Why do I foster? The short answer is that a mama cat went into labor and I didn’t want her to have to welcome her babies into the world in a sterile cage, alone, late at night at the shelter. No matter how great our shelter is, it’s still not a home.
The long answer has many parts.
When I was 10, we moved back to my dad’s hometown, to a house next to my grandparents. It was the beginning of summer and we didn’t know any kids in the neighborhood. And the neighborhood was slim-pickings- with 631 people in the entire town, guess how many of those were kids my age.
Grandpa was a retired plumber, turned handyman. All the guys would congregate at his shop (the barn behind his house) and shoot the breeze. Us kids pulled copper out of old motors to earn candy money or money for gas to fuel the home made go-cart. But that’s another story.
That summer, there were 3 feral kittens living in the barn attic. Grandpa excused us from copper-pulling duty to tame them. Somehow, he knew that we needed to connect with something needier than ourselves. My older sister grew tired of the process when the boys found out she was the new girl in town. My little brother set his sights on the go cart. But I spent hours sitting in the hot barn attic, trying to entice those babies out of their hiding places.
I was successful with the grey one. He decided that whatever I had to offer was better than a crawl space between the piles of old lumber. Grandpa adopted him as his shop cat and Kitzer Boy enjoyed many long days hunting mice and begging for salami from the visitor’s sandwiches.
He outlived my grandpa. When my grandma sold the big house, to move into a little cottage, she allowed Kitzer Boy to come along. She was allergic to cats, but somehow, she couldn’t leave that boy behind.
So, when this mama cat gave birth to 3 stripey cute fuzzies, I was thrilled to be able to offer a safe place for them to land. But 12 hours later, when the fuzzy all-grey one showed his face, I knew why they were here.
Thank you, Gordon and Lucille for all you taught me, without even trying.