The Female Human has always lived with multiple cats. Three seemed to be the magic number. This was the state of her happy home when she was asked to foster two kittens who just happened to be me and my brother Oliver.
She says she had some trepidation about fostering; she’d never taken care of tiny kittens. Every member of The Tribe of Five was adopted when we were weaned, spayed / neutered and ready to go to a new furever home. Yet, despite her reservations, she knew there were two kittens that needed her so she said yes.
The accommodations she provided were excellent. We took over the very large guest bathroom and with all our needs considered, a litter box, a play area, snuggly beds and lots of kitten approved toys. Our arrival created quite a bit of interest among the established Tribe members and they were less than enthused when The Female Human disappeared into that room that was now off limits to them.
The Female Human took to fostering quite well. She learned where to find the best organic goat’s milk to feed us, what kitten food was best when we were ready to eat solid and what things enriched the environment of two curious little felines.
We Weasel Ourselves Into Her Heart
We could tell immediately that The Female Human was a softie. She fell in love with us in a nanosecond. She was so besotted that she even brought in a mini iPad for us with kitty games. We made sure to crawl all over her and purr as loud as little kittens can purr whenever she came to visit us and, when we began to have supervised visits in the rest of the house we were on our best behavior.
The Rest, As They Say, Is History
I think she knew long before she admitted it to anyone else, that Oliver and I were there to stay, We sometimes heard her mumble under her breath, “Five cats, FIVE CATS?? I am officially part of the crazy cat lady society. What will everyone think?” Thank goodness her heart overrode her head and she gave in, officially adding us to the now Tribe of Five.
I remember the first time she fed us all at once and she looked at the five furry bodies enjoy their evening soft food. She put her hands to her face and exclaimed, “That’s a lot of cats!”
Fabulous Foster Failure
We’ve been in our home for almost three years now and The Female Human has fully embraced the fact that she shares her home with five felines. Where she used to whisper “Five” under her breath when people asked her how many cats she had, she now throws her shoulders back and states proudly and loudly, “FIVE!”.
Our Female Human is very competitive and obsessive about completing tasks successfully. There is only one “failure” she has proudly embraced and that is being a foster failure. She seems to think she has the foster thing down now and might be able to foster again but we’ve advised her that if she isn’t prepared for a Tribe of Seven, she might want to wait a bit.
I hope you humans will consider fostering, whether you fail or not. There are so many resources to help you figure it all out, through your local shelter and even a free online course at Maddie’s University from Maddie’s Fund. Maddie’s University offers a module, Foster Caregiver Training – Kittens and Puppies that gives you clear and complete guidelines for things like bottle feeding, fostering and socializing unsocial kittens, transitioning to solid food and much more. And if you decide you want to champion fostering for your local shelter, Maddie’s Online University has a course to teach you how to create and grow successful cat foster programs.
Oliver and I say two paws up for humans who foster and we encourage you to try it. What’s the worst that could happen? You might just add a few new loving members to your tribe and become a member of FFF (Fabulous Foster Failures). If you’re a FFF, please feel free to use this badge and let your fabulous foster failure experience be known to the world.