One cold and dreary Sunday afternoon in November 2006, I went looking for my precious cat Sweet Pea. She had not come home and I was worried about her. I found my beloved cat on the road. She had been hit by a car and was killed. I was devastated at losing her. She had been a special cat, my fur baby, and she had really helped me through a tough time. I missed her terribly and all I felt was an overpowering need to do some pay back for her somehow, some way. (This photo is of Sweet Pea).
I wanted to show thanks for her life and to make her memory live on. So I called the local non profit organization that fosters cats, Animalert, and set myself up to become a foster mom for abandoned and stray cats.
Within a couple weeks I had a Mom and her kitten. They were adopted quickly and then more cats arrived. Each one has their own unique personality and it was a real pleasure to get to know them as individuals. I'd watch them as they'd bond with the other cats in my home and they'd soon relax because they knew they were in a safe place. (Photo of Tica adopted in 2006 along with her kitten Antonio).
My heart would break a little as each cat is adopted but it's such a small pain and it doesn't last. Instead I'm left with the knowledge that the cat has found it's perfect permanent home. Few things are better than that.
(Photo of kittens Dottie & Smudge and their Mother adopted 2008).
At a recent fund raising bazaar for the Animalert non profit organization http://www.animalert.ca/, I had several people grab me by the elbow to take me aside. Then out came the photo albums and cameras filled with photos of their new fur baby--a cat they came to adopt from my home. That and a followup call always give me closure as I release these precious animals, making room for the next.
The young cats are playful, sometimes mischievous but always fun to watch. They bring joy that outweighs the little things like the chewed corners on my books or the toilet paper pulled off the roll, out the bathroom and down the hall. The older cats are wise and they know they've been abandoned or mistreated. They are extremely grateful and make the most loyal and loving pets. (Bailey adopted in 2008).
I think that's the surprise, the love that's returned. So often we think it's just us that's giving it out. The returns are wonderful and it makes me want to ask why more people don't consider fostering? Maybe it's just a well kept secret?
I hope this secret gets out :)
(This is my cat Gracie who rarely sleeps because she's always busy supervising everyone else, including me).