I’ve always loved cats. We had cats in my family growing up & I’ve had them most of my adult life too. All the cats I’ve ever had have been rescues of some sort; mostly strays who took up with us & realized they had hit the cat-jackpot. Some were found; some were given; some were inherited and some were strategically place in my yard, either by a determined mama-cat or a determined person wanting to abandon kittens, but feel better about themselves by putting them in a nice yard in a cul-de-sac. Hmmm…
So cats have been a part of my life forever. It should have come at no surprise when I started getting cats as a way to fill a void in my heart. Three years ago, my one & only, my baby boy left for Oregon (a long, LONG way from Georgia!) He had been accepted at the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene (Go Ducks!) Now, he was also accepted at Florida State University School of Law in Tallahassee (Go Noles!) but their acceptance came later and without benefit of scholarship, so his choice was UO. I can’t express how conflicted I was over that decision. I was very proud of him and excited for him, plus proud of my husband & I for raising a son who had the courage to step out into the great unknown to pursue his dreams. On the other hand, I was devastated that he was going to be so far away. And to this day, I hate that he is that far away, but he is, and he’s doing great and there’s nothing I can do about it. Except….
Get more cats!
In January 2014, my son returned to Oregon after the holiday break. I took him to the airport and went straight to the Humane Society and got my 1st foster cat. I had wanted to foster since I heard about the program but my husband & I were both busy with full-time jobs, the 2 cats we currently had, etc. etc. The last time I mentioned it, my husband said something along the lines of “Let’s talk about it after the holidays.” That was close enough and all I needed!
Long story still long…I picked up Scotch, an orange tabby cat, who I renamed Chuckie & he became the 1st of my 23 foster cats to date. He was also my 1st “foster failure,” meaning I also adopted him. The 1st year of fostering, we foster failed twice, Chuckie then Zena. We knew we had to keep them but since then we know four cats is our limit.
I love foster cats, especially kittens! We currently have 3 kittens who are six weeks old. I call them the “Lion King” kittens because their names are Simba, Mufasa & Scar. They are adorable and bring me lots of pleasure and love. Simba had a rough start and was sick for the 1st 2 weeks they were here, but with medicine & lots of patience and love, he is on the mend. I’ve often said that animal rescue is very life affirming for me. They are heartbeats that need love and care. Knowing that most of them came from near or soon-to-be death to watching them transition to loving, permanent “furever” homes is one of my greatest life experiences.
It’s also a great way to fill the void left in my heart due to my empty nest. As my son asked me when he 1st saw Chuckie on video: “Did you replace me with a cat, Mom?” Yes, son, I did & a crazy cat lady was born.