The Bright Side of Goodbye
Fostering can be hard in the short run, but there are many ongoing benefits, too.
Many readers of Catnip followed my chronicle last winter of raising a litter of six newborn kittens (with a lot of help from their young mama, thank goodness!). All seven moved into their new homes by Christmas time, with the kittens at the ideal age of three months old.
It was extremely hard for me to part with one of the boys, a tuxedo kitten I named Max. He was simply my favorite from the time he was just a few days old. I continuously grappled with the idea of adopting him, even though I knew my adult cats thought this “kitten thing” was merely a phase their human Mom was foolishly pursuing and would soon outgrow.
For a couple of weeks I regretted letting Max go. This was despite the fact that he and another kitten were adopted into the very best home any pet could dream of. Early on, their adoptive family sent me frequent texts and photos, which definitely helped with my feelings of loss.
And then a beautiful light descended into my heart when I could actually see my adult cats enjoying their home again, without the need to keep a wary eye open for a mischievous rascal pouncing on them from a sofa perch. I could see that my cats were able to get their usual amount of attention and affection from me, without having to share it with a tribe of fuzzy newcomers.
And I could tell by the photos and texts that Max’s new family loved him as much as I did (and probably much more as time went by).
I’m sharing this because I know a lot of readers probably feel the same way that I do: Fostering is hard work, especially when it comes time to say goodbye. But now that kitten season is upon us, please do consider the importance of providing an early foundation for the newborn and homeless.
Your home will be the place where they can spend those formative first months in a healthy, clean environment full of attention and love. And I promise that you’ll greatly appreciate the adoptive families who take the time to stay in touch and let you know how your “babies” are doing. I know that I am grateful for this every day.