Jerry the fostercat has finally gone to his furever home. He arrived exactly 12 weeks ago, and after taking about two weeks to brave his way from under the bed, he settled in to being the perfect little cat pal. Unassuming, but loving, he would mew quietly when hungry, and curl up on my bed just chilling for most of the time. He wasn't interested in cat toys, nor catnip. He loved the same piece of string that my first fostercat Bronwyn loved though, who knew hessian string could be so exciting!
When I foster, I take a lot of mental effort to not 'fall in love' with the cats, and I'm quite conscious about the language I use in my mind, and when I talk about them. They've never mine. They're always called my foster cat. I talk about their future forever homes, and when they'll be ready to find one. It's called a failed foster when a foster carer decides to adopt instead, and foster homes are hard to find, so I'm proud to be one.
It's often said that fostering saves lives, which may sound a tad dramatic, but it is true. Cats that need a new home can only be taken in if they have somewhere to actually go. I don't think people fathom how many cats there are that are in need, and it's easy to just think that charities can just absorb the impact. But every cat needs an actual bed, and charities are full. They can't magic up space everytime someone decides they can't care for their pet anymore, or when an owner dies. Or when a new stray cat is found. A foster home allows a cat to be take in, and provides that window of time for a permanent home to be found.
Jerry was originally fostered in the hope he could return to his home, after his owner become ill. That's why he was with me for a while before he was listed as available for adoption. Sadly he was unable to return home, but I still enjoy the idea that his owner knew that his cats were being taken care of, and that he had the possibility of having them back. People's cats become their families, and when people (perhaps financially struggling, or isolated) are ill, the possibility of having their pet fostered and returned is a magical gift to give someone.
Jerry is now with his permanent owner, and she's already sent me some pics! He's braved some strokes, used his litter tray and had some food. So I'm relieved that he'll soon be sleeping on her bed too, and feeling safe and secure.
I had planned to have a cat-fostering break as I have a holiday next month, however....it's hard to say no, and I think I have one due at the end of the week!