March 1, 2021
I have been a foster parent for Cat Depot for probably 7 years. My story began when I contacted Cat Depot for help TNVR-ing a cat colony on Siesta Key. Cat Depot really helped guide me in best practices for maintaining community cat populations. In the end, between Cat Depot and ARC, we were able to spay and neuter more than 20 cats and kittens! I ended up with 10 kittens living in my little bathroom at one time, along with one mom, Bimini (pictured left). Bimini had at least 5 of her own kittens, but then we found 5 more, and eventually she took them on too. But let me tell you…getting Bimini was also a story in itself! Thank goodness for Bimini, there would have been no way I could have bottle fed all those babies myself. Eventually, she was TNVR’d and rejoined her colony. That is where my foster story began.
I have not had any “foster fails” (yet!) but I did end up adopting another cat, Monty (was Monster), from Cat Depot when I was bringing in a few of my fosters for their medical exams. Monty is an older cat, who just had his leg amputated. I tried to give other potential adopters a chance, but people just weren’t seeing what a beautiful cat he would become once his hair grew back. My gain! And he is awesome.
I have easily fostered more than 50 cats and kittens at this point. Usually, I prefer to foster a group for a few months, then need a break for a few months. I only have one truly sad story, one kitten didn’t make it due to a rare heart condition. I learned a lot during that situation. When COVID hit in 2020, I took on my first mom and babies since Bimini. I have two male cats of my own, so I was a little nervous in having a mom who may want to venture out of the bathroom. It turned out to be a fantastic experience! The kittens were just hours old when we got them and they stayed with me for more than two months. It was so much fun watching them grow from tiny, helpless little creatures, into playful kittens!
I prefer to foster more than one at a time. Otherwise, I worry I might get too attached, or feel guilty leaving the kitten alone when I go to work. But, the times that I do foster a single kitten also tend to be the ones where I remember their names and have more memories to share. Fostering and working with Cat Depot has been an amazing experience.