Updated: Oct 5, 2020
Two newborn kittens, Sadie and Selma, are thriving against the odds after their mom suffered a medical emergency during labor and was left unable to nurse them. Esther Neonatal Kitten Alliance, a new local organization, welcomed the sisters into their care when they were less than 24 hours old.
ENKA was called the next day to take the kittens. “They had a good mom who was trying her best,” Bingham says. “Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to give them the care they needed while recovering from her surgery.”
Bingham and ENKA’s other co-founder, Alli Hicks, have fostered hundreds of neonatal bottle baby kittens over the years, including many as young as Sadie and Selma. “We know the hard work and dedication that goes into keeping orphaned newborn kittens alive and healthy,” says Bingham. “We founded Esther Neonatal Kitten Alliance as a way to rescue the most vulnerable kittens and to provide a high level of training and support to other rescue organizations throughout western North Carolina. Together, we can build big, bright futures for the tiniest kittens.”
Unlike other animal rescue organizations in the area, ENKA is not an adoption agency. Instead, they will provide critical care to kittens until they are weaned and litter box trained, then transfer them to partnered organizations for adoption. When they’re old enough to be spayed, Sadie and Selma will be available for adoption through Teddy & Friends Animal Rescue in Hendersonville. “By partnering with other organizations for adoption,” Bingham explains, “our specially trained fosters can stay available for the very young and fragile kittens who need us most. And by the time they are transferred to the other organizations, they will be very low maintenance and easy to care for without special training.”
“We were thrilled when we learned that there was a new resource to help newborn kittens,” says Eva Cruz-Schultz, founder of Teddy & Friends Animal Rescue. “We get contacted several times each year by our county shelter or people in the community who have found them. We always want to help, but it puts us in a tough position because we have very few fosters who are able and willing to take in newborns who need around-the-clock care. Between taking the youngest kittens and helping to train our fosters, ENKA is doing a lot to save the lives of neonates.”
Esther Neonatal Kitten Alliance will host a Bottle Baby Kitten Care 101 class at the Hendersonville Community Coop from 2-4pm on Sunday, September 29th in partnership with Teddy & Friends Animal Rescue. This event is free and open to the public. Visit www.kittenalliance.org to learn more about ENKA’s work, make a lifesaving donation, or become a foster parent.