Friday, 1 May 2015

Love is...fostering cats!

I’m going to have to break the stationery mould today. I can’t contain my excitement much longer. I guess I could combine it with my instagram which has been inspired by the wonderfully inspring Susannah Conway with the hashtag of AprillLove2015 this month. The last prompt yesterday was “Love is..”

Apart from Bean and stationery I do love one other thing. Cats.

Last weekend we adopted a new brood with their mother. When the last one flies the coop, they will be the 42nd cat we’ve fostered. We started working with HAWS – Hounslow Animal Welfare Society and since Bert we’ve fostered from Celia Hammond in Lewisham. Don’t think for a second we think this is altruistic, we are fully aware of how lucky we are to look after all our monsters!

I thought I would try and share a picture of each one to walk down memory lane. They have all been pretty marvellous but have also brought us to tears too.

Tula. Our first and she was a bit damaged, poor thing. She has babies before she was a year old and all she wanted to do was play, especially at 4 o’clock in the morning. She loved to played fetch and her favourite fetching toy was a piece a piece of string called Peter Stringfellow. 

Florence and the Machine (or Dorothy if you’d prefer). These were the cats we fostered before and after our wedding. They were little sneaky monsters. The stole anything tasty from the meat nappy (you know what I mean, the weird material at the bottom of a steak) to all the nibbles. Once they has liberated the treats they would growl wonderfully if we tried to take it away from them. The little scallywags.

Monty and Bunny. Bean’s favourite, well Bean was Monty’s favourite. He could have taken him in a papoose to work with him. Monty was a cutie that waited for Bean to come home and run to him when he saw him walking to the front door. Bunny on the other hand was slightly more regal, content with the odd cuddle. She just seemed rather fancy. 

Phoebe and Rae (although Bean will contest that these are not their names) We hadn’t has the pleasure of a long haired kitten before and she knew she was pretty. Where Rae was so affectionate, Phoebe would just haughtily look down on you. Unsurprisingly after 5 hours of them on the adoption website they were adopted and on their way to their new home.

Bert. Oh Bert, he was a long term foster. We knew he probably wouldn’t make it to the end of the year but we gave him a good last summer. He was our boy. When he first arrived he was so tired, he had to have his food bowl right next to him and he still didn’t really want to eat. This all changed when I sat next to him eating a large prawn or two. His jaw dropped and bewitched me into giving him most of my dinner. As he gained strength we allowed him to go outside a little bit. He loved sitting outside. I’m so happy that he was so happy. On the day he went to sleep, (I’m convinced he knew what was about to happen). I watched him sit in the garden saying goodbye to his domain. I will always miss Bert, he was a clever, silly, gentle and loving cat.

The Ferals! Callum, Georgina, Ben, Brooklyn and Barrett (We did not name them!) Oh my this was a eye opening experience. Kittens need to be socialised at an early age to stop them becoming “unhandleable” (that’s a word right?!). They needed to live in a cage whilst they were with us so there was some chance of us handling them. Two of the little ones were perfectly fine being picked up, the biggest didn’t mind so much but hated that he had to be put back in the cage. The last two, the two tabbies, they were another story. They would let us pet them but picking them up was somewhat fraught and I still have to scars to prove it. I’m so glad they all found a home I was incredibly worried that they might be unadoptable but luckily two lovely families took them into their hearts.

The Flowers were not named by us! Primrose was the mummy with one boy, Crocus and 5 girls Rosie, Violet, Tulip, Poppy and Pansy. This was our biggest and youngest litter so far but luckily Primrose was obviously an old hand at all this kitten rearing malarkey and they were no trouble at all. Well no trouble is probably a bold statement, they were lovely naughty kittens. They never all slept at the same time so there were always paws thundering around. They also knew how to hide incredibly effectively, so much so we had to tack a sheet under the sofa bed they had to play on because they kept hiding inside. Sneaky monkeys! They were so cute though!

Dave, her three girls Amy, Holly and Dora and her boy Grey. Mamma was called Dave by the people who used to see her every so often and they assumed she was a boy. Dave was so stressed when she arrived. Her three girls were a good size but her boy was tiny and sadly he passed away the next day. I buried him with the peacock feather he would have played with. At least he didn’t suffer. Dave was a bit of a silly mummy. She was obviously a pet at some point because, even if she was being suckled, if you caught her eye, she would fly up, milk going everywhere, to get a cuddle. Really lovely mummy and kittens. My father loved Dave and he is a complete cat racist – it’s black or it’s not a cat. So this tabby beauty had many admirers!

Agatha and Beetle. These two were so special. We hadn’t looked after older cats since Bert and these two were super special and gorgeous. Beetle the Black had the softest fur you ever did touch. She also had the rather charming quirk of coming to bed and sleeping under the covers with you she had kept her claws to herself it would have been perfect. When I tried to hurt myself the first time she came to bed with me and held her paw over my wrist as If to protect me. Agatha the Fluffy was an epic cat, she had some mistrust of tall men (sorry Bean) but she was rather affectionate with me. She would come onto the bed to try and wake me up by licking my face, bleurgh! But she let me cuddle her and her fluffiness so it wasn’t all bad, at all! Her eyes were enthralling, I’ve never seen such large eyes on a cat. It’s a shame we could keep these two ladies, I would have loved to have kept them forever.

The Octet. Pixie, Steve, Boris, Humphrey, Minnie, Iris, Lenny, Chloe and Emmy. When we were told there was a litter of eight to deal with my first reaction was “yes, yes, yes all the kittens” Luckily Bean agreed. This was certainly our biggest challenge yet. Mum, Pixie was a sweetie and she was very good at tracking who had eaten or not. That’s not to say there weren’t a few tears. 8 kittens learning to eat and litter train at the same time was somewhat overwhelming at time and I might have shed a tear or two. Happily they managed to get the hang of things pretty quickly although as the picture of Chloe shows, learning to eat is a messy business! I know you’re not meant to have favourites but Steve was the perfect boy, Humphrey the ginger loved to bunny hop with his fuzzy bottom and Iris was a beautiful black fluffball who loved to cuddle. I miss them so!

And currently, Lexie and her 3 boys and 2 girls (I think – I’ll have to check again when we weigh them on Sunday at 3 weeks). Oh my these are the youngest kittens we’ve had. Oh my, they are adorable. We are yet to name the kittens, perhaps you might be able to suggest a sweet name or two?

They are rather cute!!!

1 comment :

  1. ginger and white - marmalade, ginger - rupert, darker tabby and white - treacle, tabby - tabster and lighter tabby and white - maud - NO IDEA where these names came from - first one to pop into my head when looking at them!