Foster Kitten Inspires Mom to Help Over 60 Animals Find Homes

Maggie Jr. wins Amanda’s heart, and inspires her to help other pets thrive.

Amanda + Maggie Jr.

A foster kitten helps her mom find her true calling: giving adoptable pets a second chance at happily ever after.

"We continued to foster after Maggie’s litter, and have since housed 63 other animals — and counting. My life is fully focused around fostering and rescue work now. I have learned so much since that first litter, and I love seeing new kittens and puppies thrive in our home."

One tiny kitten changed the whole trajectory of my life for the better and improved so many other lives in the process. On March 23, 2018, I brought home a litter of five neonatal kittens to foster into adoptable age. I had no intention of keeping any of them until the runt of the litter stole my heart. 

Surpassing all expectations, the tiny kitten and her siblings thrived and grew quickly. Because she never had a mother cat, the kitten thought of me as “Mama” and showered me with love, even rejecting our friend’s cat when she tried to mother her. 

She also brought joy to my former neighbor, Bryan. Bryan had recently lost his cat, Maggie, who he raised from a kitten and had for 19 years. I met Maggie when I was nine years old and instantly considered her my friend. I used to draw pictures of her that Bryan would hang on his fridge. I loved having them both as neighbors and was sad when I moved away from them as an adult. I decided this strong little kitten should be named in Maggie’s honor, to continue her legacy. Bryan was so touched to hear her new name: Maggie Jr. She now “texts” her Uncle Bryan frequent updates, which he says has helped his grieving and healing process immensely. 

When Maggie Jr. was old enough, we made her a permanent member of our family. But our foster “fail” convinced me to help so many more adoptable pets after her. We continued to foster after Maggie’s litter, and have since housed 63 other animals — and counting. My life is fully focused around fostering and rescue work now. I have learned so much since that first litter, and I love seeing new kittens and puppies thrive in our home. The majority of my shopping trips now center on finding new ways to help our foster animals (and of course Maggie Jr.) live their best lives, and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. 

My Maggie Jr. made a difference in my life by making me realize how much influence I could have in my community. I now seek out friends who need help with trapping and neutering strays, I’ve helped take in kittens from friends who found them on the street, I’ve participated in free spay/neuter clinics, and I watch animal videos or read animal articles every day to learn more. Through it all, my girl still allows me to flood her home with new friends without getting too jealous. 

I have become that crazy cat mom, too. I bought a cat backpack when Maggie Jr. was a kitten and have taken her on many trips to go shopping or exploring. She’s wandered through Petco on a leash and harness, picking out her Christmas presents. We even threw her a first birthday party. Maggie Jr. has revolutionized my life for the better and has helped so many other animals find loving homes, turning our foster “failure” into ongoing adoption success.

Each year, the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes campaign invites adopters to share stories of how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Amanda won Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control in Los Angeles, California a 2020 Holiday Wishes award.