For five or six years, we fostered cats and kittens for our local Humane Society. We’d foster one or two at a time, and when they got adopted to a new family in the area, we’d foster someone else. The shortest time we housed a foster cat was 1 day. The longest time we fostered a cat was 6 months, a funny black and white cat we named Loners (he was very lonely for his mama when he first came to stay with us).
We really wanted Loners to get adopted, but when he finally did get adopted out to a wonderful home, Hubby and I both missed him terribly. We still talk about him sometimes. The best news about Loners, besides the fact that he found his forever home, is that we occasionally run into the couple who adopted him, and they just love him like crazy. They show us his picture on their cell phones and tell us funny stories about him. He sleeps on their bed at night. He has a happy life, which makes our little bit of heartache all worth it.
It was never too difficult at our house, taking in a new foster cat or kitten, even though we had 4 cats of our own. (This is an anonymous blog, so in the matter of counting cats, I provide full disclosure.) After the initial growling, hissing, and fussing, our own cats were mostly ambivalent about letting other cats stay with us. They were interested in watching the foster cats, interested in what toys they played with, and what they ate, and how often they used the litter box. They usually came to accept the newcomers and sort of shrug their shoulders when new cats would come to our house, or leave for a new home.
My Huckleberry was the exception. He loved fostering. He is a big fuzzy cat, and a very manly cat most of the time—cool tempered, a good hunter, someone who likes to have time to himself every evening—but he adored playing with small kittens who came to stay with us. I love these two photos, which show how things typically worked between our foster cats and Huckleberry.
First, kittens would come to our house, find the litter box, play a little, get to know their way around and then, as kittens do, collapse around each other in a dead sleep together, blissfully and trustingly shutting out The Big World for a nap:
Within a couple of days, Huckleberry had taken them under his proverbial wing, played rough with them, taught them a thing or two about respecting The Big Cats, and then cuddled up with them to keep them safe and warm:
By the way, those two little orange kittens, who were brothers and best friends, got adopted together to the same home, a wonderful woman who loved cats, and particularly loved orange cats. I bet they get to sleep on the bed.