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Life as a feline soccer mom

May 23, 2010 - 2 comments

Sometimes my work as a shelter volunteer and foster mom for abandoned kittens reminds me of the days when my own kids were young and I had to keep track of all of their activities and take them from place to place.  My human kids are long since grown and I think in part that is why I got into working with shelters.  It satisfies my maternal instinct.  Though there are days when I say to myself, what was I thinking!....LOL.

To carry the analogy a bit further, my current fosters (7 of them, age 8 weeks) are like my toddlers.  My former foster kitties are like teenagers.  It is like they are away at college or summer camp and I visit them occasionally or get postcards (emails actually).  Then there are everybody else's kids, this being cats and dogs at the shelters and other locations where we have cats and dogs available for adoption.  

Last week was fairly typical.

On Monday I visited 4 of my former fosters at two different locations (bringing them care packages) and brought home my current fosters, a litter of 7).

On Tuesday, I discovered my current crew had fleas and spent the afternoon bathing them and all of their bedding and toys.

On Wednesday, I transported a cat and got her settled in at one shelter and then went to another shelter to get a dog  to take to a nursing home for a visit with the elderly residents.

On Thursday, I actually had time to do some other things like get to the grocery store and take care of some other errands.

On Friday, there was a false alarm about one of my former fosters who is currently at an offsite (PetSmart) adoption center.  One of the PetSmart employees reported seeing blood in Sky's (my former foster) stool.  Turns out, by the time I was called there had been a bunch of miscommunication and the reality was that another kitten sharing the same space as Sky just had some simple diarrhea.  But I went to the PetSmart, got things straightened out there, and took the other kitten back to the shelter for observation.

On Saturday I went to the shelter and got 8 dogs ready to go to an offsite adoption event.  Think of it as getting 8 kids ready to go to school.  They all had to be bathed and dressed (in this case in adopt me vests), fed breakfast, pottied and walked, loaded into the van with all of their gear, and driven to the event site.  All of that took about 3 hours.  Then it was another 3 hours back at the shelter settling in new cats and dogs, then back to the event site to show those dogs to potential adopters and talk to people about adopting, volunteering, and fostering.

Today is Sunday.  I am enjoying a little bit of me time right now, but soon will need to get busy with the morning drill for my 7 fosters.  I feed each of them separately in the morning to make sure all of them are eating enough, weigh them, comb and bathe as needed, clean their living space and litter boxes.  During this time I let them out in the room their pen is in for some play and exercise.  They typically make a bit of a mess and knock a few things over, so then I need to clean and straighten up the room.  In the evenings, I take 3-4 of them, one at a time, and let them spend some time in the living room with me, my husband, and our 3 adult cats.

Tomorrow is Monday....beginning another week of being a feline foster mom.

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by opus88, May 23, 2010
OMG you are unselfishly giving of yourself to assist these poor little creatures, I admire you for all the time you spend with their care and both while with you and afterwards too!
I cannot even imagine the time spent giving such total commitment.

I love the analogy you give comparing this to being a soccer mom, how true you are! we all substitute our own maternal instincts with the unconditional love we get from these little darlings.

hooray for you"feline foster mom" and your generosity!!

Avatar universal
by nancyjac, May 23, 2010
I am fortunate that was financially able to retire about a year ago and start living that part of my life that I have always looked forward to, a time where I could do what I wanted to do rather than what I had to do to earn money.  So what I do is not entirely unselfish.  It is also a hobby that provides a lot of pleasure and satisfaction to me.  I've never been much of an artsy craftsy type so I never really got into those types of hobbies.  But this is something I enjoy and am pretty good at.

I also want to point out to anybody who may read this, that doing volunteer work at or fostering for a shelter doesn't have to require the kind of work and time that I put into it.  I do what I do and spend the time that I do because I want to.  But even just a few hours here and there doing volunteer work for a shelter can be very rewarding and so beneficial for the shelter and their animals.

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