Foster Family Fun!Posted by on July 17, 2013
I love being a mom to Walter, Apple, Leon Bear and Charlie Boy, my four favorite felines. But about a month ago, I decided to take on a new role: foster mom to six kittens! And of course, my husband Howard joined me, excelling as the devoted foster Dad to our six little munchkins!
Lunchtime at the Sterns
We’d been foster parents earlier in the year, taking care of a rescued bulldog and then helping find her a wonderful home, and it was such a rewarding experience that we decided to keep doing it. Still, caring for such a large number of tiny kittens at the same time was a whole new ballgame—but it didn’t take long before we settled into our new parenting role like pros. (Here’s me having a “conversation” with “Kimosabe”.) (Howard names the kitten!)
Each day was an adventure, and we loved every minute of it. The kittens grew so fast in the three weeks we fostered them. From early stumbling steps to running and leaping on the bed; from cautiously sniffing our hands to cuddling in our laps—it was truly a blessing to watch as they discovered the world.
When we announced that the kitties would be up for adoption, the applications poured in, and we read each and every one of them so we’d find the best families for “our” kittens. On Monday, July 8, I had the great joy of handing over the kittens to their new, forever families. But, as you might expect, it was also heartbreaking. We’d fallen in love with every single one of these babies—and they really did feel like our babies. And as I handed them over, I cried like a baby…
We will treasure the memories of our time with these adorable kittens, and we also have a lot of wonderful photos (most of them that you see here taken by an extraordinary photographer, Howard!) Look at these faces. Is it any wonder we had a hard time saying good-bye?
We are totally hooked on fostering, and now have eight more cats with us: a Mama (“Grace”) and her three babies, plus four orphaned kittens, Ellie, Shirley, Joey and Henry. Once again, our hands are full!
Being a foster parent is a real joy, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has the time and love to give to an animal who needs some TLC until he or she is ready to be adopted. Animal League America has a variety of pets who need fostering: sometimes they’re orphaned litters, or mother and their newborns; sometimes they’re pets healing from illnesses or surgery; other times they are puppy mill survivors who need to be socialized.
Whatever the reason, Animal League America is blessed to have many foster parent volunteers who devote themselves to the care of these beautiful animals, and we’d love for you to join them. You can find out more about the program here.
Remember, if you don’t live in the New York Tri-State area where Animal League America is located, please find a shelter or rescue group near you and offer to help. You’ll be so happy you did!
Tonto and Kimosabe
P.S. If you’re ready to make the permanent commitment to bring home a cat or kitten to add to your family, there’s still time to take part in the “Black Goes with Everything” special. All fees are waived on the adoption of black cats and kittens until the end of this month at Animal League America, so stop by soon and add a cuddly kitten or cat!