bo. from my second set of foster siblings, bo is awaiting adoption now. she looks evil here but she's really cute LOL.
godaddy is my newest foster. he was in poor condition when i brought him home. he has neurological defects and is a special needs kitten. his eyes here are watery because he has a slight eye infection. but what he lacks for in balance he makes up for in personality! godaddy is afraid of the dark so i keep a light on for him at all times. *sadness to my soul, godaddy died on 10/14/09 in my arms. he died from complications from injuries and neurological complications. it was difficult for me to deal with, even moreso than the kids. :*( *
bamino, my 2 month old foster, rubbing heads with my sleeping daughters. bambino is also the kitten in this post. when i brought bambino home with his sister bo and his sister purrina *i don't have a picture of her :( *, they were so little and new i thought they would all die (he fit perfectly in my daughter's hand pictured next to him now). their eyes had JUST opened and they were still bottle babies! NOW he's fat and heavy and handsome and fresh!
dean! he's 11 years old, and is an old ornery man. but he's still a doll. he is battling an eye infection right now and bowel problems but he still thinks he's a young whippersnapper LOL. see the huge mess he made with his litter *and got caught in the act doing*?!
so at the beginning of the summer, inspired by my own desire to change the world, mr. president's encouraging words about volunteering, and my general love for animals, i decided to volunteer at my local humane society. i had also been going through a series of stressful health situations and figured that doing something for animals in need and their caretakers would help me to not worry so much about my own issues.
so on may 2nd i believe, i went to an open house and first timers meeting for becoming a humane society volunteer. immediately i loved the animals, the flexible schedules, and their generosity to take any help the volunteers offered, from washing clothes to walking the dogs *some people and organizations actually aren't generous about receiving volunteer help*. my mom came with me *also prompted by mr. president's volunteer pep talk* and she decided to volunteer too.
we started that day, folding dry laundry and washing dirty laundry, totally not adequately dressed for the event but in love with the place nonetheless.
over the weeks we got to know everyone and the pets to the point where we were indistinguishable from the actual employees other than the lack of a biweekly paycheck. eventually we knew the ropes and where everything was, and we stuck to walking and giving the dogs some extra love and cleaning their areas...until one day we wandered into the *back* of the shelter.
to the kitten room.
in this room we were immediately hit by the stench of sick babies and mama cats who desperately needed help because they were just dying slowly. eye infections, upper respiratory infections and digestive tract problems ruled the land there, and almost every cat in the room was dying. since the humane society we volunteer for is a no-kill shelter, instead of putting the cats down, they strive diligently, patiently and sometimes pleadingly for the cats to get better and the illnesses to subside. we were told that since the economy weakened the shelter was rationing out medications and it just wasn't enough, but there wasn't enough money to purchase more medicine. so the only thing that could really help was taking home the best off kittens to keep them from getting sicker and taking home the worst off kittens to try and help *aka pray* them back to life and health. right then and there my mom picked a family of kittens to bring home. i picked an adult orange cat named dean who has irritable bowel syndrome in cat form (and he actually was in the sick adult room, not the kitten room, but it's a very similar place), and my mom brought home a set of kittens that were doing the best out of the room. the next day we went back to the shelter and dismantled the entire kitten room, disinfecting the whole place and letting the kittens out group by group to get exercise. over time the room got worse and then better, sometimes the kittens would die and one or two HAD to be put down because they were already basically dead, but then sometimes there would be a burst of cuteness coming from somewhere that just made the whole ordeal worth it. i eventually got my moms group of kittens because she wasn't prepared for the difficulties of raising little babies without a mama cat.
when the brakes on my van went i couldn't get back and forth to the shelter anymore *neither could my mom*, so we just decided to become full time foster parents of the neediest kittens and mama's in the shelter. why the kittens? because while the dogs are higher maintenance, the kittens and cats have more needs. i chose to take on the kittens because i already have adult cats in my house and more adults just makes it harder for me to keep the peace *at one time my only female adult started spraying this one particular wall EVERY DAY because of stress! *EEWWWWW*
right now, i have godaddy, bambino *pictured above* and dean *pictured above, whom i adopted*. dean has an eye infection that may cause him to lose his right eye so that has me a bit wacked out, and his irritable bowel syndrome is getting worse. but he's alive and i'm doing the best i can. every other kitten has been adopted save bo, who is waiting now.
i didn't expect the financial costs to rise of my household with fostering kittens, but it has. i'm already strapped for cash to the point where i am statistically in poverty, and i buy the cats food and litter because the shelter is having a hard time. medicines are low and i can't afford vet bills *which is why dean's eye is so bad off*. most people would say don't adopt a cat you can't afford but taking dean back to the shelter is out of the question and struggling together with half of the problems you had before has gotten to be better than struggling alone with all of them. i am blessed for the opportunity and so are the cats. i used to feel that praying for animals was silly until i went through the stress with baby, now i see that you can pray for anything that you feel is important to pray for, and if you have to pray for it, it must be important. God must smile down on me because i send up my prayers for my fosters and He answers them. if He doesn't answer them, there's a reason and i accept that all things have their time.
we eat everynight and have lots of love and warmth to give. the kittens get their needs met with me and my girls love them, and i feel like i'm really making a difference, despite my dire financial situation and sometimes lifestyle stress. so really, i'd say i'm rich. and so are my kitties.
*btw, the kitten room has improved DRAMATICALLY and i am HAPPY to announce that this season was the worst season the humane society has seen for cats in years...good! so we basically got indoctrinated in the worst season--now i know it doesn't get much worse than that. from here we can only go up. hopefully next season won't be nearly as bad*.