We think it’s time for the dog and cat lovers everywhere to agree and put aside their differences, as this time around, you are about to witness a sweet dog that took a pair of shy kittens under her care, or as one would say, temporarily “adopted” them.
The dog named Kona has recently become viral on Instagram because of some very wholesome videos and pictures that her owner posted on the platform. Kona’s owners decided to foster two kittens, Chester and Blair, that were about 10-12 weeks old and were found in the same backyard in New York City in December of last year.
Given all these circumstances, and the fact that before Chester and Blair arrived, Kona was kitten-free for around 3 days, it was just a matter of time before the three of them bonded, as Kona was heavily determined and knew exactly what each kitten needed.
Bored Panda reached out to Asa, the owner of Kona, to find out a little bit more about the overall situation and by scrolling down, you can find the full interview with her!
Kona’s owner Asa is known for fostering a bunch of cats and dogs, and over the years she has been fostering, she has found over 164 animals their forever homes
Of course, knowing that Asa has fostered over 164 animals and found them their forever homes, we were interested in the reason as to why Kona’s owner decided to start fostering animals in the first place.
“Fostering is my way of giving back to the animals. I’ve always loved dogs since I grew up with 3 of them (4 at one point). I had kind of a broken family and my dogs were the one constant in life, and as an only child, I leaned on them a lot for consolation. They brought me so much joy throughout my childhood and I knew I wanted to give back somehow, and fostering is my way of giving back.”
Kona is such a wonderful, selfless dog, that we couldn’t help but be curious about what pushed Kona to become a mama for other animals as well.
“It happened naturally! And it actually blossomed more the longer I fostered. With the first foster kitten she met, she was very excited, but she bonded with her more like a friend rather than as a foster mom. Then, as I fostered more babies (both puppies and kittens), she started to develop more of a babysitter role, and eventually a mama!”
However, what she did not expect was that the kittens were very timid and afraid of people (more so than usual), as even the local animal rescuers who rescued the pair recalled having had trouble catching and getting them to safety
Seeing all these pictures, we can’t deny that Kona, Blair, and Chester have a special bond between them, so we asked Asa if she had any idea as to why these three bonded so well.
“I think maybe she sensed that these two were a lot more reserved and undersocialized than the other kittens we’ve fostered recently. She really has the magic touch! I’ve had them for 6 weeks now and they still run away from me (socializing has been quite a slow process for them) but with Kona, they gravitated towards her the moment they saw her on their first days here. Blair used to try to nurse on Kona the first couple of weeks, I’m not sure if it was Blair’s way of finding comfort in this new environment, but Kona just patiently laid and let her nibble on her.”
We concluded that fostering and looking after so many animals daily cannot be easy, so we asked Kona’s owner if she could share some of the main challenges when it comes to fostering.
“Fostering can be draining emotionally, physically, financially. For me, I think the emotional aspect is the hardest. I’ve cried letting go of the majority of these fosters and they all feel like a bad breakup. Some fosters I grow a closer bond with than others and those ones are HARD to get over; I’ve cried for 2 weeks straight before!”
Of course, as much as it is challenging fostering all these little kittens and dogs, it is also very rewarding, and no process comes without the best part! Asa shared, in her opinion, the best thing about fostering.
“Watching these animals blossom! Whether it be seeing an undersocialized kitten or timid dog open up and learn to trust people, watching a kitten or puppy grow up, or being there to experience and witness a dog’s ‘first’ (first time on leash, first bath, first treat, first snow, etc.), each and everyone has their own story and their own way of blossoming and it is just such a rewarding experience being there to witness all this happening.”
As we mentioned previously, fostering can be quite challenging, but some days it’s important to remember the process itself and embrace things as they are.
“My biggest challenge is also the most enjoyable! As heartbreaking as it is letting go of an animal that you’ve welcomed into your home and treated as one of your own, it’s also such a rewarding feeling being able to send them off to their forever homes. And my greatest joy post-adoption is receiving updates from the adopters and watching them grow up on Instagram!”
A few baths and cuddles later, the kittens were reassured of their safety and overwhelmed by all the love Kona had to give. Slowly, the shy kittens became more confident and recently, they even interacted with Kona’s owner Asa too. Asa wrote on her Instagram, “These two nuggets opened up to mama Kona immediately, but it’s been a much slower process with me. With that said, in the past week, they’ve started to: eat food out of my hand, purr when petted, fall asleep near me and even play right in front of me.
I’m sure we wouldn’t have even made this much progress in the first week if it weren’t for Kona, though, so thanks, mama Kona!”
With Kona’s unconditional love and support, the three of them have been a cuddle-puddle ever since.