Meet Charlie. This little kitten has an amazing backstory and has gathered thousands of fans from all around the world.
Kitten Academy is a foster home for cats and kittens run by the couple known online as Mr. Academy and DJ, put together in conjunction with On Angels Wings, a no-kill animal shelter in Illinois. They look after cats and their kittens until they are old enough to be spayed/neutered and then adopted. To give the cats their best chance of finding a forever home, a livestream on YouTube was set up to run 24/7 on April 20th 2016. Since then, a number of ‘classes’ have gone through the academy and the channel itself is nearing 200,000 subscribers.
December 2016 is where the story of this little kitten really begins. Charlie’s mum Chutney was found and sent to the Kitten Academy heavily pregnant, and on December the 17th she went into labour. Almost immediately something wasn’t quite right and Chutney was rushed to the emergency vet. Sadly, it was discovered that Chutney’s kittens weren’t viable and a few days later the complications of her pregnancy led to Chutney passing away. This, however, isn’t a completely sad story – there was a shining beacon of hope, Charlie. As it turned out, one of Chutney’s kittens was actually viable.
For the first four weeks, Charlie was bottle-fed by another foster every few hours. She took Charlie everywhere with her, in his little cat carrier.
As he began to develop, he needed to socialise with other cats to help him learn skills his mother would have taught him – Kitten Academy to the rescue!
Arial, a new mother and her four kittens had been at Kitten Academy for two weeks and she was thought to be the perfect foster mum for little Charlie.
On January 21st, Arial was introduced to Charlie and within minutes, she was cleaning and cuddling Charlie like one of her own.
Meanwhile, Brian, a Kitten Academy fan and long-time supporter from Texas, had formulated a plan to adopt Charlie. However, he wanted the whole thing to be a surprise for his wife Lauren, who had fallen in love with Charlie on the livestream.
On March 8th, Brian flew to Illinois to pick up Charlie, with the plan to get him back to Texas before his wife finished work. Upon meeting Brian, Charlie was instantly a fan (probably because he thought his moustache was a fun new toy). Eventually Charlie arrived at his new home and Brian managed to record Lauren’s reaction to the latest addition to their family.
— Kitten Academy (@kitten_academy) March 9, 2017
A week later, Charlie is incredibly happy in his new home with big siblings Zephyr and Zorro and the family’s dog McNulty. He even has his own Twitter page where fans can get updates on his daily adventures – @CharweeMonster.
It’s amazing to see the love and dedication places like Kitten Academy have for the cats they foster and for all the exposure the livestream gives them. The great work that Kitten Academy and other fosters do is incredible and it goes to show the steps people will go to, to find forever homes for otherwise homeless animals.
You can find the livestream below: