The trouble with cats

…is that you can never have enough of them!

Zigzag

Unfortunately, I have plenty who live here already–my senior fellow Felix, my middle aged female Dilly and cat-in-training Zigzag. All of them are rescue cats. Asheville is a haven for cat people, and provides an opportunity we never had back in Pennsylvania: fostering shelter animals.

Felix and Dilly

This gives my daughter and me the chance to care for a whole range of sweet kittens and cats in assorted stages of health. We’ve learned something about cat care and have been able to spoil these kits and send them on their way. Kind of like grandparents. πŸ™‚

In the Asheville area, there are more than a dozen agencies that concentrate on placing animals with foster parents for as little as a week or as much as several months, depending on the animal’s need. The Humane Society, where we have received our fosters, says this about their program:

Tiger

When an animal needs some time to recover from a sickness or injury – or just needs to be socialized – we depend on our network of foster homes. Last year, our foster program made it possible to care for almost 1,800 animals.Β 

Obviously, 1,800 animals not taking up space in cages, makes room for the agency to serve that many more animals in the community. Multiply that by the number of agencies…. it adds up.

One goal of all the agencies is to be able to limit the number of cats and dogs reproducing and filling the area with so many cats and dogs. The agencies spay/neuter the animals before placing them for adoption, and often provide the animals with vaccinations as well.

We had Tiger and his two siblings first. They were very sweet, about four weeks old when we got them. Sadly, sister Spot didn’t make it. (Although the medical tech who works with fosters

explained that cats produce many more kittens than usually survive; a hazard of the trade).Β  After some issues with feeding and a round of antibiotics, Tiger and Xylen (above) went on to find lovely “furever” homes.

We had another set of kittens for a couple of weeks and then we got Chica. She had belonged to an older woman who could no longer care for her, and she not only had a respiratory infection, she had been overfed to the point she was 18 pounds and had no real inclination to do anything but sleep. My daughter and I learned about feeding cats large pills–quite an experience– and put her on a diet. She was snapped up almost immediately when she went back to the shelter after three weeks.

After that we’ve had a few others, including beautiful Pandora, who had a hard time shaking her

Pandora

cold. Posting her picture on the fosters page, I discovered another woman who had cared for Pandora when she had her kittens weeks ago. The group of foster parents are all wonderful and supportive of each other as well. Many of us are members of the Asheville Cat Weirdos, which raises money for an emergency fund to help animals in the community who need medical help their pet parent can’t afford.

Not a worry for those who foster, however–medical treatment is provided, as are food, litter, bedding, toys. Us foster parents provide a clean and safe home for sick senior cats or even neonates. Yes, they send home mothers with their little of kittens to brave souls who will get up every four hours and bottle feed kittens. We haven’t gotten that brave yet. πŸ™‚

Spring and summer is apparently “kitten season,” though, and this will be our first in the game. Hopefully we will be able to socialize some

Gracie– 3 wks and 10.2 oz. baby sister and himalayan furball

Georgie–3 wks old and 15.3 oz.

mini kitties and then let them go–it’s hard sometimes! But it’s a fun way to get our cat fix and help the community at the same time.

Post note–we lost Felix, poor thing was never the same after his brother Jules died. We also got our first kittens–Momma is here with them but has apparently decided she would rather revel in her youth than feed/clean or pay attention to the babes. So we’re bottle feeding and encouraging poops. Yay!

Sadly, Georgie didn’t make it, and Gracie hung on awhile, but went back to stay with the foster agency because her health was tenuous. 😦

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We had a couple batches of kittens to socialize in the interim–these two are Checkers and Nixon….they were pretty frightened and twitchy. Nixon bit my finger and damaged a nerve when I tried to get him in a carrier for a checkup. They moved on to another foster family who specialized in more feral animals.

reba and clarisse

We also had Reba and Clarisse, along with gray tabbies Thing one and Thing 2…. the tabbies both got adopted, but no one wanted the bonded sisters. So we have them as part of our family now!

reba

Miss Reba playing peek a boo!

 

 

The most recent batch has been Anna, Nolan, Daisy Mae and Isaiah. Anna was adopted almost immediately but the others are taking a little longer to get big enough!

Nolananna

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Kinda hoping no one wants to adopt tortie Daisy Mae…she and I are quite sympatico!!

Do you have pets dear to you, foster or otherwise? Post pictures of them in the comments for all to see!

 

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