Current foster, Sebastion, came into foster on July 12, which was the same day he was brought to Charleston Animal Society. That was a day of volunteering in their Kitten Room for me, and since this bottle baby couldn't stay alone overnight, I brought him home to foster. For about two weeks it was around the clock feedings every 2.5 to 3 hours. I was exhausted as I also work a full-time job. We had a couple of days of distress and little Sebastion stopped eating, was vomiting and had diarrhea - he lost a third of his body weight in 24-36 hours, not good when a kitten doesn't even weigh a pound. This type of situation for a foster parent instills even more a drive to save a life. Fortunately, after chatting with the team at CAS and providing constant care every 2 hours for two days, he turned the corner and has been healthy since. Today, Sebastion will return to CAS and now that he weighs two pounds, will be neutered tomorrow. He will come back to his foster home and recuperate. His forever mom will come back to town in about 10 days, finalize his adoption and they will fly back home. It will be sad to not ever have the opportunity to visit with him due to distance but thanks to texting and Facebook, photos can be shared. Once again, fostering has brought someone into our lives that we may not have had the opportunity to get to know so not only did we save a life, we found a new friend who will become more than an acquaintance.
So back to the original question. What do we do to keep foster felines in our home? At this time, we also have a foster cat, Bella. Pet Helpers reached out last week asking if anyone could foster a cat that would be discharged from Veterinary Specialty Care in Mt. Pleasant. The first outreach started me thinking. No one contacted Pet Helpers and they sent out a second plea, which was my signal it was meant that Bella come to us, especially since we live so close to VSC. That afternoon after closing my home office at 5:00, I went to VSC and picked up 8-year old Bella. She is a beautiful and sweet black cat who had stopped eating while at Pet Helpers. She is still under the care of the veterinarians at VSC and will have a recheck later in the week, but she did start eating while there and has been eating for me, too. I would like to see her eat more, but she eats very small portions multiple times a day and appears to be a social eater. Pet Helpers' Foster Coordinator estimates sweet Bella will need to be in foster for 3-4 weeks. Bella is enjoying living in my master bedroom/bath and spends part of her night next to me in bed and her days sitting at one of the bedroom windows watching the outdoors. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers that she continues to eat and isn't diagnosed with a liver ailment (which the vets are holding off doing since she did start eating again). I give her an appetite stimulant once a day, which is the only time I am not her friend, but otherwise Bella is a purr box and loves petting of any kind. She's also a great lap cat! Stay tuned and updates will be posted on her progress.
As always, I appreciate your time in reading about our foster lives and all the wonderful comments of appreciation from those who know me and my husband - it's a passion that does require work, but it's the best type of work ever! Helping these wonderful creatures get healthy enough for a forever family is one of the most rewarding experiences we could imagine. May all of you have sweet purrs in your life.