Monday, April 27, 2009
For the past 18 months we have volunteered as a foster family for kittens from the local no-kill shelter. We foster the kittens who are too small or too young to be spayed or neutered. This frees up room at the shelter for cats that have already been spayed/neutered and are ready for adoption. The shelter provides everything we need - the kittens are vaccinated prior to coming to live with us. The shelter provides food, litter pans and litter and all veterinary care (if needed) while the kittens are in our care. We provide them with a safe place within our home (they usually stay in the bathroom at night and while we are gone.) We allow supervised play times with our cats so that the kittens get used to other cats and dogs. We socialize the kittens so that they are friendly, affectionate and relaxed. Many people ask how we can take these kittens in and then let them go to their new forever homes when the time comes. I had this same worry when we first started fostering. I soon discovered that I was looking forward to the kittens going to their new homes and we could have our bathroom back (so I could give it a good scrub down). It takes a lot of time to feed, water, scoop litter boxes, weigh them daily, play with them, etc. Out of all the kittens we have fostered (about a baker's dozen to date) we have only adopted one - Precious, our calico Maine Coon mix kitty. There have been a few that I got a bit teary eyed when the time came to take them back so they could be adopted, and there have been a few that I was glad to see go so I could see some semblance of peace and quiet at the house for a change! Overall though, it has been a very good experience all the way around. We get to play with these little darlings and watch them grow. They learn to trust and look forward to human interaction and learn to adapt to a busy household with other cats and dogs. So we view it as a win/win situation for everybody. If your local shelter or rescue agencies offer fostering, you might want to consider giving it a try. The worst that could happen is you end up adopting another cat or two - and that's not a bad thing after all, is it?!