Regardless of your political views, I think we can all agree that these past few weeks have been pretty challenging. Add in some major weather all over the country today, and eesh, it’s not been easy.
Thus, I present my prescription for positivity – foster kitties!
Warning: there are lots of pictures and .gifs and youtube vids in this post, so if you don’t like REALLY CUTE KITTENS, turn back now!
I started fostering in April 2016, having never had a cat of my own before and not knowing much about cats in general (except that they have sharp bits and, often, do not suffer fools lightly). Kittens are a great place to start learning to Cat, because they are very small and very forgiving!
Somewhere in the midst of all these kittens I ended up with Feta. She is the first adult cat I’ve been responsible for! Fortunately for me, she is also a good “starter cat,” because she is very forgiving and very communicative. But, I digress. Just because I had Feta doesn’t mean there wasn’t still a need for kitten fosters!
During “kitten season,” which is usually the warm months from around February – October, shelters are typically utterly overwhelmed with homeless kittens. Many need to be bottle fed around the clock, and even those that are weaned are too young and immune-compromised (having not had all their shots yet) to safely be housed at the shelter. Many shelters euthanize orphan kittens that come in too young to eat on their own, because they don’t have the resources to give them the care they need. Those that work to save orphan kittens rely heavily on volunteers to take the young kittens into their homes and care for them until they are old enough to be vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and adopted out (usually around 8-10 weeks). So, that’s why I have had a bunch of kittens in my home (you can see pictures of them, and of Feta, on my Instagram account), and why I love to advocate for kitten fostering! You can do it, too! One of the best ways to get started is to talk to your local shelter to see if they or any group they know need help.
So, with that out of the way! Feta and some of my kittens overlapped. Generally, you want to keep your fosters separated for health concerns, but if they’ve been in foster for a number of weeks and are healthy and at least partially vaccinated, and your resident animals are in good health and also vaccinated, you can do some supervised introductions.
Feta was both interested in and scared of the “newcomers” at first, but then warmed up to them fairly well. I think her mobility problems make her a little extra shy and insecure, but she seems to enjoy at least the idea of kitten friends!
I fostered these floofy felines for a week while their primary foster was traveling:
My next litter was 2 little tabby girls.
I was keeping the kittens in my bedroom and Feta downstairs, but one day (after watching me bring up the kitten food, no doubt) Feta decided to follow me up and bust through the not-very-secure-closing door.
Watching them meet was absolutely hilarious – they were all terrified of each other and attempting to act all fierce, which of course none of them is. Poofy kittens vs. 2.5 legged cat is not exactly a violent battle, but it is ferociously cute!
The kittens, having never seen an adult cat before, were completely taken aback.
However, they soon made friends!
“I thinks I want to play with you, Large Scary Cat!” “Um…. Okay, I play with you, Kitten! …I think??”
Eventually as they got more comfortable with each other, they seemed to have a lot of fun playing together! They were still very closely supervised – both praised for good cat manners and gently corrected/redirected if they got too rough – but all was generally peace and harmony and really insufferable cuteness 😀
So, Feta proved her cat-compatibility (com-cat-ibility?) with foster kittens quite well, and may be allowed to meet more in the future 🙂 (After appropriate quarantine, with careful supervision, etc.!)
Feta goes to a neurologist tomorrow, so we will likely have a more serious update soon, but in the meantime I leave you with my favorite .gif ever of my cute little tabby fosters 🙂 Kitten season is starting as we speak – time for me to ready the kitten supplies (and the camera)!!! Will any of our other fur-friends be helping their humans foster this season?
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