I got the urgent call one night and was asked to foster 3 little kittens. Little did I know that my life was about to be turned upside down and changed forever. 

Squirt_Ringo_SugarThese little girls were found on a street foraging through trash in order to survive. An elderly man saw them and began to feed them. Now this man would have nothing but the best for these little characters and he would fry up fresh fish and serve them up in an effort to gain their trust enough to capture them. Well he put a live trap out loaded with their favourite fish and one at a time caught them. They were about seven weeks old best estimation when they arrived on my doorstep. Each of them had a motor loud enough to rattle the walls when you touched them but they were scared out of their minds. I was equipped with a large cage which became their home for the next little while. It had a hammock, litter box and well … all the comforts of home. This setting came with 3 square meals a day or more if they wanted.

After a few days I let them roam in the rather large bedroom which contained a queen sized bed, chest of drawers and what they saw as wonderful hiding places. Miraculously though food always brought them out. Socializing was easy for two of the kittens but the last little girl was much more difficult. Each night I would put them into the safety of their own home and they would sleep in their wee hammock. I also would place their food inside so it was not usually an effort to convince them to enter. However there was always the one little girl who was terrified of every sound and every effort to teach her to play with string or some other toy was to no avail. One day as I was trying to convince her to go into the cage for her meal she had other ideas so when I tried to pick her up she bit me so badly I needed a tetanus shot and had to get a friend to drive me to the clinic as I couldn’t stop the bleeding going on in both hands. We were NOT friends on this day. I did win the battle of the cage at least so the battle scars were worth it to keep this little girl safe. Once inside she purred of course.

Liz was adopted from my home very quickly as she was a tortie and a wonderful lady was searching for a playmate for another kitty she had. Then Charlie, dear Charlie (we thought he was a boy but turns out we were wrong) became socialized enough to be put into the adopt-athon being held at a local pet store. When Charlie was put into a carry case for her trip, Squirt was fanatical about trying to rescue her. She climbed onto the case and pawed at the door trying to bite it open and of course would not let me near her. Charlie found her forever home that same day.

The kittens had all been introduced to my fur family which consisted of two kitties and a small dog. They all got along except for Squirt of course who remained very much a frightened little loner.

Once Charlie was gone Squirt went in to hiding for hours on end coming out only to be fed as long as no one was around. Eventually she decided I wasn’t so bad after all I suppose and decided to sit at a distance of course, and just watch me … until I moved. Then it was back under the sofa again.

It was back in September 2009 that these little waifs arrived on my doorstep. Within a couple of months Liz and Charlie were gone. As for Squirt, well I guess she had other ideas and one morning not so long ago, she arrived on my bed as I awoke and just lay down beside me. She just lay there looking into my eyes and I knew then what was happening. She started purring and I’m sure I heard her say “Mom, I am not going anywhere. I like it here.”

To this day I cannot get Squirt into a carry case. We think this is because of the trap that was used to capture her. She has, however, turned into such a beautiful little girl and yes she belongs here now with Sugar, Ringo and Annie.

I had made a decision, since I ended up with yet another kitty, that I would not foster again. That was, of course, until the call came a few nights ago to foster a couple of more kitties who are very much like Squirt … scared of every little sound and of human contact. Well I can only say “here we go again”. There is no hesitation when it comes to helping with the socialization of these beautiful little furballs. They deserve a chance too and I am rewarded from that very first elusive touch until they find their forever homes.

I love them all and their purrs are music to my ears. Fostering is not a job it’s a privilege.

Judy Murphy, Canada

One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)

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