Foster Kitten Meets His Match

Arminius’ unique feline health issues were very familiar to Kira.

Kira + Arminius

From the start, Arminius the kitten seemed to choose Kira to be his foster mom. What Kira didn’t realize is that Arminius’ health issues would turn out to be very similar to her own — and that she was uniquely positioned to help.

"He was no longer a fearful and shy kitten. No, he was a robust, goofy little derp running around in his 3D printed braces a friend and I designed. He was RUNNING on those crooked little paws of his!"

Adopted Cat Arminius

Upon arriving at Homeward Bound to pick up a new foster, my mom and I were greeted by their vet tech. Excitedly, she told us about a very special kitten, Arminius, who she wanted me to meet. After a warning about his shy and withdrawn tendencies, Arminius — a scrawny and rather unusual looking kitten — was brought out. He studied me curiously, then reached out his crooked paws and let out a pathetic meow. He grabbed ahold of me and thrust himself onto my chest. The next thing I knew, I had a kitten nestled in my shirt, purring away without a care in the world. We ended up returning the following day and taking him home to foster, too.

Adopted Cat Arminius

Before long I realized Arminius was quite a sick little boy. Every morning I woke up ready to do whatever I needed to for him. I poured my heart and soul into that kitten, and slowly something amazing started to happen: I developed such a strong sense of purpose, and I was absolutely overjoyed! I hadn’t felt a bond ever before like the one I developed with Arminius. The whole world looked so bright!

Adopted Cat Arminius

Happily I chipped away at all of his health troubles, and before long Arminius opened up. He was no longer a fearful and shy kitten. No, he was a robust, goofy little derp running around in his 3D printed braces a friend and I designed. He was RUNNING on those crooked little paws of his! Gone, too, were the worrisome days of forcing food into his mouth. Now he ate everything. He even stole my rabbit’s treats!

Arminius was still special, though. I wanted to know why. What could have caused his plethora of issues? And this is where I made a remarkable discovery. Arminius has stretchy skin and weak joints, and as I started putting everything else together, I realized it seemed like connective tissue disease. This was confirmed by a veterinarian, and it is very rare. I guess here is about where I should tell you that I suffer from it, too. I mean, seriously? What are the odds of that?!

Adopted Cat Arminius

Everything fell so perfectly into place that I couldn’t deny it: the universe had handed me a cat. Some use the term “foster fail,” but this wasn’t a fail. This was a scared and sick little kitten — and, frankly, a scared and sick little girl — who found a friend in the midst of life’s storms. A friend that can understand everything on a level so deep nobody else possibly could. A friend who brings out the best, but provides comfort in the worst. If Arminius hadn’t found his home with me, he may very well still be a scared and sick little kitty, and I would not be nearly as bubbly and confident as I am today. I do believe in fate, and I think the two of us were undeniably meant for each other. It isn’t hard to see that we shine so brightly together.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Kira won Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Center in Middlebury, Vermont a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.