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Rice Point foster family develops passion for cats thanks to P.E.I. Humane Society

The cats fostered by the Reardon family in Rice Point are treated to a variety of different kitty houses.
The cats fostered by the Reardon family in Rice Point are treated to a variety of different kitty houses. - Contributed
RICE POINT, P.E.I. —

There’s a house in Rice Point that could be described as being the cat’s meow.

That’s because it’s full of all the things that make little felines happy – cat houses, lots of litter boxes and, most importantly, all kinds of cuddles.

The Reardon family – Bobbi-Jo and Andrew, with their daughters, Andi-Lee Reardon, 13, and Janie, 11, have been fostering litters of kittens for the P.E.I. Humane Society since last fall.
Andi-Lee says it’s a ton of work, but the payoff is huge.

“It’s such a rewarding experience,’’ Andi-Lee says. “You get to wake up every morning and run into their room and take them all downstairs and cuddle and play with them.’’

Not long after the Reardons became a foster family, Andi-Lee noticed professionally-made cat houses on the social media platform Pinterest.

“I saw a cat house and I thought to myself, ‘I could make one of those’. The first house I made was a camper. We took pictures and everyone on the human society foster page loved it so I made more.’’

Now, the Reardon house is full of cat houses, a sea of colour with each featuring a different design. Andi-Lee has also made cat houses for relatives and other foster families.

When the foster family kids make tiny houses for the kittens and lil outfits SWOOOOON ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘Œ

Posted by PEI Humane Society on Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Janie is in charge of making costumes for the cats.

“The very first year we fostered it was around Halloween so I made them crayon costumes and little hats,’’ Janie says. “This year, I made them all little costumes that go with their names, like Felix French Fries and Lady Daisy.’’

Andi-Lee Reardon, left, 13, and her sister, Janie, 11, say being a foster kitten family for the P.E.I. Humane Society is a rewarding experience. - Contributed
Andi-Lee Reardon, left, 13, and her sister, Janie, 11, say being a foster kitten family for the P.E.I. Humane Society is a rewarding experience. - Contributed

When the Reardon family brings in litters, it’s usually five to six cats at a time and they usually keep them for two months.

Andi-Lee and Janie say they also assign each one a name, which gets matched to one of the kitty houses, and both say remembering their names is easy.

Bobbi-Jo Reardon, their mother, said being a foster family has become a family passion.

“We feel like we’re the lucky ones because we get to take them home when they’re at their most playful sweet age and have so much fun with them, care for them and make them into good cats before we give them back,’’ Bobbi-Jo says.

Bobbi-Jo Reardon of Rice Point says being a foster family for the P.E.I. Humane Society is a lot of work, but she wouldn't trade these cuddles for the world. - Contributed
Bobbi-Jo Reardon of Rice Point says being a foster family for the P.E.I. Humane Society is a lot of work, but she wouldn't trade these cuddles for the world. - Contributed

Reardon says she actually grew up a dog person. It wasn’t until she married her husband, Andrew, who had grown up with cats that she developed a love for cats.

Bobbi-Jo and Andrew had two dogs when they got married. Once those dogs died, they decided to adopt a cat from the humane society in 2011. They adopted another just a few months later.

Several years passed, and Bobbi-Jo and the girls would attend the annual kitty shower put on by the P.E.I. Humane Society as a fundraiser. They fell in love with more cats, and that planted the idea for becoming a foster family to litters of kittens.

Kittens fostered by the Reardon family each get their own costume. - Contributed
Kittens fostered by the Reardon family each get their own costume. - Contributed

While it can be challenging to have so many kittens in the house, having to give the cats up was the hardest hurdle at first.
“That first litter, I was an absolute emotional basket case … I was a blubbering mess at the humane society when I took them in and I cried the whole way home," said Bobbi-Jo. "This (second) litter was a little bit easier because it was our second round.’’
Bobbi-Jo says fostering is a lot of work. There are five litter boxes spread through their house, and each has to be cleaned about 10 times per day.
But, no one in the family would have it any other way.
“We just love it.’’

The Reardon family of Rice Point poses with their furbabies. From left, are Janie, with Angel, Andi-Lee with Liam, Bobbi-Jo with the family dog. Ruby, and Andrew with Stella. - Contributed
The Reardon family of Rice Point poses with their furbabies. From left, are Janie, with Angel, Andi-Lee with Liam, Bobbi-Jo with the family dog. Ruby, and Andrew with Stella. - Contributed
Andi-Lee Reardon, 13, poses with the family dog, Ruby. - Contributed
Andi-Lee Reardon, 13, poses with the family dog, Ruby. - Contributed

The kitten loves her kitty castle. - Contributed
The kitten loves her kitty castle. - Contributed
Andi-Lee Reardon with the cats. - Contributed
Andi-Lee Reardon with the cats. - Contributed
Andi-Lee Reardon plays taxi for the cats around the family house. - Contributed
Andi-Lee Reardon plays taxi for the cats around the family house. - Contributed
Janie, 11, is in charge of costume design for the little kitties. - Contributed
Janie, 11, is in charge of costume design for the little kitties. - Contributed

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