A cat went from being a street kitty to letting kittens pile on top of him when he found the place he'd always wanted.
An orange and white cat arrived at his foster home for a chance at a better life. The streets hadn't been kind to him, and for nearly two years, he had been fighting for his survival.
After the long ordeal, he was understandably very timid and immediately took refuge in a hiding spot. For a while, he stayed hidden, quietly adjusting to the new surroundings.
It wasn't until he met his foster mom that he started to come out of his shell.
Mickey was rescued from the streets@widdlekittenclub
Through the support of St. Francis Society Animal Rescue, the cat named Mickey would never have to spend another day outside. Kristen Sterner, the foster mom, gave him the time and space to decompress and reassured him that he was loved.
"I had only had him with me for a day, and I just felt so bonded to him. Like I knew him and knew what he was telling me through his big beautiful green eyes," Kristen told Love Meow.
Slowly but surely, Mickey began to relax. He found a soft bed to nestle in and started kneading away in contentment.
When Mickey was ready to socialize, Kristen introduced him to a pair of foster kittens. In no time, he took them under his wing and started bathing them and smothering them with cuddles.
The kittens were drawn to him, following him around as if he were their "mom". He let them crawl all over him, play with his tail, chomp on his ears and wrestle with his paws.
He was so happy to be surrounded by the kittens, and the little ones were glad to have a mentor to look up to.
When it was time to find Mickey a forever home, he was quickly adopted by a nice family. Despite their best efforts to help him acclimate, he continued to hide under the bed every day for a few weeks, as if something was missing.
"I made it very clear that if for some reason it didn't work out, I would happily take him back," Kristen told Love Meow. "Our job is to help them find that perfect fit."
When Mickey returned to his foster home, Kristen gifted him a "kitty cave" where he could tuck himself in whenever he needed to feel secure. She would talk to him in a calm voice and pet him gently. With a bit of time, Mickey came around.
More foster kittens came through the door during that time. As soon as Mickey heard their squeaks, his ears perked up. Once the younglings were medically clear, they came to meet Mickey.
"I felt he would be okay with the kittens, because he has a very sweet and gentle disposition, but I had no idea he would be so amazing with them."
Mickey started caring for every single kitten that he met, showering them with love and snuggles. He instantly became their kitty guardian, watching them as they played, making sure that they stayed out of trouble.
The kittens gravitated towards him right away and would melt into him when he washed their faces or wrapped his arms around them.
Mickey seems to attune to the needs of the kittens and will stay by their side all day if they need some extra TLC. When a kitten sadly passed away, he sat next to Kristen, trying to comfort her.
"We ended up adopting him, because how could we not? He chose us, he chose our home. He feels safe and loved here, and he gets to care for kittens with me," Kristen shared.
"I see all the kittens pile on top of him for a cuddle puddle. That's so special."
Mickey is living the the best life with the family of his dreams. He's giving the kittens the same love he received when he was rescued.
"He went from being a street kitty to being the best foster kitten nanny there ever was. We can't imagine our life without him."