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The Joy of Fostering Kittens

So began our stint as a foster family for felines.  We started out hosting one family a year (my husband wasn’t too keen on more – why are so many husbands like that?!), usually in the spring when shelters are bursting with kittens.

The first family we hosted was probably our favorite thus far – Thumbelina and her four polydactyl offspring. (I will tell you more about this unique and wonderful family in a follow-up post as there are many stories to tell when your house is full of clever six and seven-toed cats.)

Every year now, my daughters look forward, with great anticipation, to the next feline family we will foster. Really, it is a win-win situation for everyone.  My daughters (okay, and me too) get their fill of tiny paws and claws, we provide the overflowing shelters some breathing room, we save the lives of beautiful, healthy animals, our commitment is typically only 6 to 10 weeks — and someone else gets a fabulous companion (or two) down the line.

I also love what the experience of opening up our hearts and home to homeless animals provides my daughters: they see that even at five and seven years old, they can make a difference in the lives of others. They see the importance of helping those who cannot help themselves and they know through experience what it means to be a compassionate human being.

To find out more about fostering cats and/or kittens (or even dogs and puppies), contact your local Humane Society and/or pet rescue groups. Many private rescue organizations focus on a particular breed, like the Maine Coon Rescue, while others are generic, like C.A.W.S (Community Animal Welfare Society) who will help any adoptable cat in need.

Most of these rescue groups are entirely self-funded and rely on volunteers to fulfill their mission, so if you have room in your heart and your home to temporarily foster a homeless feline – even if only once a year – you too can experience the joy of making a difference in a furry someone’s life.

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.


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8:47PM PDT on Apr 13, 2015

If it wasn't so expensive to desex the cats and dogs there wouldn't be so many unwanted cats and dogs around. Our local RSPCA desex the animals and sell them for $50, [that covers the cost of vaccinations and desexing ] they have a segment on TV each Wednesday night telling people which animals they are looking for homes for people to adopt, always watch it.

8:40PM PDT on Apr 13, 2015

Great kitten, great child, great story, thank you for sharing.

11:51AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

This is in my possible future plans.

7:21AM PST on Dec 1, 2011

Nice story!

3:26PM PST on Nov 6, 2011

Thanks. I would love to foster kittens in the future when I am able.

5:57PM PDT on Oct 20, 2011

I am fostering 10 cats it's great but they really need for ever homes which are becoming harder and harder to find people need to spay/neuter their pets:-)

1:05PM PDT on Oct 16, 2011

What great experiences for your kids! Someday when we have our own place I hope to foster and my fiance loves kittens so no worries about him saying no :)

7:57AM PDT on Oct 13, 2011


6:28AM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

That is great! Good for you and your family. The animals thank you :)

10:02AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

What a wonderful thing you are doing

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