My husband and I have fostered kittens for about 16 years. It’s our primary volunteer activity, especially now that my physical body doesn’t allow me to do much work in the shelter itself anymore. It’s a rewarding experience, although I do sometimes cry when I have to take certain kittens back. It was a lot harder years ago. We learned to toughen up. Yet, sometimes, a very special kitten captures our hearts.
We’ve only kept two over the years, though. My husband only lets me have so many cats. The most I got him up to was five. He’s now pretty adamant about sticking with three. We have two dogs now, so I can see his reasoning. 🙂 And this leaves room for kittens.
I foster because it saves lives. Cat overpopulation is a huge issue, as is a lack of resources to care for and find homes for all the stray or unwanted cats. Millions are euthanized every day, including kittens. The kittens we and others foster aren’t old enough to be adopted out and shelters don’t have room or resources to house and care for them for weeks while they grow up. Spay or neuter your pets! If you live in an area with lots of strays, check with local organizations to find one that does trap-neuter-release. This helps stem the population.
Right now, we have a litter of five kittens growing like weeds. In another week or so, they will be grown up enough to be adopted. This group is especially sweet and loving. They are all purrers and love people. They obviously came from a situation where they were treated well. Sometimes we get kittens that are so afraid of humans, we can barely touch them at first. It’s heartbreaking.
A side benefit of fostering, is having kitten love in my life. Like yesterday, when I was having a very bad day. In the afternoon, several of the kittens crawled up on the bed to cuddle and play around me. It reminded me of the simple joys of life, even in the midst of a lot of shit. It reminded me I can still smile even while in chronic pain and depressive feelings.