For two weeks in December, we fostered five kittens from our local humane society. They were six weeks old and basically just needed some socialization (kind of like homeschoolers?) and some medicine (easy, right?).
Let’s back up a little. We have four cats (only one of them was really planned) and are definitely not interested in adding to our collection. Our kids, however, would love a kitten! If I’m honest with myself, I would too, but I know that it’s not feasible at this point. One day I saw an ad in the paper that our local humane society was looking for foster families. I called and asked about it. There wasn’t much to it – fill out an application and then the coordinator would visit our home to make sure we had a safe place for small animals. That was in August. I made the mistake of telling the kids (honestly the way the ad made it sound I thought we’d be getting kittens very soon). Every other day they asked if I had heard anything. Finally they seemed to forget (or maybe give up!). Then, one day I got an e-mail saying they had five kittens. I e-mailed them back and said we were definitely interested, but I didn’t say a word to the kids. A couple hours later I got a phone call saying I could pick them up.
I decided to keep it a secret (I did tell hubby) and have a little fun with it. I told my daughter I had to run an errand and I wanted her to come with me. Hubby took our boys geocaching. My daughter was totally clueless. Even when we pulled into the humane society she wasn’t quite sure why we were there. I loved watching her expression when she realized why we were there!
We had agreed that her room would be the safe room for foster animals. She was so excited to get the kittens home and into her room for the next two weeks! They were a little scared at first, but very quickly warmed up to us. Even the boys who are not nearly as quiet didn’t scare them after the first day.
Those little kittens wiggled and squirmed their way into our hearts! There’s nothing more adorable than a little ball of fuzz that purrs.
There were a couple sad days when we had to take someone back because they weren’t eating despite being given their daily antibiotic.
But there were mostly happy days where my kids and I loved playing with the little fur balls (hubby isn’t a cat person, but he totally humors me and agreed to this fostering thing). I had forgotten how much fun kittens are! They want to play ’til they drop!
At the end of two weeks, it was time to take the remaining three kittens back. I watched the kittens go from scattering to the far corners of the room when someone opened the door and then cautiously peeking out to charging at the person coming in ready to play and be loved. They were ready to go to their new forever homes. As hard as it was for us to let them go, it was time. The night before there were plenty of tears and why can’t we keep one questions. Our kids knew from the start exactly when they would be going back, but it was still hard (excuse me, I have something in my eye). On Saturday morning, hubby took the kids on a geocaching adventure and I returned the kittens.
After a couple sad days, the kids recovered and resumed their asking when we would be getting kittens again. So, the next time I get an e-mail asking for a kitten foster, we’ll do it again. It’s a great learning experience and it’s just plain fun!