A Different Way of Helping Cats

The other day the rescue group I volunteer with posted a foster home plea for four itty bitty kitties and their mom. It was one more foster situation I was unable to help with and it broke my heart. I am currently unable to foster cats due to my living situations as well as the stress it puts on my senior cats. They simply don’t like having kittens in the house. Seeing as we are a foster based program and short on foster homes to begin with, I constantly feel like I am letting the group down. More importantly though, I feel unfulfilled. Fostering is a wonderful thing, I love fostering kittens and helping to make them all ready for adoption. I love working directly with the cats day in and day out, making their lives better. Since I left job at a vet’s office I have felt this part of my life was missing, though I didn’t realize it until I took on a litter of kittens last summer.

Being unable to foster cats or work directly with them in shelters or vet offices has made me feel like I am failing in some of the most basic tenants upon which my life is based–improve the world for others, and save the kitty cats. I was thinking about the kittens and their mom after we posted the plea and while I was baking mini cupcakes for a fundraiser. I started to get down on myself thinking about how it sucked the only way I am able to help cats is by baking, posting on Facebook and Pinterest, writing and doing other outreach. Then it dawned on me that I was still helping cats; maybe I am not socializing shy kittens, trapping ferals every night or educating potential adopters. Maybe I am not educating cat care givers or providing medical care for cats, but I am still doing my bit.

As I perked up a bit I thought how strange life can be sometimes, working out in its own little ways. I got involved with Chicago Cat Rescue after I heard about them through my previous job. I started with them in hopes of padding my resume a bit while attending grad school for PR/advertising. I don’t think I ever envisioned myself becoming such an integral part of the organization. I love it though, as I know I am making a huge difference in the lives of our cats and other cats throughout the city. So while life has not lead me exactly where I was hoping to go, it has taken me where I need to be (to channel a bit of Neil Gaiman’s Doctor Who there).  It all makes a difference in the end. Yes, we need more people doing TNR and opening their homes to foster cats. Not everyone is capable of doing that though, and it is better to do what you can than do nothing at all.

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