Susannah’s Fostering Story

Hello, I’m Susannah, the Editor of our newsletters and also a cat fosterer for the Welwyn/Hatfield District branch of Cats Protection.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about my fostering story, which started in 2016, when I bought my first flat. I’d always grown up with cats and suddenly living on my own in a new flat felt very empty without a furry friend for company. As I wasn’t sure how long I would be there for, or if my situation would change at some point, I didn’t feel able to commit to adopting a cat, so fostering seemed like a good compromise - I’d get to have some feline company, whilst providing a safe loving environment for a cat in need.
I saw an advert on the Welwyn/Hatfield District branch’s Facebook page looking for a fosterer for an elderly cat called Max, whose previous owner had dementia and was unable to care for him. I sent them a message to say I was interested and not long after, Max arrived at my flat.

Max was a friendly, laid back cat who I loved sharing my space with. Eventually Cats Protection found an adopter for Max and he moved on to his forever home. It was sad to see him go, but I knew his new family were going to love him and it meant my home was free once again to help another cat waiting to be adopted.

After Max came Scruff, then Timmy, then Domino… all with their own unique personalities and quirks.

Some of the cats were confident and friendly, but others were more nervous, sometimes due to their past experiences of being strays. The more nervous cats would often hide away on their arrival, seeking safety under the sofa or the wardrobe, but with a bit of time and patience, they gradually learnt to relax and make friends with me. I often found that the more nervous cats ended up being the most affectionate once I had gained their trust and it was certainly very rewarding to see them gain confidence and their personalities flourish.

The amount of time I have a cat for can vary quite dramatically. Sometimes it has just been for a couple of weeks if  it’s a cat needing a quick pit stop while their new owner is getting things sorted out, or if the right adopter comes along quickly. Other times it has been for periods of months - if the cat is older, nervous or has health issues. But eventually all the cats are matched with an adopter who will be right for them.

Fostering is a really rewarding experience and I am so glad that I’ve been able to make a difference to the lives of different cats and provide them with a place of safety while they await their forever homes.

If you would like to become a fosterer for the Welwyn/Hatfield District branch of Cats Protection, or know of anyone else who would be interested, then please get in touch with the branch by emailing enquires@welwynhatfield.cats.org.uk.