In January 2017 Nala, my 16-year-old cat, crossed the Rainbow Bridge. It was incredibly difficult saying goodbye to Nala but it was the best thing for her. I had Boudicca, then approaching 17, but I had to realistically start thinking that I would eventually have to say goodbye to her as well since she, too, was not immortal.
Aaron and I started discussing the prospect of fostering cats or kittens as an extension of my volunteer work but had so far never done it. Animal shelters frequently need fosters to take in animals, especially expectant or new mothers, puppies, kittens, or animals with special needs. I was familiar with how the library fostered cats and the occasional guinea pig and rabbit. With the help of my aunt and mother, I had successfully bottle-raised Nala. In the same vein, I was interested in deepening my volunteer work as a foster and expanding my knowledge of pet care.
One of my good friends, Christine, is a foster mom extraordinaire, as she devotedly takes care of countless shelter kittens. I regularly ask her for advice on cat matters and had conversations with her about the ins and outs of fostering.
Aaron and I discussed at length what we had to offer if we decided to foster a cat. This is what we came up with:
- Quiet household. No kids. 🗹
- Stable routine. 🗹
- Moderately experienced cat owners. 🗹
- Patience. 🗹
- Safe spaces. 🗹
- Time. 🗹
- Abundant love. 🗹
(Don’t worry. I’ll discuss things to consider before fostering and how to foster cats specifically in a subsequent post.)
But who would I foster? A kitten? A cat that needed socialization? A pregnant mama cat that needed a safe place to have her kittens? There were so many possibilities.
In the summer of 2017, I was quite surprised when two tabby cats pulled at my heartstrings…
This was Charlie’s shelter profile picture. At the time he was called Tink.
This was Garrus’s shelter profile picture. At the time he was named Aristotle.
NB: I realized that the boys’ story would be long so I broke it down into a multi-part series of posts. Stay tuned for Part Two!