I have been lucky enough to have foster kittens in my care for the past week. Five beautiful, troublesome kittens. I haven’t had foster kittens in a number of years, and I forgot just how much work they can be. Five kittens eat a lot of food and use a lot of litter. It has been wonderful watching them run, jump, play and discover. Unfortunately, I can only care for the babies for two weeks. As much as I would love to foster long term, circumstances prevent me from normally taking in foster cats. With any luck we will be able to find a new home to take them when their two weeks are up with me.
When I got them last week, the babies were about 10-11 weeks old. It was their first time out of a cage and they first time away from mom. It was not surprising then, to find they were a little shy when I first brought them home. I settled them into a small room upstairs where they were free to explore and adjust to life outside a cage. I opened the carrier and they slowly ventured out. After doing a quick check around the room they all disappeared under the dresser. A pile of five scared kittens huddled together for protection against a scary new world without their mom. Within days they were all out of hiding and running around the room playing.
The two gray kittens, Stormy and Ben, are still a little nervous around people, as is the Torti girl, Gwen. While they don’t instantly run when I come in the room, they are not eager to be held or touched. I have worked with them over the past week, doing play therapy and touching them while they are eating. This has helped. Medicine twice a day does not help my efforts to show them that people are not mean and scary.
The little orange kitten and the buff kitten, Pounce and John, are the leaders of the gang. Troublesome, curious, almost snuggly, they are the perfect kittens. They lead the way on everything, from play time to exploring the room and getting kitten rubs. They are also the ones who discovered that there is a whole new world to explore on the other side of the door. This was discovered by accident one day when they all swarmed me for dinner. Now it has become a game and Pounce, the orange kitten, leads the way in walking out the door every time I open it.
Fostering is a wonderful experience. Watching these kittens grow and explore, knowing
that I have given these babies a second chance at life, a chance to be kittens, is the most rewarding experience I could ever ask for. Sure there is a lot of work, kittens are a lot of work, and five kittens are five times as much work, but it is all worth it. The kittens have helped me too, they have reminded me of the joy there is to be found in life. I spend hours a day sitting with them either playing with them or watching them play. It is impossible to be stressed, angry or upset when watching kittens be kittens. So much life in them, so much joy as they bounce and jump and play with their toys and each other. Running around the room, pouncing, exploring, the kittens are enjoying life, and it is hard to hold on to all the toxic things life throws at you. The stress of the day, melts away when I watch them play and explore. While I am only able to help them for a few weeks, I know I have made a difference in their lives, and they have made a difference in mine. It will be an experience I will never forget.