Fostering Kittens

Okay, so my whole life I’ve wanted to foster kittens.  Maybe it was growing up with a babysitter who had about twenty cats running around her family farmhouse.  Those cats were always having kittens and as a kid I just could not wait to get out of school to see them.  Playing with those little bundles of sweet cuteness always seemed so magical to me.  I mean really, how could something be so cute?
When my roomie told me about the city shelters needing people to take care of kitties and suggested fostering, how could I say no?  The City of Albuquerque has declared June, “Animal Foster Month,” because so many moms and kittens come into the shelters at this time.

kittens nursing on mom

kittens nursing on mom

So, here they are, our foster kitties!  There’s a black kitten in there, too; she (or he) is just hard to see in the pictures because she blends in.  The mom is really sweet.  The flash on the camera kept making her blink, so I’ll try to get some pictures without it later.  At first we were worried she’d be a little hyper because she really wanted out of the cat carrier, but when we got home we fed her, and she was hungry!  She ate so much and so fast, I was a little worried she’d make herself sick.   She’s very thin, and very sweet and friendly.  She has settled into the laundry basket with the babies and has been there a while.  Jeez, she’s already won my heart.  And the kittens, of course, are so cute! The shelter staff says we have to keep them in a room with the door shut since sometimes we keep the windows open and there are so many ways out of the house. They don’t want the mom to run away.  I don’t think the kitties mind; I think they are enjoying the peace and quiet.  It must be a nice change from the shelter.

Our dog has licked the kittens, and really wants to play.  One of our cats smelled under the door & seems calm about it so far.

The shelter said we can look for people who might want to adopt if we want.  I think the kittens should have no problem finding a home, and I’m hoping the same for mommy.  She’s so young.  Well, we will know after their vet appointment in two weeks about how long we get to keep them, right now I’m just so happy they’re here.

Cleopatra and Sweetheart

UPDATE: Our beautiful kitties are so fun to play with.  We found out they are all girls!  We have named them all, Elphaba for the black kitty, Gwenevieve for the grey one, Cleo for the white one with Egyptian looking lines around her eyes, and Sweetheart for the other white kitty because she actually has a patch of grey fur on her back that looks like a heart!  We have named the mom Sweet Pea because she is so gentle and sweet.  We seal up our house and let her out of the laundry room for part of the day because she likes to be around us. She lets us carry her all over the place and never complains.  It took some squirting with the water bottle for her to realize that she is not allowed on the counter, and not supposed to be eating our butter, but she learned quickly.  And it’s hard to blame her considering how skinny & starving she was.  They are all gaining weight quickly though, so we’re not worried.  One of my favorite things to do is sit in the laundry room with them and let them run all over me.  This is not only fun, but it helps to get them used to people- and that helps them get adopted.   It’s gonna be hard to give them up, but they will be going to Lucky Paws in the mall, which is run buy the city of Albuquerque and looks like any other pet shop.  They have the best chances of being adopted there and that is a big relief.  We get to speak to the vet directly when we have problems, and that’s actually pretty amazing. So far, I’m really impressed with the program they have going here.

Guienevieve

Elphaba

2nd UPDATE: Okay, well as a follow up, all of our wonderful kitties got adopted, including the Mommy! We were worried about Sweet Pea, being that she was older, but the shelter assured us that she would get adopted at Lucky Paws; it just would take a lot longer.  I wanted to keep her actually, but my other cats weren’t really having that. So, I thought we’d give the mall a chance.
It was hard dropping them off at the mall.  It seemed surreal walking by all the stores with such precious life held in our hands -sweet, furry life that we cared so deeply about.  I fought back tears the whole time. And it’s not the easiest thing to do, to watch them get put back in cages.  You just want so much for things to go well, and it’s hard knowing so much of it is out of your control.
But they weren’t there very long. Even Sweet Pea was adopted after a few weeks. We gave special thanks to our doggie, as he really helped get them used to dogs, and this is a big plus for adoptable cats and kittens. The house is so quiet without them, and it was a whole lot of poop, but I would do it again in a heartbeat… just not till next year because our cats didn’t appreciate the visitors too much! Since summer is the big time for kittens, I’m thinking once a summer will be my goal!

Sweetheart

Guienevere

Cleo and Elphaba

Cleo- they grow so much in 5 weeks

Sweet Pea

For anyone thinking of fostering animals, I highly recommend it.  It’s a bit of a commitment, but it only lasts a few weeks and it felt so good to really make a difference.  The city people told us they couldn’t do it without the foster parents; there simply wouldn’t be enough room. So, if you love animals, and you have the time and the room, give it a try!
See our dog enjoying his celebratory custard…
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