Delancey the cat had lived on the streets for many years until she was found by a Good Samaritan.
Mama Delancey was spotted in an industrial part of Newark, New Jersey. She had lived a very tough life on the streets, fending for herself, having litter after litter before being found.
Jenna, a local animal rescuer, was contacted about Delancey and another pregnant cat from the area. "Karla Agostinello (from North Shore Animal League America) reached out to me to see if I knew anyone who does TNR (trap-neuter-return) in Newark. I didn't at the time so volunteered myself for the project," Jenna told Love Meow.
Jenna and a team of rescuers (Patti, Linda, Holly) have been working tirelessly, getting all the cats living there, spayed and neutered and the friendly kitties into foster homes.
Delancey was avoiding the trap for two weeks and then disappeared for a while. When they finally saw her again, she was no longer pregnant. The tabby girl even walked up to Patti for some food and pets.
Knowing the kittens had been born, they began looking for them. They went to the nearby mechanic shop and asked if they had seen any kittens.
"One of the employees motioned for me to come into the shop. Sure enough in a small office was Mama Delancey and her babies (approximately three day old)."
The momma cat chose to have her kittens in a box at the shop. She was very protective of them, using her body as a shield to keep them safe and warm.
"A man at the mechanic shop who was familiar with her, got her into the trap and then delicately handed her each of her kittens. She picked them up immediately trying to move them to safety," Jenna told Love Meow.
With help from the mechanic, they were able to get the entire feline family and transport them to Save the Animals Rescue Team (START, a rescue group in Little Falls, NJ) for a chance at a better life.
Lauren, a foster volunteer, took them home with her, so the cat mom could have a comfortable, quiet place to raise her kittens.
The tabby mama soon realized she no longer needed to worry about shelter and food, and began to blossom.
"She was very attentive to her kittens throughout their whole nursing period and always had one or two in her arms at all times," Jenna added.
The doting cat mother made sure her babies were well-fed, clean and grew up feeling safe and loved.
As the kittens got bigger and stronger, she taught them how to be a cat and continued to shower them with cuddles and unconditional love.
Delancey tested positive for FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus), though none of her kittens were affected.
"FIV is only transmitted through deep bite wounds and not every day activities such as grooming, sharing food, water and litter boxes, etc.," Jenna said.
"FIV+ cats can live with non FIV cats. As long as the cats live peacefully together, there is no risk of transmission."
The sweet tabby happily retired from motherhood a few weeks ago when her kittens were old enough to be spayed and neutered -- they quickly found their loving homes.
Mama Delancey is still waiting for her forever family to arrive. "She has no fear and can be a tough cookie until you earn her trust. Then she will melt to your touch. Give her time and you will not regret her companionship."
After all these years, Delancey bid farewell to the life on the streets. She was grateful when her little family was given a safe home to stay, plenty of food to eat, and everything she had always wanted.
She was a protective, wonderful cat mom, and now, she's ready to be loved and spoiled at a place to call her very own.