was what he had always wanted.

After about a month, ChaCha was not producing enough milk for the babies. They were hungry and I was afraid they’d starve. I ran to the store again, and picked up a few cans of kitten milk. We tried bottle feeding them, but found they did better lying in it on a plate. After two weeks, I started smashing canned food up and making a “gruel.” The little fatties would eat, clean themselves, then sleep. I was playing mommy to these kittens, as ChaCha wasn’t able to clean them enough. I fed them, cleaned them, and played with them. My son had them sleep with him, and was in charge of teaching them how to poop where they’re supposed to.

When the babies were three months old, my friend who had lost her cat of 14 years, Rocky, called me on her birthday asking for a kitten. She went to my house and picked out the calico my son named Widdleface (because she had a little face). Widdleface was renamed Kali, and got a new mommy. Then my son’s friend and his mom wanted one, and our all black beauty, Onyx, had a new home.

All Are Safe and Sound

We wound up keeping the other three, and now I’m the crazy cat lady with my oldest male rescue, Trogdor, my second male rescue from Queens, Shadow, aka “The Baby” and ChaCha with her babies, Whitenose (a male, the only longhair of the three), Graysome (the gray and black tiger male) and the smallest, but toughest little tortoise shell female, Squeeky. I may be the crazy cat lady, but I can’t imagine not having all six of these babies.  More photos of ChaCha and her kittens

Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase


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William C
William C1 months ago

Thanks for caring.

W. C
W. C1 months ago

Thank you.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W2 years ago

Such a loving and caring story, such a wonderful family.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W2 years ago

Adorable family, adorable cats and kittens, adorable story, one very happy family.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W2 years ago

You are a wonderful boy Mark, such an adorable cat ChaCha, thank you for sharing

Suzy alleyne
suzy Alleyne3 years ago

What a lovely story - So nice to hear of a young lad who cares for animals!! It warms the cockles of my heart... There is nothing wrong with being a mad cat lady!! I have 4 rescue cats - one of whom (Pyewackett) was found pregnant and very weak wandering around a building site. I rehomed 3 of her kittens and kept the other 2 - Abraham and Frewin. Latest family addition is a puppy, Ben. He was rescued from Zante in Greece - someone had dumped him and his brother in rubbish bin outside a supermarket and he was found by an English tourist who took him to an animal sanctuary (run by an English lady) who rehomes to the UK via a lovely sanctuary here in West Sussex. Unfortunately Ben's brother did not survive but Ben did and he is a fab dog - rescue animals are an absolute joy - they do not have the medical problems that pedigrees do as their gene pool is larger and more varied. I lost my lovely little rescue black cat Spider when he was 26 years old!!

You sound like a really lovely family to me!!! Those cats certainly landed on their paws when they were adopted by you. To your sons - men who love animals will always be loved by women as it is such an endearing character trait. To the parents - well done for instilling the ethos of love and respect for animals into your sons!! We need more people like your family in this world xxx

Cheryl Mallon-Bond

Bless young Mark, who's heart of compassion led him to save this Cat's life & her kit's. The sad sad fate of way too many out there on the streets makes me heart ache! I am a long time cat rescuer, & most of us rescuer's are ALWAYS overwhelmed with so many situations going on concurrently. There are just too many abandoned animals!, especially cat's. Please people Spay & Neuter your pet's & stop the unnecessary suffering. Then maybe rescuer's like myself & many other's could finally have a life!!!!! Because everyone that I know in inundated, always!

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

Finally a good story involving kids and pets. It felt like we were on a roll with kids and abuse. Thanks for resharing.

Loretta Pienaar

This is a story that brought tears. Bless the family, Mark and his mom and the sweet Chacha.