Fostering - Paw Prints engraved on your heart
13 September 2017
I have been a fosterer for Cats Protection Macclesfield for almost two years, I would like to share my experience in the hope of inspiring you to do the same.
First of all about me – I work full time, and I have 3 cats of my own who I love and adore everyday. Which just goes to show what I’m asking is not impossible.
What made me make this decision? I have always been a cat lover since I was a small child, I put that down to my grandmother who taught me to love and respect the wonder of cats. I lost my baby girl 3 years ago in tragic circumstances, in her short life she gave me so much and I adored her, so I wanted to do something to honour her memory and give back some of the love she gave me.
Nearly two years ago I replied to an advert on the Facebook page of Macclesfield Cats Protection calling for fosterers and I haven’t looked back since.
If you are thinking I can’t do that.... Just hold that thought....let me tell you about the very first cat I fostered.
Gorgeous Charlie – Charlie had been dumped by his human family ,they moved home and left him behind. When Cats Protection took him under their wing he had been living rough for several months. So Charlie came to stay with me and at first he was really disappointed with the world and humans in particular. But with a little time and a lot of love and care Charlie learnt that not everyone is so bad, that some humans are good people and gradually he learnt to trust again. The transformation in him was both incredible & heart warming to watch. Charlie now lives with his new family who love adore him and he will never be alone again. I think Charlie will always hold an extra special place in my heart.
Sadly since Charlie there have been so many others that have come to stay. I wish we lived in a world where fosterers weren’t needed but unfortunately there are so many cats & kittens out there that need our help and nowhere near enough people like me to help them.
As a fosterer there is no telling what cat you will look after next. Sometimes it can be gorgeous kittens, little bundles of fluff full of fun, adventure and mischief. Other times it’s an adult cat who's life has been turned upside down and they need a place to feel safe and secure. But that is all part of this amazing experience! The homing officer for Cats Protection is brilliant at making sure the right cat is placed with you. Plus they are always at the end of the phone if you need advice.
So what does it cost to be a fosterer.... nothing except a little time and a lot of love which if you are a cat lover you already have in bucket loads. Cats Protection take care of all veterinary costs, food, litter, toys, bedding basically anything the cats may need and they always put the health and well being of the cat first and foremost.
As a fosterer I am the person that gets to know the cats and kittens in my care the most which is why it’s important for me to have an opinion on the new forever home that is best for them and Cats Protection understand that and respect my opinions. They are always very thorough when it comes to rehoming cats and I have never been concerned about the new homes my foster cats go to.
So comes the day when your foster cat or kitten has to move to their new home . I’m not going to sugar coat it .... It’s not easy. I have spent a month or more sometimes caring for this little life and I’ve bonded with them – Its only natural. So a last cuddle goodbye, a promise that life will be better from now on and they will always be loved. A few tears are cried but then I remember how when they came to me they were perhaps scared or mis trustful and on the first day of their new life they are happy and brave. That puts the biggest smile on my face and that’s what I remember.
For two years now Cats Protection have been by my side supporting me in the decision I made to help these wonderful cats . I can honestly say it’s a decision I have never regretted. The cats I care for get a lot from me but I get back double in knowing I've done a great thing. Every single foster cat makes me laugh and melts my heart in equal measure every day. I am proud to be a volunteer for this organisation. When I think of all the cats I have helped and the journey they have taken words can’t explain how good it makes me feel and I know each and everyone of them has left a paw print on my heart that will stay with me forever .
In the time it’s taken to read my little story there is another cat or kitten out there alone and scared wondering what they did wrong - So please I’m asking if you have a little time in your life and love to give - open up your heart for some extra paw prints. There are so many cats out there in sad situations just waiting for you to take a leap of faith just like I did. So do it ..... Jump..... trust me .... you won’t look back!
Here’s hoping you get in touch soon, and to all the cats out there that need help... Cats Protection and I will always be there for you Xxx
Crazy cat lady ( and proud!)
· Ps take a look at some photos of some of my foster fur babies..... aren’t they gorgeous!