We are still very much learning cat folx skills. We’ve been caretaking for a colony since 2017. We’ve been fostering since May 2019.
We’ve fostered 28 kittens. All have survived and flourish in adoptive homes. All experienced illness requiring lots of vet visits and care. Late, late nights and early mornings. Some came to us barely weaned and not quite 2 lbs, absolutely terrified. Others marched confidently into the house. We’ve hand fed, syringe fed, learned how to give subcutaneous injections, and administered more oral meds than we can count.
Everyone comments how clean our kittens are. That’s because they live in our bathroom. They have room to romp, a window, and a damp shower to explore each day. It’s like a daily spritzing.
Most of all, we seem to have an intuitive sense when something isn’t right. We know the drill – take a temp and check the poop, listen for URI symptoms, photograph puke and contact the foster group ASAP.
The feral have been harder – probably 40 over the years. Some have been trapped and placed. Others disappear to unknown fates. But some hang tough. They begin to talk to us. They hang out and stay close. They play with toys, stretch out on the outdoor cat beds in the sun, and make known their feeling about the food selection.
This year, we’ve had no kittens. That’s a milestone. We have acquired some ear tipped new guys.
The biggest lesson has been letting go of everything we thought we knew and learning fresh. Listening to more experienced cat folx, but still trusting our gut feelings.
So we drag 40 lb bags of wood pellets in the house for litter. We scoop, we serve endless meals, wash countless plates, and launder bedding. We treat for fleas, play games each day, and hope for the best.
It’s not perfect or ideal. But it’s better than it was. We are better people than we were.
Happy #Caturday #NaBloPoMo edition.
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