The one that didn’t get away

KITTENS! Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about fostering animals in need.

foster quote

I’ve written about the various cats and kittens we’ve fostered, starting with the post:

The Kitten Chronicles

(Thank you Robert Ward for your patience with the ever-changing array of guest felines.) But now I am here to say I am offically a Foster Failure. I actually don’t like that term; it makes it sound like I lost the cat or something bad happened. What it means is that I finally met my match and can’t part with one and he is now staying here as part of the family. That’s a good thing!

foster fail image

Marble yoga
Marble, the one who stole our hearts.

My first attempt at fostering was more than 18 years ago. That one was a fail too, and I didn’t try it again until last year, as part of my volunteering with the East Bay SPCA.

Ben and Sara
Ben (orange) and Sara (brown), 1996. Sara is still with us; RIP Ben.

Our first guest was little Abracadabra, who needed to gain a few ounces before she could be spayed and enter adoptions. What a little delight she was!

Abracadabra shoulder

It only took her a week to get up to weight. I was dreading taking her back to the shelter, but I knew she’d find a good home quickly. In the week she was here, she was a great helper.

Abracadabra laundry
The laundry basket is empty now, you’re welcome.

Unfortunately, black cats and kittens take longer to get adopted, so she waited a couple of weeks but the right match came along, and she went off to her new life.

We were ready to jump in and take the next step: a mother cat with a litter of kittens. So Mouse and her babies Ratticus, Sugar Glider, Ferret, and Chinchilla came to occupy the guest room, now known as the foster room. NOTE: I am not responsible for any of the cat and kitten names; don’t blame me if they seem ridiculous to you.

You can follow their adventures:

The Kitten Chronicles

Kitten Chronicles, age 13 days

Kitten Chronicles, part 3

Kitten Chronicles, 4 weeks old!

Kitten Chronicles–7 weeks old!

Mouse’s Kittens–Ready for Their Debut, or, They Leave the Foster Nest

From the amount of blogging I did about them, you can tell that Mouse and babies had a big impact on me.

We decided to go with another “singleton” for the next one, and along came Honeysuckle. She had a broken front leg and a shattered ball joint in one hip. She needed a place to recover from the broken leg, and then have surgery on the hip.

Honeysuckle cast
Such a beauty. Of course we welcomed her to the foster suite.

More than likely hit by a car, this Maine Coon mix sweetheart was a real trooper and made good progress recovering from her injuries.

 

Honeysuckle blue chair
This sweet beauty was adopted within a week of going back to the shelter.

When I took Honeysuckle back to the shelter, I was asked if I could take another “broken” kitty. Of course! Meet Kianna.

Kianna cone

Kianna had a broken tail and a fractured pelvis, also likely hit by a car. Two words–purr machine! She looks intense but what a love!

Kianna intense.jpg

Once her pelvis had time to heal, she was taken in to have the tail amputated, and then came back for more recuperation time. She was welcome to stay as long as she needed!

Kianna no tail

For reasons I can’t begin to understand, she waited at the shelter for a long time for an adopter. We thought long and hard about whether to adopt her ourselves, but the East Bay SPCA wisely transferred her from the Oakland adoption center to the one in Dublin and she was very quickly went home from there.

Kianna waiting
Waiting at the shelter for someone to realize what a jewel they’d found with her.

There was a wintertime slow-down in the need for fosters, but like clockwork, it was kitten season again! Our first foster of 2016 was another short-term singleton, Babou. Talk about a lively kitten!

Babou window
Chasing a bug.

Again we had a vacancy. Thus, Mars and the candy bar kittens–Dove, Milky Way, Twix, Snickers, and Reeses–took over the foster quarters. You can read more about them here:

The Kitten Chronicles, Redux

Mars and newbies

Mars had a much different approach than Mouse; where Mouse was ready to have the kittens independent after 4-5 weeks, Mouse was extremely devoted to her babies and kept close watch over them the whole 2 months they were here.

Mars cuddling

Five kittens seems like a whole lot more than four! As they got older, the foster room seemed to get smaller and chaos ensued as the kittens became mobile. But entertaining, that’s for sure!

Mars babies beanbag

Mars babies with Alex
My friend Alex visits the Candy Bar kittens.

The house seemed so quiet when they were gone, and as expected, everyone found homes quickly. Have good lives, little ones! While they were here, we briefly had little Raisinette, rescued from the mean streets of Berkeley by Alex. We tried adding him in with the bigger candy bar kids to see if momma Mars would take him. She reluctantly let him for a bit, but a better mother/baby group was found for him.

Raisinette
We called him Raisinette to stick with the candy theme.

Going outside the “system” for the first time, two amazing people, Eliana and Mark, involved me in a rescue of two little beauties at the Office Depot in Berkeley. It was not easy to catch these girls! Mark was like a kitten rescue ninja! They only stayed with us a few days; a home was found for them with friends of Eliana and Mark.

Gray girls
We called them Grayson (right) and Ember (left).

And next, the three French Sisters: Joelle, Amelie, and Elodie, featured in:

A Tale of Three Sisters

French girl trio

Très précieuse! I hate to admit to favorites, but Amelie (top center) was the one I thought would lead me to foster failure.

French girls and Bob
Bob was charmed by the girls as well.

The girls all made their age/weight goal for adoptions, and I sadly took them in to the shelter to go on to their new lives.  Bonne chance!

Well, in a major fluke of timing, that same morning my awesome friend Molly had come across a kitten in need of a place to crash. Long story that I won’t go into. I said, sure, I can take him, thinking I’d put him in the foster room for a day or two and then see if they had a spot for him at the shelter. That was more than a week ago and many vet bills later. The poor little guy, Marble, ended up needing some serious vet care. Again, thank you Robert Ward!

For the record, I was not the first one of us to suggest we keep Marble. It was in fact Bob.

with Bob
Day one: he’s got Bob figured out.
Marble and nerd girl
I’m an easy mark; I’d never say no to adding him to the family!

He was having trouble keeping food down, and of course it was the weekend, so off to the 24-hour clinic, Pets Referral Center, in Berkeley. The nicest people in the world work there!

at the vet
The veterinarian’s office is not fun!
adorable
Making friends everywhere he goes.

We were afraid he would need surgery for a possible obstruction, but with medication and monitoring he is on the mend. He does not like medication time! But he’s eating and playing and cuddling and making himself indispensible.

med time
Not medication time again?!

I was afraid he was cold in the foster room (it is a bathroom and has no direct light), so he is now ensconced in what was my office until he is fully recovered and can start being introduced to the other residents. In the meantime, he is my right hand assistant and keeper of the laptop.

keyboarder
My editor. Blame him for the typos and mistakes!
IMG_5922
He also likes books and sun puddles.

It looks he’s here to stay! Whether another foster comes to use the foster room, aka guest bathroom, is yet to be seen. I hope so!

You, dear reader, can also have some of this adorableness in your life. And if dogs are more your thing, the East Bay SPCA has those too! There are lots of animal rescue groups for other small animals, including birds. (And no worries about vet bills when you foster for an organization; they take care of all that.)

Many who foster make it for years without a so-called “fail”. You would be doing an amazing service for a shelter or rescue group, and helping to save a life.

foster kitten

foster quote 2

And should you have a foster fail, don’t worry. There are lots of us! We even have a Facebook page.

foster fail facebook

Please consider being a foster for your local shelter; you’ll be glad you did.

masthead_image6_1368715790

5 thoughts on “The one that didn’t get away

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s