I was absolutely horrible about these posts last year. So we’ll see how it goes this year. I’m actually going to link my Fit Readers posts to this page as well so at least if I’m bad about life updates on random topics, since fitness is related to my non-book life, they will feed to this page as well.
Life as an animal rescue foster home…
Clipped from my Christmas letter. Clockwise from top left… Amun and I, Jasper and Ace, Aker and Amun, George, Sheba, Cleo, Nala. This was before I had Ralph and Sapphire.
Those of you who saw any of my “And in the Real World” posts last year may remember I got involved in animal rescue. I took a break for a while after my foster failure Cleo who I adopted in February 2014, since I was in an apartment with limited space. After I bought my house last summer, I was able to start fostering again.
My first foster was George, a 12-year-old full blood Maine Coon who had been dumped by his family, along with his canine friend about the same age, when the family decided to get a puppy! Shortly hereafter, George was hit by a car (we believe anyhow, based on his injuries that the vet said were consistent with a run in with a car). He came to stay with me for his recovery from surgery where he had half one of of his hips removed. After a surprisingly speedy recovery and three months with me, George went to his new forever home in December, where his new mom fell in love at first sight. What a wonderful ending to such a sad beginning.
In November, I took in two kittens from a local shelter who were rescued with literally two hours to spare. I got them at 4:00 and they were due to be euthanized at 6:00. While both of these kids were adorable and sweet (most of the time), I had to return them to their rescue this week. Ace, the male, was picking major fights with my cats and other fosters, and being a bully. I suspect this was because even at about 8 months of age, he was a tiny little thing and that was the only way he had to feel strong. I couldn’t risk the safety of the other kids here so sadly I had to give him up. I had a horrible experience with that rescue group when I told them I had to do this, as if it wasn’t hard enough already to give up a cat who had come to believe he was home and who in spite of his fighting, I loved dearly. This was absolutely devastating to me and it still upsets me every time I think about the fact I had to give him up. Nala, the female, was a feral cat who after three months with me, still flinched every time I tried to touch her, unless I gave her a lot of time sitting and waiting for her to come to me. She also would not come out of her little safe area of two rooms. She was a total sweetheart on the days she would allow me to get close, a total chatterbox who never stopped purring. I think though, with as many other kids as I have here, it’s just too much activity for her and I can’t commit the time she needs to overcome that. So she went to a new foster home Jan 25. I was heartbroken over both of these cases, which in turn taught me a valuable lesson. I’m not going to be able to help every cat I take in, no matter how hard I try. Some are going to come to me so damaged by what their life was like before, or with underlying issues that I’m just not going to be able handle.
Those are two opposite experiences of my recent rescue life. I have also had three other fosters since I started again in August 2014. Jasper came to live with me the day George got adopted and he’s still here, and remarkably recovered just in the past 24 hours since I gave up Ace. Poor Jasper took the brunt of Ace’s bullying and he was the real reason I knew I couldn’t keep Ace. I couldn’t risk the lasting impact it could have on another. Seeing him almost back to normal mere hours after Ace left convinced me I made the right choice.
Then there was Ralph, a gorgeous long haired flame point boy who was the first foster I took in specifically because I was already in love with him. He came to live with me just a few days before Christmas. He was only here for a month before he found his forever home. He flew home to California just this past week. Now I have Sapphire, a beautiful blue, with me, who came home the day Ralph left to get ready to meet his new family. She’s a gorgeous little spitfire, who does not know the meaning of “calm” except when she’s asleep. I’m supposed to get at least one more some time this week as well.
I have found a new passion as an animal rescue advocate and foster/volunteer so don’t be surprised to see future And in the Real World posts about my life with the cats I am trying to save.