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Foster Cat Journal: Finding Faith

The Halloween Express was headed north as my heart sank southward. Adoptions are not going well, but I was on the cusp of FINALLY getting Honey B. adopted. After turning down applications and being blown off by potential adopters, I finally got one who seemed to be a great fit and who was really excited to adopt Honey B. I figured if Honey got adopted before the Express arrived, then her sister, Yodel would remain in the foster room to welcome the new arrivals. Sure, there might be a bit of hissing at first, but Yodel is pretty easy going and only a few weeks older than the little gang who were about to join us. It should work out all right. I wasn't happy to have an overly full house. It would mean 16 cats live under my roof. By now I should have had homes for at least 4 of them. It was feeing like it was way too much to handle.

The adopter didn't want to come over until Saturday at 6pm. The Exress was due in the morning so that meant, I had to figure out where to put Honey B and Yodel. I didn't want them to be flustered from meeting the new kittens-they just wouldn't "show" well. After a lot of mental musical chairs, I got it worked out. I'd reluctantly put them into my bedroom. This is prime territory for all my cats and I realized I could not keep the kittens there for longer than the afternoon without it causing problems. I thought I'd be all right. It wasn't perfect but better than nothing. I had no other place to put the cats unless I put them into a crate in the garage, which is no place to put these two sweethearts.

The Halloween Express arrived promptly at 9am. Connie, Sam and I were bright and excited to meet everyone. I really wanted to meet Rocco. I had heard he loved belly rubs and I wanted to be the first Yankee to give him one!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. PETS, LLC seemed to forget they also transport CATS! Sheesh!

The truck pulled up and we beelined over to it. We were the first on the blob-not really a line, but a mass of folks who all centered themselves around the opening on the side of the truck. A guy pushed in front of us to get his dog. I was distracted by sending him evil eye death rays, while Connie gasped. She didn't know about these transports. When she looked inside the truck, she saw all the dogs.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. The doggies waiting for the jail break.

At first she thought the dogs were going to shelters, but I told her they all had homes. They were the ones who got off death row and were were safe. She got really choked up. Who wouldn't? I was glad I knew the drill. Watching families who were glued to the doorway, waiting to catch a glimpse of their new dog WAS very moving. The dogs all moved out of their crates, tails wagging, then not quite sure of what to do next. The owner would approach the dog and greet him or her. The dog would look up, run over to them and jump up or bark or give kisses. Everyone laughed or cried or both. It was magic.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Where are we?

But I just wanted my CATS!

We gave the driver an empty cat carrier. He returned it to us filled up with kittens. First off were two of the Halloween gang. They are tough to tell apart. One was orange, one was brown. I heard a sneeze. I thought-oh great, here we go again...a transport full of sick cats.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson

As we got our cats, the folks in the crowd applauded and oooh'd and awwww'd. I said aloud that all the cats were available for adoption-just in case! The kittens were quite animated and really wanted out of their cages. It was a cool morning and I wanted to get them into our warm car, but first we had one more traveller to pick up.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Rocco is in da house!

Rocco. Rocco was SO BIG he could barely turn around in his crate. The first glimpse I got of him was of his butt. He was crying and crying. All the folks who saw him gasped and laughed. I wanted to cheer! We hustled the cats into the cars. I jumped into Connie's to see Rocco. I sat next to him on the back seat and opened the crate door. He started to purr and make muffins on the back seat. Connie, still sniffly, said he looked like he needed to be brushed. I agreed he was a bit of a mess, but he was here. Safe with us. This big ol' tom cat made it off death row. I was so glad we could help him.

I couldn't visit for more than a few moments. Connie took Rocco to Wilton to meet his new friends at the shelter and I got into the car and Sam drove us home. I definitely had rescuer's remorse. With adoptions to almost nil, I was really worried that finding homes for these tabbies was going to be tough. I started to imagine having these cats here for the rest of their lives and that starting a rescue group in this economy was even dumber than I originally imagined...but it was too late for that. I just needed to grin and bear it. Somehow it will work out. I have to have faith in that.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Breakfast is served..three or four times until the kittens were full!

As we drove home, the kittens began sneezing a great deal. I told myself it was their new environment, the different air quality, the long trip. They just needed to rest and they would be all right in a few days. I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to put Yodel and Honey B. back in their room with these sick cats. Now I was faced with a big problem. What to do with them...well just Yodel because Honey would be going to her home that day. Yodel could meet my cats and just be integrated in with them. She had her shots and tests and was spayed. It would be ok.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Maria always sends presents with the kittens. Thank you!

Jennifer came up to visit the kittens and to go to the Pet Expo in Hartford. We had a great time, then enjoyed the notorious cheeseburgers of the Shady Glen. It was a great day.

Then, my phone rang. Since we were eating, I let it go to voicemail. Had a bad feeling. I listened to the message. It was Honey's adopter. She changed her mind. She has two calicos and didn't want a third after all and that after thinking about it decided she wanted an all black cat and that it was her "executive decision" to not get emotionally attached to Honey by meeting her. Would I call her to discuss when I would be getting a black cat in that she could adopt? You're kidding me, right?

I'm sorry, but do you think I'm a department store? If it's not in your size or your color I can just get you another one?

It was 4pm. She was supposed to pick up Honey in just two hours. Now Honey was going nowhere and I was going to be covered in cats.

We got home from our outing. I was really down. I went to check on the kittens. They were eating well and meowing furiously. Each one wanted to be petted. Most of them were sneezing. A few had runny eyes. Instead of freaking out I just sat there as they crawled all over me purring and sticking their butt into my face. What can I do? I made a commitment to these animals and I'm going to keep it. It will work out. It will. It's just going to be a bumpy road for quite awhile.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Skittles going to jump onto my shirt so he can be petted in 3...2...1

That was three days ago. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.

Comments

Just breathe. It'll be ok. We need to start advertising your kitties heavily on FB and twitter, etc. We'll get them homes. :D

If you can make up some quick posters to hang on the public bulletin boards in your community, and maybe at some of the vets' offices, I'm sure no one will be able to resist these faces! I keep a few posters for our shelter's cats in my car, and as I run around and do errands, I tack them up.

Things *will* work out. You have done a good turn for these sweet babies and Rocco, and good will come back to you and them tenfold. Hang in there!

I gave up on adoptions at the end of last year. But then I live in the same community as one of the top no kill shelters. No one notices little me and my kitties. For the dreaded URI may I suggest giving them L-Lysine and Colloidal Silver? You might have it at your local health food/vitamin store.

Oh and I understand what you are going through. I spent two summers sleeping on the couch because my bedroom was full of kittens.

the adopter sounds like a looser. I hope some nice people come along who think each kitten is beautiful and who will feel lucky to get any kitten from you. ie.. someone in touch with reality.

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