Large dogs may look scary to some, but anyone who’s ever loved one knows that they’re big softies at heart.
Kendal Benken of Lafayette, California, gets to know a lot of different animals in her everyday life. She volunteers at a nonprofit shelter called Jelly’s Place in San Pablo, and she has fostered pets of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Kendal was recently given a terrified Siamese kitten named Betty to foster. The shelter assumed that Betty was a member of a feral cat colony and had never had any exposure to humans before. As such, the kitten was terrified of everything, but since Kendal is known as the organization’s “feral whisperer,” she was up for the challenge of getting Betty ready for her forever family.
“She was super scared and very hissy at first. No one could touch her,” Kendal explained. “We weren’t even sure if she was a male or female. She was only 5 weeks at the time, and most likely had never had human contact.”
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After getting her home, which was no easy feat, Kendal slowly began to build a trusting relationship with the tiny cat. Knowing that the best technique to acclimate feral kittens is to “put them in the center of everything and not let them hide,” Kendal placed Betty in a dog crate in the kitchen.
That’s when Truvy, Kendal’s large yellow Labrador, entered the picture!
Both of Kendal’s rescue pups loved checking out their new feline sister, but Truvy bonded with her instantly. The gentle giant has always adored kittens and takes it upon herself to care for the fosters Kendal brings home.
“Truvy LOVES kittens!” Kendal said. “She must have been a mama cat in a former life. She was always licking her head when I would hold her.”
With plenty of daily love and affection from Kendal and her canine helper, Betty started to warm up to her new home. Soon, she was cuddling with Truvy as if they had always been best friends!
After weeks of learning what it means to be loved, Betty was ready to go to her forever home. After all, she had transformed from a terrified, hissing wild thing to a sweet, playful kitten.
While Kendal came close to becoming a foster failure, ultimately she knew the best place for Betty would be a new home. The precious cat was adopted by a woman named Roz, who still sends updates to Kendal so she and Truvy can watch Betty grow up.
What an amazing transformation! All it took was a big lug of a dog to remind this kitty that there’s plenty of love to go around. As for Kendal, she hopes sharing their story will encourage others to foster animals. There’s always a need, and it’s incredibly rewarding for everyone in the family — even our fur babies!
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