Foster Hero Story: Meet Joyce & Noodles

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A tiny kitten shares gigantic lessons in resilience and finding joy in life. And finds a forever home in the process. Here’s Joyce’s foster pet hero story.

(Note: a few of the photos below may be a bit heartbreaking to view, but it’s all part of the great kitty’s transformation back to health)

Losing a leg didn’t stop Noodles

Why did this pet need fostering?

The tiny kitten, Noodles, was brought to animal control with a badly injured back leg and issues with the tops of her ears. They immediately transferred her to a partner shelter with a full-service veterinary hospital and a strong foster program. The veterinary team determined that amputating her leg was the best treatment. Then, after her surgery, the tiny girl got a really bad cold.  She definitely needed a place to heal while she grew old enough and healthy enough to be adopted.  The shelter emailed me, a foster volunteer, that Noodles needed a foster family.

Losing a leg didn’t stop Noodles. She how well she gets around in this video.

What was it like fostering a pet?

Noodles had the sweetest personality, from day one. It was so wonderful to watch her grow stronger, day by day, till her purrs weren’t interrupted by sneezes.  A healthy little tripod kitten she loved to scamper around and play with her one back power-leg and two front legs to steer. That missing leg doesn’t stop her from doing most anything! Never thinking the name Noodles did her justice, we started calling her Spirit for her resilience attitude.


As is typical when I foster, I got to create an adoption profile for Noodles, and let people who might be interested come visit her.  I love this part! Not only have I met wonderful people starting an important family chapter, but it really increases my chances of getting updates on how that pet does in their new home.

One day, Consuelo brought her young daughter and roommate to visit the kitten. I was touched that they were particularly drawn to a kitten with special challenges. It was so sweet to see Noodles (or Spirit!) cuddle with the little girl, and how gentle the daughter was with the kitten.  This family adopted her about a year ago. Now named Lucy, she is a beautiful, sleek white cat, and much loved.  

Who in your family or community supports your foster volunteering and how?

My husband and daughter help make sure that animals get care when it is needed, round the clock. Our shelter’s foster program also has terrific mentors that come to give needed vaccines at the house!

What advice would you give to first-time foster pet parents? 

If you get a chance to meet and keep in touch with the adopters, it is particularly delightful. It can really tug at your heart to say goodbye, but hearing their updates helps you realize how wonderful the match is.

Joyce – foster advocate