Marcia, a four-week-old orange and white kitten, arrived at the ASPCA Kitten Nursery on August 1. Like the hundreds of other cats in the Nursery at the time, she received life-saving care from our expert staff of veterinarians, licensed vet techs, medical caregivers and volunteers—but unlike the other cats, Marcia also represents a very important milestone: She is the 1,000th kitten to come through our Nursery this season.
“We reached this milestone three weeks ahead of last year, and we’re moving full steam ahead,” said Lourdes Bravo, Senior Manager of the Nursery, which is now in its third year and second full season of operation. Each year, a staff of 50 employees works 24/7 to care for thousands of homeless and newborn cats just like Marcia.
Just weeks after her arrival, Marcia is ready to be spayed and placed up for adoption. The entire staff celebrated in an event at the ASPCA Adoption Center along with Marcia and her siblings, Mark, black and white, and Maeve, a calico.
“I’ve been looking forward to this moment all year,” exclaimed Pam Harris, a medical caregiver in her second year with the Nursery.
Clockwise from top left: Nursery employees Iraj Manzoor, Cerena Hammond, Amalia Zimmerman, Iris Lugo, Nancy Thompson and Courtney Portell
“The nursery staff does amazing work, providing care to these very vulnerable babies around the clock,” said Lourdes, who is also Senior Manager of CARE, the ASPCA’s Canine Annex for Recovery and Enrichment. “We care for and worry about these kittens as if they were our own.”
One of the nursery’s biggest challenges is keeping up with the high volume of kittens coming into Animal Care Centers (ACC) of New York, which then transfers them to the ASPCA Nursery when space becomes available.
Dr. Holly Memoli with Marcia.
“Newborn kittens will stay with us for at least eight weeks,” explained Lourdes, who adds how important it is to spay and neuter both owned as well as free-roaming cats and kittens. As kitten season winds down, the Nursery plans to close October 31 and will re-open next spring.
To date, a total of 2,947 kittens have passed through the nursery since it opened in 2014. “When you do the math, it’s really astounding,” said Gail Buchwald, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA Adoption Center.
Nursery workers keep track of the kittens and post an adoption list that is updated daily. “We all love to see when the kittens we put so much care and work into finally find a home,” said Lourdes.
And they look forward to seeing Marcia’s name on that list very soon.