I’ve never really been a “cat person,” and being allergic to them didn’t help. While I always found cats to be cute and adorable, I grew up surrounded by dogs and became used to animals who would excitedly greet me at the door. Dogs would sleep in my bed, instead of hiding from me under it, and wanted to play fetch instead of looking disinterested when I’d drag ribbon across the floor. Maybe I just hadn’t met the right cat, but I couldn’t really understand why someone would choose to adopt Mr. Whiskers over Spot.
I started working for The Animal Foundation just before “kitten season” began. I heard about how many litters of kittens we’d soon receive, and how big an impact all these unplanned litters would have on our community. Until I saw our cat lobby, full of teeny tiny kittens waiting for a foster home to open up, I didn’t believe that “kitten season” was going to be such a huge deal. “Allergies be damned!” I thought to myself, and immediately signed my boyfriend and I up to be a foster family.
Within 48 hours, my boyfriend and I were becoming kitten parents. There were many urgent texts and phone calls over how tall a litter tray to buy, and discussions of how our Corgi/Chihuahua mix Hammy would take being a big (temporary) brother. Our first wards were going to be two unnamed male kittens with upper respiratory infections, both of which needed eye drops and syringes full of liquid medication daily. Go big or go home, right?
Dubbing them “The Johnny Brothers,” Knoxville and Cash first got sicker before thriving in our care. After a week’s time, both were developing symptoms closer to kitty pneumonia rather than healing from the URIs. Cash was the sicker of the two, and at one point, both my boyfriend and I weren’t sure he was going to make it. Slowly but surely, they began to rebound from their illnesses, and that’s when the real fun began.
As Cash and Knoxville felt better, their personalities really started developing. Knoxville was appropriately named after the “Jackass” star, and enjoyed engaging Hammy in chase and play when he wasn’t chewing on wires or trying to climb the curtains. Cash was a little more cautious, and preferred to watch the action from his perch on top of our modem. All three pets loved playing together with the paper bags brought home after grocery shopping, and soon, the kittens began napping on us when they needed a break. Preferring to snuggle against necks, they’d dig their claws in and climb up to our chests and shoulders, making themselves comfortable while we took hundreds of photos of the cuteness.
Cash and Knoxville spent a total of five weeks in our home, and while I never intended on keeping them, saying goodbye once they were eligible for adoption was harder than I thought. They literally grew up (and fattened up) in front of my eyes, and they were my very first foster kittens. After I visited them in our cat tent, I cried. Twice. I considered adopting them, allergy concerns once again thrown to the wind. They each found their happy ending, though, as both were adopted into forever families soon after making their debut.
After fostering Cash and Knoxville, I’m now a cat person who totally understands why people add these funny little felines to their homes (and hearts). While we’ll probably never own any cats, my boyfriend and I will definitely foster again, and would recommend it to any and everyone. If you’ve got a spare bedroom, or even just a bathroom you don’t mind sharing, please think about becoming a foster parent. I helped save Cash and Knoxville’s lives, and I can’t wait to do that again for more animals!