Fostering Cats and Kittens
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Dolly was on death row
Today I'd like to give everyone an insider's view on fostering cats and also update everyone on our young senior cat Mia.
The two stories are actually related as my foster buddy Anna now has Mia in her home.
Joys of fostering cats and kittens
First of all, I'd like to tell everyone about the joys of fostering cats. I don't know why everyone doesn't do this. It's a great way to learn whether you really want a cat on a permanent basis. Plus the newness never wears off because you don't have the cat for a long period of time unless something goes wrong.
I've fostered four cats in the past few weeks. My first foster was Fox, who was at the top of the death row euthanasia list in Greenville, SC. I took him in, along with a cat named Cam. Fox was with me a week and a rescue came through for him.
Fostering comes easy for me. A few weeks back, I found myself once again looking at the death row cats where all of my cats were rescued from. The shelter in Greenville, SC is at capacity and I knew some would soon be euthanised for lack of space. I just can't stand back and watch the cats die when I can help.
So I took Fox and Cam home with me last week. When I returned Fox to the shelter on Friday, I had already contacted the rescue coordinator Andrea about pulling a beautiful little Russian Blue named Dolly. Her time had about ran out.
Andrea also asked me to take an FIV positive orange tabby with a URI named Alto. I'm not afraid of FIV as I know how the disease is spread and we have him as well as Dolly in isolation because they're both sick. Poor Alto would have sat alone in a cage, cold and miserable and sick if not for us bringing him home.
He's also recovering from having his rear leg caught in a trap. People are so cruel!
In the meantime, Laura and I have bought these cats some valuable time. A rescue or adoption is still being sought for all three cats. One rescue believes it can place Dolly in about three weeks. She would have been killed for lack of room at the shelter by mid week. Now she has a comfy home and lots of TLC until arrangement for her forever home are made.
I really don't understand why more people don't foster. If you decide you don't want a cat, then don't get another cat once the one you're fostering finds a home. Very simple. You're helping one cat at a time and learning about yourself at the same time.
I enjoy fostering cats because I can give the shelter feedback on the kind of home each cat needs. Cam needs to go to an only cat home. The other three we've fostered will do fine around other cats. Information such as this helps in placing a cat, which in turn makes sure it isn't returned to a shelter for being something the adopter didn't want.
Update on Mia
And speaking of something an adopter didn't want, here's an update on Mia (see previous story on Mia). As everyone here was outraged over the story of Mia that ran last week, I'd like to report a happy ending is in the works.
Mia was returned to Abbys Animal Angels, who double checked the paperwork the adopter had on Mia. She was NOT listed as 10 year old as the lady claimed. Mia was listed as 6-9 years old. Jennifer, owner of Abbys Animal Angels had Mia checked by her vet, who believes Mia is around six years old. Mia has a broken tooth and also needs a dental cleaning.
The estimate on the surgery was $200, which was raised in one day using a chip in. Let me tell the readers this. I belong to the most wonderful network of women in the world. Most of us are women who also hold down full time jobs. I've also noticed most of us are divorced or widowed. In other words, alone. We're cat ladies in every sense of the word.
If this network of cat lovers ran the world, the world would be a better place. People from all over sent money to pay for Mia to have her dental work done.
Since I was working and couldn't coordinate a schedule to reclaim Mia, Jennifer brought Mia to my friend Anna Williams, who does fostering for Abbys Animal Angels as well as several shelters. It was my intention to get Mia this weekend. I changed my mind as I have the sick cats and don't want Mia at risk until her surgery is performed around February 21.
So Mia will stay with Anna until that time. Perhaps during her recovery if Anna can handle her. If not, Mia will come back to me until she's adopted by someone who deserves her.
Which is fine. Anna lives about six miles from me should anything happen. We trade out cats when one of us gets overwhelmed. She kept our Pippa and Jane for awhile. Right now we have her cat son Frog. Pippa is back with us and Jane was adopted through the Greenville Humane Society.
We're all part of a giant network working to buy these unwanted cats some time until a forever home can be found. I find it all amazing. It's an unbelievable feeling to look over a death row list and choose which cat you want to help. Andrea works herself to the bone to save these cats. I knew once I emailed her about wanting to pull Dolly that Dolly would be safe until I got there.
Some shelters aren't so nice. I believe a few are even spiteful enough to kill a cat rather than see it go to someone who loves it until a permanent solution is found.
I wanted to give everyone an update on Mia. I also wanted to brag about being part of this wonderful network of cat ladies who work so hard to save the cats. It's not the shelters fault these cats are killed. They're simply out of room.
Remember people, fostering a cat will buy the cat some time and get it out of the shelter. If you're thinking of getting a cat and just aren't sure you have what it takes to care for a cat long term, this is an excellent way to test the waters(so to speak).
It's hard not to get a bit attached to the fosters. This isn't the same situation I was in where I rescued a cat and had it until I wanted to adopt it out. I can lose a foster to a new home at any time. But I'm content with the knowledge I can look at the death row list and pull another deserving cat and help save it.
As I've said before, beautiful cats are killed every day for lack of room in our shelters. Each life counts. I plan to save as many as I can.
Comments anyone? Do the fosters out there feel as I do about the service we perform?
NOTE: Photos of Alto and Dolly were taken by Andrea Sams, rescue coordinator for the shelter I rescue from. She realizes a good photo goes a long way in getting a cat adopted. The photo of Mia was made by Abbys Animal Angels and is recent.