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Moggie Monday - Meet the fosterer - Joyce

25 April 2022
Moggie Monday - Meet the fosterer - Joyce

I started fostering 7 years ago because of my love for cats.

 I was already storing food for Cats Protection in my garage and the fosterer came to collect what they needed, I got talking to them and was impressed by what they said.

 Initially I had a pen installed in my conservatory and a few years later, had a wooden cattery built in my garden. Since then, I have looked after 100s of cats and I take a photo of all of them. 

My own three cats were a bit wary of the pens and the foster cats at first but as they never mixed, soon ignored them. 

You can spend as much time as you want with foster cats as long as you do the basic requirements. I usually get up at 8am, feed my three, clean their litter tray and let two of them out - the other one is an indoor cat. After that, I see to myself then feed the "guests" change the litter trays and make a fuss of them.

I've had cats that were frightened and hid and sometime, hiss and spat but after a few days or sometime weeks let you stroke them and once they trust you, became very affectionate.  It's very rewarding to see a terrified cat change into a loving bundle of affection and go to their forever home.   It can be frustrating when someone comes to see a cat up for adoption, you spend an hour with them and the cat chooses them, only to hear that they've changed their mind.  However its not normally long before the right adopter comes along. 

I recently took in 6 kittens that came from a feral mother.  At first, they hissed, spat and hid but with the help of some wonderful cat loving ladies who spent hours talking to them and gaining their confidence, taking them to the vet to be vaccinated and neutered, they have now all found loving homes.  If they had been left, they would have had a dreadful life, fighting being hungry and mating, probably with each other and the mother and bringing into the world more feral kittens. 

I've had 3 legged cats, 1 eyed cats, tailless cats, boys, girls, young and old.   I love having a mum cat, seeing kittens being born and watch them and play with them.   It's sad when they go to their new homes, but I do get emails and photo's from the adopters which always helps after they have gone.  I can't keep them all and there is always another cat waiting to come in that needs my help.  

I did keep one cat I fostered, a little Maine Coon kitten whose owner couldn't take the responsibility for her. She is now 4 years old and huge and I love her to bits.  She helps me with kittens that come in without a Mum and is now my four-legged fosterer.

The Cats Protection team do a great job, collecting cats, catching strays, taking them to the vet and finding the right owner for that cat and are always there for support for us fosterers, especially when a cat is very ill or has some behavioural issues.

If I go on holiday, I let the team know in plenty of time so I don't have cats while I'm away. I put my 3 in a cattery but can't wait to get back.  A house is not a home without cats, even when they are not my own. 

It's a very rewarding job and I hope I can do it for many more years.