I have never really thought of myself as a “cat person”, have never owned one, and have more often than not been scared of them or annoyed by them.
I have countless cat stories, of various feline’s attacking me, or doing something to make me either afraid of them or not very much of a fan of their species.
This year however I was lucky to meet a beautiful cat that made me see the good side in them, fast forward a few months later , and a local animal rescue organisation was asking for foster carers to help with the influx of animals they had needing to find a forever home.
Many were being saved from the local pound, and unfortunately not all could be saved.
I decided to do my bit to help, and put our hand up to be an animal foster carer.
The day after I filled my forms in, I was rung to say 5 kittens were needing a foster home, and would I be willing to give it to them?
That was when Tia, Asha, Bella, Lara and Spencer were introduced into our lives, and brought much more into them then I ever expected.
As you can imagine, a house filled with kittens was chaotic, the kids wanted so badly to play with them, and I was worried they would hurt them.
Noah especially was loving them way too roughly, and kept picking the poor kitty’s up by around their necks, I was freaking out that he would accidentally kill one, and a lot of time was put in to show him how to correctly hold and play with a cat, something I am thankful to say he has finally caught on. Of course the first few days saw the kids fight over the cats as though they had taken to all out war.
The smell and mess 5 kittens made as you can imagine was huge, and a bit to get used to, however I was very surprised by how quickly cats are toilet trained in comparassion to dogs.
A couple of times in the first few days I wondered exactly what I had put my hand up to do. When I told friends that we were fostering five cats, more often than not I was asked how crazy I was, and what possessed me to put my hand up for such a thing.
No one called to say they were interested in adopting one of the kittens, no queries were made, no forever homes seemed on the horizon.
Among this all, a fairly shocking and stressful family event occurred, bringing lots of pain and angst into our household. On the evening that this all happened, I lay on the lounge chair, and simply cried, big, hot painful tears of sadness, hurt and confusion. I sobbed in the dark, hurt beyond words and belief…………. then suddenly a little ball of fluff joined me in my spot, Tia curled up into my arms and gently wiped my tears away with her soft paw, an unexpected gesture of kindess n my time of need.
In the following days, the cats provided a much-needed distraction for us all, and many laughs with the crazy antics that they had.
As they grew, it seemed a bit too difficult to keep all five of them in our house, so two were handed over to another carer, and then a friend took a liking to Spencer, and he was adopted into his forever home.
As we waved goodbye as our friends left with Spencer in his car, little Kiara started to cry, I told her that she knew from the start that they were not our cats to keep.
“I know Mummy” she replied “These are not tears of saddness, but tears of happiness that Spencer has found a great forever home”
On going back inside, we were unable to find Tia, who had become Spencer’s main playmate.
After half and hour of searching, we finally found her huddled up in a corner shaking, as I held her close to me, feeling her heart beat a hundred miles an hour, my tears begun to fall too, while I was also sad to say goodbye to the cheeky Spencer, I felt sadness for this little kitten, obviously upset at the departure of her dear brother, it was a sign that touched my heart.
We have been fostering for a month now, and have only Tia and Asha left in our care. I do hope they find their perfect forever homes soon, but in the meantime, I am so thankful for all that these feline friends have brought into our lives.
Since we took on these kittens, our bank account is a little lighter, our house a bit smellier, there is chew marks and scratch marks in various places, but I am so thankful for all these little feline friends have brought into our lives. Some of the wonderful things include:
*The laughter and smiles their antics have brought to our faces.
*Free playmates for the kids.
*The fantastic feeling of doing something good for these beautiful kittens.
* Finding out how peaceful it is to sit with a purring cat on your lap, or lay with one snuggled up beside us, resulting in more then one of us relaxing so much and being lulled off to sleep by their soft gentle purrs.
*The joy of listening to 6-year-old Kiara talk about how much she wants to rescue animals in need when she grows up, as well as seeing what amazing stories and drawings have been done at school by her as a result.
*Bringing out care and compassion in my kids.
*Opening my eyes to what beautiful, clever creatures cats really are.
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, and fostering has been a big commitment, but it is one I am very glad we took, because the rewards have definately been worth it.