When I started fostering, I figured I was going to do mostly kittens. Kittens are fun, not to mention cute as the dickens. They frolick and cavort. Who doesn't love a kitten? Well, it looks like the Universe had a different plan for me. Over the last several months, I've been tapped as a medical foster. That means I get sick cats and work with them to get them back on their paws.
So why on Earth would someone want to be a medical foster? I mean come on, it's hard! You've got cats who are sick coming into your house. They dribble interesting body fluids. They use you as a tissue. They don't look too hot and frankly don't always smell so good either.
So why on would anyone do this? Because being a medical foster means you run into cats like Georgia.
Georgia is a 9 year old calico female who's had it rough. Her ears are ratty, you can guess she's been in fights. Her mouth is swollen and painful looking. She's facing some serious dental work. Because she hurts, it's been a long, long time since she could groom herself. She's got a hard mat of fur across her back that's going to be awfully fun for a groomer to get off of her. She's got to take pain meds before she can take her antibiotic.
None of that matters a lick. Why? Because this is one of the COOLEST cats you will ever meet. Someone forgot to tell her she's supposed to be miserable, sick, and cranky. I've officially got a 9 year old kitten! She wants to play and will bury you in headbutts and purrs. She allowed me to trim some of the easier mats and clean up her paws. The second you sit down, she's in your lap. In spite of everything she's been through, her level of trust is astounding. She'll fall asleep in your arms if you let her, and twitch as she dreams of chasing mice.
This is a cat who looked like a lost cause. Some might call her a waste of time and resources. She's going to require extensive dental work. I say to heck with that. I open up my home and heart to give her a second chance. She's more than worth that time and effort. Who can resist a 9 year old kitten?
Not every medical foster is this easy or amenable from the get go. They can and will challenge you. But when you get a cat like Georgia it is SO very worth it.
As I type this up, Georgia has her head in my lap and occasionally has been batting at the cursor as it moves across the screen.
Austin Pets Alive is the group I foster for. The great thing about APA is they provide medical care for their fosters. This means all I need to do is provide a safe environment and a keen eye. They provide medical support. If you are in the Austin, Texas area and interested in helping out, please check out the opportunities to volunteer.