All the Feels: First Time Fostering

I always liked the irony that my blog was named “But Mostly Cats” but I didn’t write about them. It made me laugh a mischievous laugh because I thought of it as luring unsuspecting visitors only for them to be surprised that there is absolutely nothing dedicated to cats on my blog. Until today.

I break my sort-of tradition because I want to share my experience about recently fostering a kitten. If any of you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know the kitten in question and the basic story, and if you don’t follow me then you have no fucking idea what I’m talking about and might want to keep reading.

The Rise of Cats in my Household

My husband and I originally had two cats, Dee and Kara. They got along well enough but we didn’t want any more. Despite knowing this I has zero hesitation offering to help my friend, who was moving out of the country, by taking care of her cat, Star, until she returned. For some dumb ass reason, several people have told me that Star is now mine. No, no she’s not. She’s my friend’s cat and when my friend moves back Star will be returned. I felt like I needed to get this out and dispel any “she’s your cat” feelings now. Stomp on them like an earwig inside my home, if you will. Cat count: 3.

Boomer, 5 or 6 weeks.

In a previous blog, I mentioned that we took in a kitten, Boomer, last November. This little dude was four weeks when we got him and despite “having plans” to turn him in to the SPCA we ended up keeping him. Sigh, we’re a bunch of softies. Cat count: 4.

It all started with a simple trip to the vet for Star around mid-August. The vet techs asked if we wanted another cat and I immediately said “no.” We already had the four and I knew we didn’t have the room for another. Yet I asked how old the cat was and it turned out it was a baby of three weeks. Damn it. Their regular fosters were full, the girls in the office couldn’t take her, and they didn’t want to turn her over to the shelters because of her age. Double damn it. They asked if I wanted to see her and I said yes. I know. I know. So that’s how we ended up fostering this little kitten. Cat count: 5.

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The littlest kitten.

Incoming Kitten

One of the reasons we felt comfortable taking in a three week old kitten was because we’d been there before. Dee and Boomer were both four weeks when we took their asses in so we knew what hand-raising a young kitten meant. We knew how demanding the feeding schedule would be (every 3-4 hours in the beginning), how to bottle feed (don’t microwave the formula), how to transition their food (you can’t force it), how to stimulate so they’d do their business (fucking disgusting, yet necessary), litter train (annoying), and how to integrate into a household with other cats (so very trying).

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Messy eater.

This little kitten, whom we originally named Natasha and then resorted to calling Kitten, was very different from Boomer. She was confident, unafraid, and did things in her own time. The last part could not be more true. She took a couple extra weeks to transition off the bottle and then another couple weeks to transition off formula and onto kitten food. Kitten took her sweet time getting the litter box down too. Oh! If you didn’t clean her box on schedule, she’d do her business right next to it!

She also was extremely active and was always running and jumping but no cuddling. She was not a big cuddler. At eight weeks she was jumping on the couch and could get on the bed. Something Boomer needed assistance with at that age. If anything, Kitten was a lesson that every kitten is different and matures in their own time. I loved how different she was! I especially loved how well she and Boomer got along (see Instagram for pictures and videos!)

The Hardest Part About Growing Up

When we took her into the vet for her first shot when she reached two pounds (9 weeks) they told us we can bring her back! They wanted to put her picture on their website and have her nearby to show interested parties. Plus, a woman had expressed interest in adopting a black kitten a week earlier. I jumped at it. Not because I didn’t like Kitten but because I knew we couldn’t keep her.

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Kitten (5 weeks) & Boomer (10 months)

Surprise! We don’t live in a fucking mansion and I’d rather not have litter boxes every five feet. In all seriousness, we don’t have room for any more adult cats. I knew the sooner she went back into the care of the vet, the sooner she’d be adopted and settled into her forever home. Not to mention, our cats could adjust back to normal. Although, I knew Boomer was going to miss his new friend. And, to be a little honest, the longer we kept her, the more likely we were to want to keep her.

The night before I returned Kitten to the vet my husband agreed that we’d like to foster again in the future. There were several reasons for this.

  • Kittens need socialization and knowing that Boomer was so friendly and gentle toward a much younger cat was really sweet to witness. We can’t say that’s the same for the other cats but … at least there’s one!
  • We knew what we were doing. Like I said above, we’ve been through it before. I’m not saying we’re fucking experts but it helps knowing what to expect.
  • My favorite part of a cat’s life is the early months. They’re cute, I love watching them develop, and they haven’t grown up so much that they’ve turned into ungrateful bastards. If I could enjoy this part of their life but not keep them, then why not? Plus, we could potentially be saving them from being put down so there’s that.
  • We succeeded! We didn’t keep Kitten. We weren’t foster fails! If we did it once, then why can’t we do it again?

What’s the Point?

Obviously, we’ve never fostered a kitten before. It was a new experience for us and I wanted to share the story and my feelings. I’m still trying to figure out how I didn’t become attached to Kitten. Maybe it was knowing that we made an agreement with the vet, that one of the vet techs’ mother showed interested in adopting her, or just knowing that we truly couldn’t fit another cat in our home.

When I brought Kitten back to the vet that woman that was interested in adopting her was there! Kitten didn’t know what the fuck was going on but when the woman said, “Can I take a picture to send to my husband?” I knew the deal was done. I’m excited for Kitten and maybe for selfish reasons. I’m excited that we managed to give her back and prove that we could. I’m excited that the woman and her family will be adopting her because that means no takesy backsies. I am very happy that she won’t be waiting around to get adopted for long. Kitten will be able to transition to her forever home sooner than later and get back to being her confident, energetic self. Who knows, maybe she’ll cuddle with her new family. Cat count: 4.

BFFs, Boomer and Kitten