Spot and Marble have now found their forever home after a very tough 14 months. (File )

Survivor kittens find their forever home in Okanagan

Kelowna couple opens their home to feral kittens rescued a year ago and in need of medical help.

After escaping death only to find themselves in need of multiple eye surgeries, feral kittens Spot and Marble have finally found their forever home.

The happy ending is thanks to a Kelowna couple, Lisa and Ed Henczel, who have fostered the pair for the past 14 months.

“It’s kind of pathetic I know, but it just seemed that nobody loved them, there was just no interest in anyone adopting them,” said Lisa, who regularly fosters kittens for AlleyCATS Alliance. “In the end, we just felt it wasn’t fair to the little souls when they had settled into our house and had a relationship with our other two cats.

“They do have special needs with their eyes and I think it was a bit daunting for people wanting to adopt them.”

READ MORE: Okanagan rescued kittens now in desperate need of eye surgery

Spot and Marble’s story began in October 2018 when their loud cries were heard by employees of Waste Connections Canada at its works yard in Kelowna.

Spot, Marble and their three siblings were found crouched between two large paper bales that were just about to be moved and would have resulted in their deaths.

The Penticton-based AlleyCATS Alliance was called and the four-week-old kittens were rescued and sent to foster homes.

But Spot and Marble’s troubles were not over. They were diagnosed with a congenital eye defect that could have led to blindness.

Not about to give up on the two, Sue Beagle, president of AlleyCATS, and the one who initially took all five kittens under her wing, vowed to do whatever she could to help them.

READ MORE: Okanagan feral kittens rescued from ‘certain death’ now in foster care

They were put in the care of Kelowna veterinarian Dr. Ellen Nicklassen and the services of an animal ophthalmologist were enlisted.

The cost of the care and surgeries was thousands of dollars but AlleyCATS volunteers worked tirelessly to raise the necessary funds.

“They’re a bonded pair and they are happy and settled in and just part of our family now,” said Lisa who laughingly blamed her husband for the adoption decision. “Spot’s a little lover. He’s got a tail that looks like a peacock; huge and fluffy. He’s kind of a goof. They’re both just very, very sweet.

“Spot likes to be around the babies, he’s very maternal and likes to take care of kittens when I have them in the house. I won’t tell you how many kittens I have right now (13).”

The not-for-profit organization deals with the Okanagan’s huge feral cat population problem, regularly traps them, pays for spaying and neutering and puts them up for adoption. If they’re not adoptable, they are taken somewhere like a farm where they can live out their lives.

For more information, to adopt or to donate, go to Alleycatsalliance.org


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