Foster Care: What I Considered?
Why foster care? This is a question I am asked almost daily by friends, family, and even strangers. Sitting here, surrounded by 3 tiny kitten faces really says it all. The perfect cure to a hard day is being surrounded by kittens wanting to play or their warm bodies snuggled on you, fast asleep.
Taking on a pet isn’t a light decision and neither is fostering. I love animals, and meeting new animals wherever I go is one of my favorite things. They all have different personalities, and unique ways of doing things which I enjoy seeing. Animals have taught me a lot about life and help me deepen my understanding and provide me new ways to see the world, and I wanted more of it!
We already have 2 cats, Shadow and Frosty, they are 6 years old now, they have slowed down in their mid life as we all do. We had more love to give and wanted to get another pet, probably a cat; maybe a dog. Our first consideration was – space. We live in a two bedroom apartment, which isn’t huge but still had the available space to provide for a foster pet (particularly a kitten or puppy). We already had a routine where the cats sleep in the bathroom each night, so it wasn’t difficult to see how we would be able to adjust this routine to introduce new animals and provide them a safe space to be alone. Our second bedroom/office/junk room was available for our older cats as it houses a computer with all those pesky cables we can’t just never hide (or keep neat) and our cats, being older, are no longer interested in chewing or playing with them. This freed up our bathroom as a safe place at night we could keep kittens while they get to know our cats during the day where I could monitor them.
We had to think about time, did we have enough time available to care, play, teach, and make their vet visits. Fostering does take some of your time and providing good care is essential. You need to have time and energy to devote to it, as the animals you are fostering are (usually) young or unwell they need special love and care. Like most things in life the more time you spend playing and interacting with your cat the more you get out of the relationship. I planned to spend time each day playing with our foster animals. Not only is it fun for me playing with animals it also prepares them to be the best possible pet for their furever home and family. The time commitment isn’t huge but you do need to put some aside, play with them each day, some cleaning up after them and, depending on their health, make vet visits as needed. Time spent with animals is very rewarding, I find it rather therapeutic, it makes me put down my phone or computer, be present, and play like a kid. I recommend trying it (or at the very least learning some mindfulness from your cat – insert link to article)! you feel like a kid again! Plus you get the joy of knowing you helped find this pet a loving home. There is no downside!
To foster or adopt, that is the question? Helping, and giving back to the community, is one of the things I enjoy doing in life. I wish I had more time to help out in life but we all have jobs and busy lives. I wanted a way I could help, do some good with the time I had available (building a blog takes time). When I adopt (as our two cats are) I only get to help one (or in our case, two) animals. Fostering gave me to ability to help many animals as well as people find long, loving relationships together.
The hidden secret of fostering!
After only a couple of weeks I have discovered the hidden secret of fostering. If you love kittens and just want to love kittens, fostering helps that happen! In fostering, you take the animals that are too young to be adopted to their furever homes and you raise them. Once they are old enough they go and meet their new family. This means that your house (and heart) are open once again to receive more kittens! Kittens are adorable, and in peak season the RSPCA in Sydney alone can get up to 200 per week that need fostering! I will be sharing my experiences with my first lot of foster kittens (George, Ninja and Molly), so subscribe to get updates on the next installment of my fostering journey (and if you want to be inundated with adorable kitten pictures check out our Instagram @sopurrfect_)
Fostering was the perfect opportunity of doing more for animals and me to give back.
Coming up I will talk about the foster program and my experiences fostering.