Fostering Kittens, Wearying Yet Wonderful

Becca Bossow

July 29, 2022

Fostering kittens combines the best and, unfortunately, some ofthe worst parts of caretaking, bundled up into a fast paced adventure in which every day brings new surprises. 

My most recent fosters, Bonnie and Clyde, came to me at about five and four weeks, respectively. Clyde was a little grey runt who needed bottle feeding to get him on his feet. They look very cute in photos from then, but a lot of work went into making them all healthy. Most of the time, kittens need flea baths to remove potential vermin. The fact that cats hate baths is pretty common knowledge, but water and cats do not mix well. 

Luckily, bathing is a fairly easy task with kittens, compared with older cats, since they are too small to struggle properly.

The Terrible:

About an hour after their baths, I discovered that Bonnie and Clyde had diarrhea, which had to be treated medically. Luckily it cleared up fairly quickly. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, this is always the least glamorous part of the job, involving me seringing medicine into angry kittens several times a day. The first few days involve scooping following each timeone of them defecates, simply because the smell becomes unbearable if left alone. 

The Terrific:

Once they were cleaned and thoroughly medicated, we could enjoy them and start the socialization process. My favorite part of fostering involves watching tv with them sleeping on my lap, or playing with them and laughing at their strange antics. This time period always goes by way too fast, so pictures are a must in order to remember every stage of it. 

The Bittersweet:

The most mixed aspectof fostering is the adoption process. White it rips my heart out to say goodbye to the kittens I have spent so much time raising,giving them away allows me to keep fostering the teensie tinys and keep helping more cats. Plus, it lets me care for them at their cutest. When preparing their profiles for prospective owners, I like to do photo shoots. Keep in mind that most photos do not work out, especially with darker cats, so  am constantly searching for the adorable needle in the haystack.

Now for the added bonus: volunteer hours. While they are in no way a reason to foster, they are recognition of an all-consuming task for dedicated foster parents.

While fostering isn’t for everyone, it is a great educational experience. It always ends up going by in a whir, leaving one adorable photos, a bittersweet sense of completion, and an eagerness for the next batch of kittens.