CCHS Foster Diaries Otter Goes Home

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

 The Foster Diaries is a new effort to help the community learn about our Foster Program as well to put the spotlight on our Foster Heroes who are giving their time and love to help provide care to those pets that come to the shelter who are not yet ready to go through the adoption process. 

Our first pet featured is a kitten named Otter.  She was just days old when she was brought to CCHS.  On this page we will follow her journey from entering the shelter to finding her adoptive family.  Click here if you would like to learn more about the CCHS Foster Program.  We thank you for considering to join our team and to help us change lives every day. See diary entries below the picture. 




 9/24/21 - Otter found her new family and had her adoption completed shortly after her surgery. It truly was love at first sight. They have already updated me to let me know she is doing great in her new home too! They have decided to name her LunaBelle.


She grew from this tiny little day old bottle baby on the day we met to this fierce and sassy little girl who loves to play with an unending amount of energy.

She had only been gone from my home for about 10 minutes before it was evident that she will be missed. Both the kids and Fish were looking for her. They are learning though, and we will get continuous updates as she grows with her new family.

This experience itself was nothing short of amazing. The whole family fell in love with her. The whole family helped to take care of her. It was such a great learning experience for us and so rewarding too. She will always hold a special place in my heart.



9/16/21-Today is Otter’s Spay day! This means I dropped her off for her surgery this morning and after recovery, tomorrow, she will be ready for adoption! Today is all about rest and recovery for her, but I am so excited for her to move onto the next part of her life! (pictured are CCHS Spay/Neuter Clinic Coordinator Maura DeShantz and CCHS Veterinary Technician Molly Loomis) 

8/29/21-Today was a day full of love and cuddles. Nothing less and nothing more. Sometimes we need a day of being lazy and it just felt like a good day for it. Although, It is becoming more and more difficult to cuddle, all Otter wants to do is run around. But I can’t blame her when there is fun to be had!



8/28/21-Otter is so fluffy and cute, she can melt the coldest of hearts. It’s true. I know I’ve said it, but watching my husband melt while playing with her is just one of the best parts of having Otter in my home. He still won’t admit to liking her, but we all know it’s true.



8/27/21-Another afternoon of playtime! The kids are almost at the point they can care for Otter all by themselves. What’s wonderful is that they even ask if they can do it for me before I ask them for help. They really love her too.


8/26/21-Since Fish has been a bit of a butt around Otter, she has always had to play and have free roam of the house under strict supervision. Well, she really honestly no longer needs it. She is now big enough that Fish will play a bit but he can’t push her around as much. It is a welcome relief. I always knew we’d get to this point, but had no idea how soon it would come.


8/25/21-It’s super silly, but one of my favorite things is watching Otter play. The way she tries to stick up for herself by swatting the dog away but then falling over (because she lost her balance), and then standing up into that scared Halloween cat pose. It's goofy and she really isn’t scared, but it’s funny to see her react like that.



8/24/21-Who doesn’t love a good game of chase? Otter sure does!


8/23/21-Today was a long day. Unfortunately since she needs to be supervised while out and about, she didn’t get as much free roam time. She was sad and pouting at her kennel door when I finally got home. She ran so fast when I opened that door! I really love being able to spend time with her.


8/22/21-While running around, we happened to “lose” Otter. She snuck behind the buffet and managed to hide underneath it. I saw her go there, but had one heck of a time trying to get her out. Thankfully we supervise her playtime because I’d never find her if she’s hiding in places like that!


8/21/21-Today was an uneventful day. I have nothing more to say than I truly love this little girl.



8/20/21- I’ve been noticing, Otter is no longer ‘bathing’ in her food dish either. I guess the part that made me realize it was when I saw that she had went a little crazy and dove head first into her wet food and came out just covered again. But the great part is that it is no longer her whole body. This little girl is learning!


8/19/21-I feel like a miracle happened today. Okay, miracle might be exaggerating a bit. But I’m so excited! Otter is finally taking to eating her dry food! She is no longer just pushing it out of the way. She still prefers her wet food. But this is a huge step forward.

8/18/21-Today Otter spent most the day playing with the kids and running around the house. It’s crazy how fast those little feet will carry her places. She wore herself out but it was so much fun.


8/17/21-Today Otter hits 6 weeks old! It’s not a birthday but another “milestone” in my eyes. I’m celebrating with some extra love and cuddles, nothing special. It just makes me happy to see how much she has grown and how far she has come since being only two days old.

8/16/21-Monday’s are always long days in our family between work schedules and the kids’ sports in the evening. I love that at the end of the day when I am exhausted I can simply cuddle up with Otter. She makes me so happy. She will crawl around all over me and then find a perfect place to cuddle. She gives me little kisses and purrs like crazy. These are the moments that mean the most.


8/15/21-Today’s little adventure, I “forced” my husband to give Otter some love. It was nothing, I just placed her on his chest while he was relaxing. It’s fun watching him melt with the little ones. He can’t tell me that he doesn’t love her after that!


8/14/21-Sometimes fostering a little one can be frustrating too. It’s funny because I have had the same issue with my kids. It’s clearly not my place of expertise. I am working on transitioning Otter to dry food/kibble. She wants nothing to do with it. She will leave it untouched, or if her wet food touches it then the wet food goes untouched too. I guess raising a picky eater is what I do best. Ha! But, we will get there. We’ve got plenty of time.


8/13/21-Today I let the kids take more responsibility with Otter. They are learning to keep a watchful eye on her while she plays since she is just a baby, help clean the litter box, and clean her kennel which she sleeps in. Fostering Otter is slowly becoming a family adventure. I love that the kids love her too and want to help. It’s a great big responsibility for them and they are learning to care for the ones they love. How does your heart not melt daily? Mine always does. 💕


8/12/21-We are currently in the stage of “everything I like to eat I also like to wear.” She loves her wet food, but for every meal she likes to climb straight into the bowl. This means everyday is bath day. She doesn’t mind it one bit, and since her hair has gotten longer it really is good for her to learn to be okay with it. It really does make me laugh though, she looks like a wet rat everytime!


8/11/21-Since I was off today we got to spend a lot of time together. Otter is beginning to love to run around and she’s learning to gain some real speed too! She has been difficult to catch on camera but it‘s  still fun to try. She really has boundless energy and a desire to explore. much as I love letting Otter run around, Fish (my cat) has decided he’s not a fan of it. He likes to chase her and is now trying to pounce on her. He is still a kitten, but too big for her and he is trying to play too roughly. Now playtime must be even more supervised. I really hope this is a phase, I think it would be great to let them play together. He still shows his gentle side like each time he sees her in my arms, he likes to clean her.




8/10/21-Otter got to play with my pups for the first time today. She loved to chase them around and Rambo loved to clean her and play chase. This was also before bath time so she may have been a bit of a mess at the moment.


8/9/21-Well we had a first last night. Nothing major! Just funny. Otter woke me up at 1am simply because she wanted attention! 😂 This little girl truly has a personality that just keep growing and she is so quirky. I love it! I can’t wait to see how her personality keeps developing. We played and cuddled a bit, since I could not go back to sleep anyways. She went back to bed and was quite sleepy afterwards. I know I’ve said this before, but she is so worth it!


8/8/21-After bath time was time for cuddles! She is becoming quite affectionate. She has begun to give some kisses and headbutts too. I just love her so much!

8/7/21-Another busy day as always. Today was the first say my husband agreed to take full responsibility for her while I worked. The lack of syringe feeding makes that easier. Normally she was coming with me. I missed her all day, but I know she was in good hands. He won’t admit it but he does love her. He doesn’t say much, especially because if he admits to liking her he thinks it means he’s giving me permission to keep her in my eyes. As much as I love her, I want to see her find her own home and continue my foster journey. He has nothing to worry about. But being as he says so little I don’t know much about their day. But everyone was happy when I got home and that’s the most I can hope for.


8/6/21-And just like that Otter is eating out of the bowl on her own! It’s amazing to me how fast she has learned. She also had another bath today. Between the food and the litter she gets a lot stuck in her hair. Bathing is going to become a daily event for awhile, until she learns she doesn’t need to stand in her bowl. After bath time was a visit with some more special friends. They definitely fell in love with her. And who could blame them?! 😻


8/5/21-We are still working on eating from the bowl, but she loves her mush and has adjusted easily. The food mixture is definitely holding her over more now.

8/4/21-Now that she is a full month old and the crazy week and a half has died down I have decided to start feeding her some ‘mush’.  She has been eating so much formula so frequently that it’s time to start adding solid foods. I started to day by adding some wet food to her formula. I fed her through the syringe still but the rest I mixed up I left in a bowl in her room so that she may try eating that way if she is ready to. She loved it! She ate it all super fast! I have also added a litter box to her room, as she no longer needs to be stimulated. I think it’s so cool how they just instinctively use the litter box and don’t need to be taught. She’s a pro already.


8/3/21- Today we got to go for a visit with some of our favorite people in the evening. She got to play with friends both human and furry. It was very interesting to see how other cats interact with her too. She finished her visit by eating like a little piggie and passing out for nap time. This girl is already loved by so many. 🥰

8/2/21-It’s Otter’s one month birthday! I can’t believe we’ve had her with us for so long already! It’s amazing how she has grown. We celebrated the only way a busy family could, and took her to the kids’ football practice and let her explore what it’s like (safely and supervised) in the grass right next to me. She might have distracted the entire team from practice 😂

7/31-8/1/21-(Written by Kitten Sitter Erica Papalia) It was so fun having Otter for the weekend again! She is so much bigger than the last time I saw her, she is starting to clean herself and play more. It’s the cutest thing ever! She had a crazy day on Saturday, she came to the barn with me and she rode my horse! On Sunday while I was making her formula she jumped into the bowl and started drinking it! She made a mess! I can’t wait to watch Otter again!


7/30/21-Wow! Otter really is on a growth spurt! This morning she ate the most she’s ever eaten! 25 mL! This weekend she will still eat formula only, but come Monday I plan to begin adding some wet food to her bottle-syringe. She is definitely ready for the next step up. But before then, it’s off to hang out with Erica again for the weekend!


7/29/21-Thursday was a busy day for me, I didn’t get to spend as much time with Otter as I would have liked. But the great thing is that I have a big enough family to help fill that gap. The kids absolutely love Otter and want to be involved with every step of the way in her journey.


7/28/21-Fish (my cat) keeps trying to be more social with her. When she’s in her carrier she will come to the door to visit with him every time he reaches his arm in to interact with her.


7/27/21-Otter is learning new things daily. She is now 100% of the time allowing me to cuddle with her. It’s not that she wouldn’t before, but that she was so squirmy that she inadvertently wouldn’t let it happen. Cuddling with her makes me so happy.


7/26/21-It’s a little after lunchtime, and I am ecstatic to have my favorite little Otter back again! I cannot believe how much she has changed in just a few days. She is now weighing in at 7.5 ounces. Her hair is starting to show its true length and colors. She will be a domestic medium hair with calico colors! She is by far the most unique calico I have seen in a very long time. She is gaining a little more copper coloring next to her white stripe on her face, as well as more copper coloring on her body. She is eating near twice as much, and that’s no surprise seeing how much she has grown. Otter is more mobile and more coordinated than when I left her on Friday too. She is simply amazing to me. 🥰


7/24/21 to 7/25/21 - I had a great weekend with Otter, it was so fun! The first night I had her, she curled up in my lap and we watched zootopia. It felt like a good movie to watch with her because one of the main characters is an otter! She must have been having a growth spurt because she was always hungry and she drank so much formula! I was told that she might not poop much, but she pooped a lot!! I had so much fun watching her over the weekend and I can’t wait to watch her again! (Written by kitten-sitter Erica Papalia)



7/23/21-Tonight I dropped Otter off with another one of my favorite kitten sitters, Erica, for the weekend. I’m Sad to see Otter go, but I am so happy she has someone who will love her so much while I am away.


7/22/21- We have more 💩! Lol. It’s the first time in 10 days. It seems so far apart. But she’s doing just fine. Today, she’s learning how to cuddle more.


7/21/21-I love that everyday now, when it’s time to take care of Otter I have a crew of helpers with me. My dog Rambo, my cat Fish, and all three children. Everyone wants to help feed her and love her. The kids have their jobs now of helping to clean her kennel space where she sleeps. They warm her heating pad and straighten out her blankets for me. Soon enough they will begin to do more. Fostering Otter has truly become a family affair.


7/20/21-it is quite clear Otter is going through a growth spurt. She is eating like crazy! About twice as much as she had been, and she now cries regularly for her feedings. Life with Otter makes me so happy.


7/19/21- Bath time! I gave Otter her first bath today. What fun it was!



7/18/21- Today Otter traveled with me to the Buffalo area. We went to visit my parents….let’s just say they aren’t cat fans. I was very nervous about bringing her there but she still needs to be fed every three hours so there was no choice. I was pleasantly surprised. My dad was fine, no reaction was a good one. But my mom loved on her and held her nearly the whole time. This is a big win in my eyes! Not only did they stay positive but they really got to see the value of the work I do and how much it means to me. It was a good day.


7/17/21- Today was another full day of kitten care. My favorite highlight, the new part of the day, was when she was so hungry that she ate her food so fast it caused her to have a sneezing fit which made her really mad.


7/16/21- She opened her eyes for the first time today! Only one day shy of two weeks old.


7/15/21-Otter is eating like a pig! SHe is still on the small side,

but she is eating more than she has before and wanting to eat more frequently too. She still ends up with a big milk mustache, But it’s cute because Fish (my cat) will clean it up for her. I think he loves her, because it wasn’t just the milk, but he bathed her too. Today, otter also purred for the first time. I can’t tell you how much that made my heart melt. It was so tiny and quiet I almost missed it. I can’t wait to hear it again. 🥰



7/14/21-A big surprise! Otter is finally understanding how to latch perfectly on her bottle. She still needs practice and she still likes to eat sideways from it but it’s a big step for sure!

7/13/21- Today, another day spent with Otter, and another day full of love for her. Today’s accomplishment was a big one. Cats are slow to warm up to each other and by this I don’t mean Otter (since she is so tiny), I mean Fish. Today is the day he finally accepted her into our home. He has always been curious of her, sniffing her. But it was always followed by a good hiss because he doesn’t know what to make of her. Today, he sniffed her, cleaned up her milk mustache, and bathed her. Some victories are both small and large at the same time and this was one. My heart is happy today. 💕



 7/12/21- Otter is beginning to cry for me when she is hungry. It isn’t every time, but she’s getting there. She’s learning she is safe and that makes my heart happy. Today she is 3.5 ounces! Still tiny but every bit of her is full of love.


7/11/21- Today was a quiet day. We are finally really getting a hang of this routine and really feeling like we know each other. The best part of today was this morning when she had a sneezing fit. It was about 7 sneezes in a row. I wish I could hear it again, the little squeaky sound she made just made my day. 💕

7-10-21 This morning was exciting. Otter had her first poop! 😂 One of the lesser known parts about fostering such a young kitten is that their mom, in this case me, has to stimulate them to use the bathroom. It’s kind of funny how excited I was about a little 💩. But it is exciting because it’s a sign she continues to eat well. They don’t poop everyday. Otter spent the day with me at work and every time I took her out to feed her while at my desk her cries caused adult cat Rosemary, who is living across from me until she finds a home, to cry out and perk up in curiosity. Rosemary hasn’t shown interest in another cat so seeing this made me smile each time. It was also fun to see how excited my coworkers were to see such a little kitten. Everyone loves her. This makes the adventure so much more fun.


7-9-21 Today was another fun day. She has done well with me over the past couple days. While I ran to PetSmart for work I left her with the best kitten-sitter I know. Looking back on it, explaining what she needs really shows how much I’ve learned about her already. She has little quirks at such a young age. They may be small like her but her personality grows daily too. Everytime I look at her, it surprises me just how little she is. Her eyes are not yet open. It shows me how delicate and full of love life really is.


7/8/21-It’s been another day and I can’t say much has changed. Otter sleeps a lot, keeps quiet until she’s disturbed. It’s clear she likes her rest and doesn’t like to be woken. Unfortunately for me, that is my current talent. She latched properly for the first time today to her bottle but it didn’t last long. It’s still progress though. Today we had fun by creating a newborn photo shoot with her. I can’t tell you how much fun that was, and the outcome is wonderful. I’m ecstatic to share with everyone. It does surprise me how much she likes to move at such a young age, as many of my pictures were not as I expected. But at least I can get a good laugh with them. She wasn’t too hungry tonight, so it will likely be a night of less sleep than last. These are the ‘joys’ of parenthood that I do not miss at all. But she’s worth it! 💕


7/7/21- Approximately 5:30 pm I met Otter for the first time. She is a beautiful domestic short haired girl with black hair and a white stripe down the center of her face, reminding me of a skunk. She is approximately a day old, my youngest foster yet. I went to the shelter to pick her up and begin the foster journey with her. She is not my first bottle fed baby, but I am still new to this. She needs to be fed about every 2-3 hours. I am not looking forward to the sleepless nights but I am so excited to be her foster mama. She is small enough to fit in a single hand. When I arrived home it was already time to feed her again. She is still trying to figure it out. She doesn’t  latch on quite right but it takes practice, she’ll get there. She likes to eat from the syringe/nipple sideways. It makes me laugh. Introducing her to the kids, they fell in love  immediately. My kitten is still trying to figure her out. My dogs…one could care less, the other wants to care for her when he hears her little cries. She is a good sleeper, she will do a lot of that right now. She is wonderful and I love her already.

Otto getting her first feeding during intake at CCHS on 7/7/21