Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
This is an Article I wrote for our organizations NewLetter in hopes of inspiring others to foster:
My name is Janice Richard. I have been fostering kittens for FOAP and helping with the rehabilitation of feral kittens/cats for the last three years or so. The joy and fulfilment this has brought to me are immeasurable.
It all started with a small little calico female feral in my backyard one summer afternoon. I knew right away that this was not a local feline, since most of our neighbourhood is populated with dogs! When I appeared in the window she would bolt back into the bushes. My backyard is surrounded by cedars, so she had some wonderful hiding places. After seeing her for a few days, I started putting some food and water out on our deck for her. She would approach very cautiously, slinking low to the ground, eat the food quickly, and then be gone again. This went on for a few months. We were becoming rather worried because colder weather was upon us and we still hadn’t made friends with her … not from lack of trying! Finally, while lying on the grass with tuna treats in my hand, she came over to me. She ate her treats and then started head-butting my face … purring. It was instant love on both our parts.
Then I discovered she was pregnant. My husband and I made a place for her in our finished basement and a few months later we watched with much fascination as Kitty gave birth to four little kittens. Sadly one of the kittens died during the night and I buried the tiny darling where Kitty used to sit and watch us in the back garden. We were able to find homes for the remaining kittens and also one for Miss Kitty herself. Fostering presents some challenges, but the rewards far outweigh them.
“There are few things more heart-warming than to be welcomed by a cat.” – Tay Hohoff
After that experience, I had a passionate yearning to start fostering feral or stray kittens/cats. I contacted FOAP over Christmas 2004 and my request was eagerly received. Shortly thereafter, I was asked to foster two small little black/white kittens. Since then, I’ve had over 50 foster kittens and cats in my home and have cherished every moment of it. Often these kittens/cats are feral and a lot of patience and love is required to socialize them with humans. Through fostering, my own two cats turned into four cats. My first feral kittens were Silkie and Misty. They were the most beautiful kittens at 4 months old; however, terribly scared of humans. Within two weeks they had completly turned around and started to trust us. We decided to keep them because we loved them so much. They get along very well with our two cats.
My greatest satisfaction is to see the kittens placed in a permanent loving home where they will be cared for. We are regularly asked how we can foster such darling kittens/cats and then let them go. That’s exactly why we do it. Once they have gone to new loving homes, we can then make room for the next kitten or cat that needs help. There is such a great need for foster homes, and it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to love an animal in distress.
"Saving one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal. – Unknown"