Foster Failures

Cats & Animals

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After my last blog, I thought I would be writing letters to 2 or 3 more cats as they graduated from my care into their own loving homes. 10 kittens were born into those two litters, 7 survived living outdoors, and came inside to live with me. 3 of those kittens left without too many tears on my part, and maybe you recall how distraught I was when the 4th one left me. The longer they stuck around, the more attached I was.

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The hot summer night that 7 baloney scented meat bags moved into my house.

With three kittens left, I had a great home lined up for one of them. It could have been the very last, unwanted one, or it could have been Slobulous*, my sort-of-favored kitten, if my partner and I did not decide to keep him. We were on the fence for a long time- surely three cats (we have 2 adults) would be too much.  I would do it, but I needed buy-in from my partner who would not commit.

 

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Because my friend was going to take which ever one was left, and we weren’t sure who was leaving, they all stuck around a little longer. Long enough to realize that Wojo was a cuddler, and Gorgon might be the worlds perfect cat.

 

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One day, I got my partner to commit to keeping Slobby and Gorgon. That meant that my friend would take Wojo. We decided it would be easier (on us, and maybe on her) if we took her over to his house.

 

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He called and said he was home and I could come any time.

I packed up a little white paper bag with some toys and treats for her.

She rolled around in the sun on our porch.

 

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This is literally the moment we decided to keep her. (PS, they are indoor cats. We have a fenced in porch that they hang out on, or the nearby roof, under supervision.)

She cuddled with her kitten friends.

Dave quietly wrote “Nope.” on her bag.

 

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I balled my eyes out.

My friend asked when i was coming over.

Lets just say that some friends know you well enough, and thankfully, understood the situation.

 

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Which is to say I now have 5 cats. and zero regrets. The kittens, they all are very different from each other, even though they have been inseparable their whole lives.

 

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Slobulous became Nozzy, which is short for Noz-Fur-ato. Because he is a little vampire and enjoys biting his friends’ necks. Because we were watching “The Night Of” when we named him and the main character was named Nas. We mostly call him Fluffy. He is weird and aloof, but likes to cuddle on his terms. When he first came here, we wondered if he was going to make it-  although he didn’t seem sick, he seemed off. He walked funny, was always filthy, rubbed his entire head and arms in his food every time he ate, and didn’t understand how to play. All of the other reindeer would have laughed and called him names, except I didn’t raise no bully kittens, so they kind of just winced and put up with his dorkiness. His big breakthrough was when he learned how to use the scratching post. He was the first one. He is by far the biggest of the kittens here, although he was one of the smallest before.At 6 months old now, he is now the boss of the entire house. I don’t love him MORE than the other kittens, but I have not loved a pet in this way since my Mollie. Its complicated. He is super special.

 

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Gorgon became Pumpkin. He has eyes like a big jack-o-lantern. I call him Practically Perfect Pumpkin because he is a really good cat. He lets you cuddle him and he is the most interactive. He is super curious about everything and wants so badly to learn how to do human things, like make coffee and temper chocolate. When he was a kitten, he would climb up onto your chest, stare at you (he and Goo were the “Starers.”) without blinking until his giant eyes slowly closed. He only has 2 expressions; wonderment and crabbiness. I suspect its the same expression, as viewed from different perspectives. He sniffs around like a bloodhound, is a hydrophiliac, and has a stocky build. He doesn’t take anything personally like cats usually do, and he really is practically perfect. He can’t be wholly perfect, because he is inclined to climb up your entire body like a tree if there is food involved. He is really a special guy too.

 

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Wojo became so many things- The Howling, Howly, Little Girl, Chicken. We settled on Ghost, since she flits all over the place, but we often call her Little One, Bug, Cricket, Insect, or Spider. She has little tufts of hair on the top of her ears, giant amber eyes, and long, slender legs. She is much tinier than the rest, and she likes to wander around with toys in her mouth, growling and mumbling to herself. She loves to cuddle, and has no problem if there’s no room- she’ll just lay on you and purr the purr of a thousand purrers- but god forbid you try to pick her up, or follow her- she’s flinchy and flitty- and although we let them all out on the roof under supervision, she likes to play games about coming down. She is still the sweetest of the 3 cats. Am I overusing the word special? Maybe, but, it applies here.

For as long as we’ve had our two adult cats, (10 years, give or take.) they’ve hated each other. Both my partner and I would see photos of other people’s cats cuddling with each other and be jealous. Now we have 3 kittens who love each other, 2 cats that hate each other, 2 cats that hate kittens, and 3 kittens that hold no malice towards cats (Although, Fluffy can hold his own in a wrestling match with our adult male cat, Nerms.)

There is something about taking a helpless little thing and turning it into the best little thing it can be. I can see how parenting can be appealing to some. I had planned on raising these guys, and fostering them until I could find them great homes. And although I am what you would consider a three-time foster failure, I still think I succeeded: they have a great home, and my home is 3 times better for it.

More photos (click any thumbnail to enlarge.)

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