A cat who was rescued while heavily pregnant has suffered the heartbreak of seeing all eight of her kittens get adopted while she remains in the shelter.

Tilda has been at Valley Animal Center in Fresno, California, for nearly a year, having first arrived at the shelter on March 23. “I found her trying to break into a family member’s apartment as a very, very pregnant girl,” Valley Animal Center cat care associate Minah Camacho told Newsweek.

“It seemed like she was just about to pop and was just wanting a comfy place to have her babies. She had visited my family member’s house quite frequently in the past, so she was familiar with trying to get in through their window.”

Camacho said Tilda was brought into the rescue’s nursery and had her kittens “just hours” after intake. It didn’t take long for Tilda to become a popular, if occasionally unpredictable, presence at the shelter.

“Tilda loves attention and treats,” Camacho said. “She has the most fun when our volunteers socialize in the rooms and pick her up and carry her around on their shoulder! When she is bored, she is a grade A rule-breaker and loves to dart out into the main lobby and enjoys the chase until she finally just gives up and turns herself in!”

Tilda the shelter cat needs a home.
Tilda the shelter cat. Tilda was living as a stray when she was found.

Valley Animal Center.

Camacho suspects Tilda has never had an owner or a place to call home. “From what my family member has told me, she had been a community cat for a while at that apartment complex and was known to have had multiple litters already,” she said.

Camacho said Tilda was “fantastic” to her kittens, and as they got older and a little more “crazy,” they became increasingly tricky to look after. The last of the eight of her litter was adopted last week to a new loving home.

Sadly, Tilda remains back at the shelter. That’s not entirely a surprise though. A study conducted by website Priceonomics, using data from Petfinder, found that 81.9 percent of kittens listed for adoption on the website were rehomed, but that percentage dropped to 59.5 percent among adult cats.

The sad reality is that Tilda and other cats like her face an uphill battle to find a home. Worse still, being in the shelter for such an extended period of time is starting to take its toll on Tilda.

“It has impacted her mental health and does make her stressed from time to time, which is why she dips into bad behaviors sometimes like door darting or sometimes scuffling with the other cats,” Camacho said. “She gets bored easily and needs something to do or play with.”

Despite this, Camacho and the other staffers who have spent time with Tilda at Valley Animal Center have a pretty clear idea of the kind of home and type of owner that would suit her best.

“Tilda’s ideal home would be a house where she is the center of attention! She gives only child energy because she loves being spoiled rotten and not very good at sharing,” Camacho said.

That said, she believes that, in the right circumstances, Tilda is capable of being flexible. “If they had like one or two other cats, I feel Tilda could adjust fine,” Camacho said. “There are certain cats here in her room that she will sleep on the same bed with and doesn’t get upset when they come too close!”

But for now, Tilda is still in the shelter, waiting—and hoping—to finally find her home.

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