CARSON CITY, NV. (CBSMiami/CNN) — There’s a prison in Nevada where inmates are getting used to some cute, fuzzy new cellmates.READ MORE: Miami Beach Police Investigate Possible Shooting On Collins Avenue
The cell that George Greene and Terrence Jones share got a little more crowded recently with the arrival of two tiny cellmates, Smokey and Feisty.
Victor Meden shares another cell down the hall with three cellmates and three kittens.
All three men are behind bars because their lives took a seriously wrong turn. Greene and Meden are serving time for robbery, and Jones for theft.
The kittens haven’t had time for mischief, but they’ve arrived at a very vulnerable time in their brief lives.
“They’re too small and their immune systems aren’t fully developed yet, so we don’t want them to stay in the shelter. We want to actually get them out to foster homes,” said Kimberley Wade of the Nevada Humane Society.
But there are few such homes available in Carson City, so they came to where they could get the kind of care, frankly, they couldn’t get elsewhere.READ MORE: Residents Of Coral Gables Building Given 72 Hours To Vacate Over Structural Concerns
“I have to get up at 2 o’clock in the morning to feed him. I have to get up. I have to keep a schedule to keep them fed properly. I have to clean them up. Basically, I’m their mom. It’s kind of cool,” Meden said.
“They are spoiled with a lot of caring and love. That way when they get to a family they are more people-oriented and they can get along a lot easier than they would normally,” Greene said.
And the experience brings out a side of the men that often stays hidden behind bars. “When you get these guys it feels like you have something in your heart, like you feel a little bit more worthy in your heart compared to being in a cell,” Jones said.
“I can’t really put it 100 percent into words except for that I just feel like, I don’t feel like I’m in prison sometimes when I get lost a few moments with these guys,” Meden said.
This week, in the yard, the kittens got their first look at the big world outside. In a few weeks, they’ll move beyond the fences, hopefully to loving homes.
It will be some time before the men can follow, but the experience may have changed the lives of both.
“We will be getting out of here better and not bitter and the kittens are making a great change in our lives as well,” Greene said.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Vaccination Sites In South Florida
“They do make a difference, especially the simple fact that we’re being somewhat of a mother to them because they don’t have one. So it gives them a chance, just like they’re giving us a chance,” Jones said.