Evacuated kitten finds forever home

A little black and white kitten has found his forever home after being moved from the North Peace SPCA due to the Stoddart Creek wildfire in May.
PJ found his forever home with a loving family after being evacuated. (BCSPCA)

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A little black and white kitten has found his forever home after being evacuated from the North Peace SPCA due to the Stoddart Creek wildfire in May.

According to the SPCA, staff and volunteers moved 21 animals to the BC SPCA’s South Peace location and other locations across the province once an evacuation alert was issued for Fort St. John on May 15th.

“After the evacuation, due to the unpredictable nature of the fire situation in this area, we had all the animals in our care transferred to other animal centres throughout the province,” said Candace Buchamer, manager of the North Peace SPCA.

PJ on a cat tree. (BC SPCA)

PJ’s new dad, Leigh, first saw the kitten on the adoption page when the kitten was in Quesnel.

“Everyone in our house is obsessed with cats. We have two, and we wanted to add another to our family,” Leigh said.

“We were ready to drive up to Quesnel to get him, but then we found out he was being transferred to Abbotsford, and they forwarded our application to the Abbotsford animal centre.”

The family met PJ, who was initially sweet, loving and docile.

“But when we got PJ home, he wasn’t as gentle as he had been when we first met him,” said Leigh. 

“We weren’t sure if he was frightened or just overwhelmed, but his play was quite rough with the kids. He was biting and scratching them. We really didn’t want to take him back to the animal centre, but we were concerned about his behaviour.”

PJ the cat with his new family. (BC SPCA)

He spoke with staff at the Abbotsford animal centre, and with appeals from his kids who had already fallen in love with the kitten, Leigh decided to wait a few more days to see if PJ would settle down after adjusting to his new environment.

“This kitten had been surrendered to the BC SPCA’s care when he was very young,” said the BC SPCA animal welfare manager Kim Monteith. 

“Kittens learn about biting and scratching through play with littermates and, of course, mom. When they’ve been removed from littermates and mom too early, they are still learning when they play. If we play with them using our hands and encourage that type of play, it will continue.”

Monteith said when bringing a new pet into the home, it’s important to remember everything is familiar to the owner but brand new to the pet.

To help them adjust, owners can give the new pet time to adapt and learn about its new environment, including setting up a routine and play sessions.

“Remember, their behaviour will tell you a lot about how they’re feeling and what they might need,” said Monteith.

According to the BC SPCA, PJ just needed more time.

“He still plays like a kitten, but his sweet side came out,” said Leigh. 

“I have never seen a cat that wants to play that much. The kids could play with him all day, every day, and it wouldn’t be enough.”

The kitten also loves being in his owners’ laps and snuggling.

“If I am just sitting on the couch, PJ will jump on my lap and run his face on my hands, trying to get me to rub under his chin,” said Leigh.

PJ the kitten loves snuggling with his new family. (BC SPCA)

According to PJ’s new owners, the kitten purrs loudly and sounds “super crackly and snappy.”

“He is such a sweet cat. We just had to give him time to find his way. He has been through so much already in his young life,” Leigh said.


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