Craig and Marilyn Strunk, who earlier this month found five kittens abandoned in a plastic trash bag on a street in Oakley, were swamped with calls from people offering help in the wake of a story about the kittens' rescue in last week's Press.
"The response was amazing," said Marilyn. "We got tons and tons of calls, and I have to say we have been really picky about who gets them. But they are all going to wonderful people and we are so grateful."
The six-week-old felines, who turned out to be all females, have been pronounced healthy by their veterinarian, and have received the green light to join their new families in approximately a week. The adoptive families come from Discovery Bay, Oakley, Brentwood and Concord.
The kittens, who now weigh approximately a pound and a half each, are sleeping through the night and are roughly 80-percent litter-box trained.
"They're so funny. They have a different cry for everything, just like babies do," said Marilyn. "There is the 'I'm hungry' cry, which is short and pitiful, and then there's the longer cry - the 'I gotta go to the bathroom' cry. Sometimes I help them over to the box with that one, just to be sure."
For the Strunks, who have kept a vigilant watch over the sisters, feeding, bathing and lavishing them with an abundance of TLC, the kittens' imminent departure is bittersweet.
"I'm happy for them, of course, but we have sure grown attached to them," said Marilyn. "They're just like little babies, and after all they've been through, they remain so loving and happy to be around us. They're some tough girls, I'll tell you that."
As spring flowers and trees continue to blossom around the county, so too do kittens, according to Verlene Leonardo, president of Homeless Animal's Lifeline Organization (H.A.L.O.), and now is the perfect time to keep an eye out for other abandoned kittens as well. It's also a good time to remember to spay or neuter your pet.
For more information on adoption, spaying and neutering, and rescue locations, the following organizations can help: Animal Rescue Foundation (256-1273); H.A.L.O. (473-4642); Homeless Animals Response Program (H.A.R.P., 431-8546); Antioch Animal Shelter (779-6989); and Martinez Animal Shelter (335-8300).