Last year my roommate started volunteering for the SPCA in the form of fostering. When you foster, you may be asked to foster as few as one cat, or sometimes as many as seven (our current situation). You also may be asked to look after cute little fluffy kittens, or old, sickly cats that no one wants to adopt, so my roommates and myself thought we had hit the jackpot when the first felines she brought home to be temporarily cared for were three three-four week old kittens. They were the cutest things we had ever seen, and we loved snuggling with them and playing with them and everything in between. This is Clyde, one of the three:
We couldn’t believe it when it was time for the first three to leave, we were immediately supplied with another kitten, about the same age, in need of feeding and attention for several weeks. This is her, Scout:
She was also super cute fun to play with, but she was…a bit less willing to cuddle. She was incredibly hyper most of the time and was not a fan of snuggles :
Despite her, erm…aggression…Scout was still adorable and a lot of fun to foster. We were very sad to see her go, as well. After Scout, we proceeded to look after several older and larger cats. There was Iris, who was pretty, but scared shitless for the first week and always begged for food:
Then there was Hannah, a white cat that had severe anxiety problems and we personally feel could have been schizophrenic. She was always weaving her head like a snake being charmed, chased things that weren’t there, and made really horrible noises for no reason. Needless to say I have no cutesy pictures of her.
After Hannah was Sally, an eleven-year-old cat who also had health issues, but not mental— she was just slowly deteriorating and spent a large portion of her time vomiting all over our carpet.
After Sally, there was a much-needed break from big, not-tiny-and-cute kittens. No kittens were being rescued at the shelter, and no old cats needed looking after. In this space of time, my roommate got a kitten of her own to keep, Lysander, and we were contended playing with him and loving him.
Then, about two weeks ago, we got a call from the shelter saying that they had just received a mother cat and her six two-week-old kittens, and would we like to foster them for a month? Obviously we immediately said yes and about two hours later, we had a big momma cat and a crate full of tiny kittens.
So now that I think you’ve had a healthy amount of cute cat pictures, and now that I have a total of eight cats running around my house, I feel that i have the authority to provide you with a few pros and cons of fostering cats:
Pro: You’re helping animals by taking them off the streets or away from abusive households and helping them get healthy, used to people, and ready to be adopted into a loving home.
Con: You’re taking on responsibilities outside yourself, which a lot of people are not accustomed to.
Pro: Kittens are just so cute that you want to smoosh them into your face and snuggle them and pet them all day long.
Con: Forgetting you’re slightly allergic to cats.
Pro: Their tiny little paws pitter-pattering around the house!
Con: The poop. Oh my GOD the poop. Who would have thought such sweet, darling little things could produce a smell that will singe your eyebrows and knock you backwards?
Pro: Finding them hiding in little corners all around the house and seeing their little faces pop out.
Con: Accidentally locking them in the bathroom and the pantry in the same day (We really did this…poor Claudia…).
Pro: Watching them get healthy and a little chubby while you take care of them.
Con: Watching a bunch of little kittens one by one get the same cold from each other.
Pro: This! And this! And this!
As you can see, there are definitely cons to taking in cats and letting them live with you for a while, and there are some that I haven’t even mentioned -like hairballs! But in my opinion, the pros completely outweigh the cons. So think about fostering for your local animal shelter! It’s a rewarding experience, in many ways. Just be sure to invest in some Febreze and air fresheners. Seriously. You’ll want it.