A little over a year ago, a cat foster parent received a wonderful surprise: a cat with a litter of kittens that needed a temporary home. Laura Malone is the director of the nonprofit organization and in some instances, she takes strays into her own home to help things moving smoothly. She was tipped off about this little group and immediately sprang into action.
What Malone found when she got to the city shelter to pick up the cat family was incredible. The mother cat, Mars, was a beautiful, long-haired, black kitty, and her kittens had an incredibly rare type of brown fur. Sometimes called chocolate or cinnamon, Mars’ four babies all had this rare coloring!
Malone couldn’t find out much about where the kittens and their mother had been before coming to the shelter. While Mars was comfortable enough with humans, making it seem like she might’ve had an owner at some point, she also had dry skin on her paws, something that usually happens when cats spend lots of time outdoors.
The kittens and their mother went home with Malone, and on the first night, things were a little tense. “[Mars] was growling so much at every noise and movement, making unwavering eye contact, and standing so defensively,” Malone stated in an interview with But eventually, things calmed down, and everyone got used to each other, especially when Mars realized her kittens were in a safe place.
Mars started to become very affectionate with Malone after a little while, jumping up to rub on her new foster parent’s legs as she prepared food for her. “When she first arrived, I made it a habit to always say, ‘Hello, Mama,’ when I opened the door. I wanted her to get used to the sound of my voice.”
Over time, both Mars and the kittens became comfortable, and eventually, the little ones managed to get rowdier as well as to grow into their bodies and their surroundings.
The four kittens — all girls — were certainly special for their chocolate fur, which only occurs when there is a mutation on the black color gene. As such, their names were picked to suit their special look.
Like Mama Mars, each one was named after a kind of chocolate candy! Hershey, Reese (or Reese’s), Twix and Baby Ruth all sported their signature light-brown fur while Reese and Twix also sported white socks and white accents.
Malone loved caring for the family, though she did mention on her personal Instagram that this surprise intake did change the dynamic of her household. “Normally, I have a system for intake where I overlap litters to maximize the number of kittens I can save for the amount of space I have available,” she wrote.
As such, when the kittens were big enough and stable enough to go to their forever homes, Malone was sad to see them go but happy they were ready to start their new lives.
According to her Instagram, Mars and Hershey were adopted together, Twix and Baby Ruth went to another family, and Reese went to a third who already had two siblings at home, excited to meet and play with her!
It’s a wonderfully happy ending for these five cats who started out as strays, but through the love, patience and care provided by Malone, were able to find forever homes and live out their lives as beloved house cats.