You know, people always say "I'm a dog person" to say that they dislike cats, or "I'm a cat person" to imply that they dislike dogs. I guess I'm not one of those people, because I love both cats and dogs. In fact, I love most animals. My favourite places are zoos and aquariums and my favourite TV shows are wildlife documentaries. My heroes are naturalists and biologists like David Attenborough and Jacques Costeau, and on the whole, I like animals a lot better than humans. For one, they do not destroy the earth and for two, they are not two-faced, backstabbing, and they are much more forgiving than any human I know.
I was inspired by my friend, Natasha who wrote this blog post of hers today--it's about her foster kittens over the years. It made me reminisce about the fosters I've had before. Not many, but each one of them was special in their own way. Way back before I had any pets, I went back and forth between getting a dog or a cat. On one hand, I could bring a dog out for walks, hikes, and visits to the beach (this was back in Canada when all that was possible), but kittens came toilet trained! Toilet training is by far the most tedious part of dog ownership... it just takes SO long.
I decided in Summer 2009 to try fostering kittens. Cadence was 1 at the time and was fully trained. I volunteered for VOKRA (Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue), which is an AMAZING organization. The volunteers are so dedicated and they really do provide the BEST for their fosters. I never had to fork anything out of my pockets--the rescue dropped cans of Wellness cat food (expensive stuff!!) and natural pine litter to me whenever I ran out. No cheap kibble from the grocery store. Only the highest quality canned food for their rescues!
Anyway, my first foster kittens were 7-week olds who were dumped on Lougheed Highway, near my apartment in the middle of the night. The story even made it to the press and everything! Some kind hearted soul picked up the box and brought them to VOKRA, where they were named Lea, Olivia, and Roxy before they came to me. I had NEVER had cats in my life but I HAD read up as much as I could on them. I went out and bought lots of cat toys and readied my little study room for them.
I know you are not supposed to have favourites, but Lea really did make me laugh. Her spunk is so evident in all her pictures! She was the adventurous one--never afraid of anything. She wasn't even afraid of Cadence!! The others were hissing and spitting at him but not Lea. She scaled the baby gate on day 1 and explored my apartment without batting an eyelash!
You know how some pets just grow on you? You don't really notice them at first, but then after a while you develop a soft spot for them? Well, Olivia's one of those kittens... most people who met her loved her best because she's a sight to behold--beautiful blue eyes and a dilute tabby... but not me. I did not really love her until I had taken care of the kittens for several weeks (I looked after them for 6 weeks). She was the sweet one. She LOVED food so much, I nicknamed her "Fatty". She would shove her sisters away and steal their food all the time.. but she was the SWEETEST kitty ever. She was ALWAYS, always purring.. even when all you did was pat her head. I still miss her today. She was the last to go, so I got quite attached to her.
Roxy. Roxy was the one who I never really got to know. She was shy and laid back, always hanging behind her sisters... and she didn't like to be picked up, so I never really got to know her. She was a chill little kitty, very obliging and never fussed about anything. Sad to say I don't have many pictures of her because she did not like my DSLR and the noise it made--so she ran away whenever she saw it coming!
They all went to really good homes, which was great. I thought I was going to be really sad to see them go, but I wasn't, honestly! I think it was because I went into fostering knowing that these animals wouldn't be mine and that they weren't here to stay, so at the back of my head I knew that they were always going to go. Also, because they went to great homes, I was happy for them.
My 2nd set of fosters was last year, back here in Malaysia. A stray momma cat gave birth to 5 kittens in my garden, and my mom wanted to chase them off!! I was ADAMANT that they STAYED, so eventually my mom gave in. Which was all the better because they were infested with mange and were a sorry sight by the time they were old enough to be brought to the vet. Here they are as (I'm guessing) 2-week olds:
Momma cat, who I named Joan (after Joan of Arc and her fighting spirit), was very fierce, so I left the kittens with her until they were old enough to survive without her. Fed momma every day and gave her a nice big box to keep her kittens in.
Here's the kittens the first day I brought them indoors (6 weeksish). I had somehow managed to bribe Joan into going into Cadence's plastic crate to eat (she had trusted me enough by then), and then shut the door behind her. Brought her to the vet to be spayed, and got the kittens de-flead and the vet gave them some ivermectin for the mange. I let Joan back out onto the streets because there was no way she could be tamed--she attacked Cadence a few times and never let any humans touch her. I named the kittens Bailey (black), Aspen (colour point), Reagan (b&w male), and Riley (b&w female). All were males except for Riley. My neighbour kept one of the kittens (a beautiful parti coloured colour point) whom they named Cookie.
Cadence & Cookie. Cadence is such a GREAT foster "dad"! He is amazing with kittens--he plays with them nicely and isn't the least bit afraid of them! Till today he absolutely adores cats... I think he secretly wishes that he could have his own "pet" cat!
Anyway, I didn't get to know these kittens very well because I only had them for 2 weeks before they were all adopted! I managed to rehome them all through Petfinder, an awesome website. My favourite was Riley though... and yes, you guessed it.. because she was the spunkiest of them all!! I love spunky animals... they are usually the ones with the brains (reminds me of Cadence)... and the ones who are fearless and always up for an adventure!
I really miss having cats around. They're so different from dogs, but so special in their own way. I think you can never say that you are not *insert animal species here* person until you've lived with one. Because I believe that all animals are special in their own right. They have their own ways of making you laugh and stealing your heart. Cats are special in ways that dogs arent, and vice-versa! Someday my home will have kitty presence again. One day!
Blog for the Dogs
Here's where I chronicle the dogs' daily lives, write reviews on dog products, and share tips on everything under the sun.