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Foster Cat Journal: I'm in Big Trouble

People often ask me; ”How can you let foster cats go? Don't you miss them? Doesn't it make you sad? Cry?”

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I energetically answer that if I don't adopt them out, I can't rescue more. I already have seven cats, which is more than plenty. It's not wise to add on to the “family” for a variety of reasons. Sure, it hurts when the cats leave, but usually they're only here from just a few days to a few weeks. If that's the case, hey, anyone can do this. Just keep them moving in, then leaving promptly. It's doable.

What happens when it's NOT the case? What happens not only when you've had foster cats for a few MONTHS, but what if they were all sick? They all needed you? Some were so sick you didn't know if they would survive? How can you not become deeply attached?

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How do you let THOSE foster cats go?

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Jennifer has been caring for Rudy & Comet for months. They are no longer in their foster room, but have the full run of the house. They frolic and play and love life. Jennifer's been crying, thinking about them leaving. I've been reminding her that we'll find them a great home and we'll keep them together if we can. That she can't adopt more cats. Jennifer not only has plenty of cats, too, but she has seniors and special needs kitties. Adding two spunky kittens to that mix would not be good in the long term.

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I'm not telling her anything she hasn't told herself. She's steeling herself for the day, which may come VERY soon, for when she has to say goodbye to them and I feel really bad about that. I never wanted her to have a bad experience fostering, but I can't protect her from this.

I, too, am faced with the same thing.

Today was the big day. After MONTHS of struggle, I was able to put all but Blitzen on Petfinder. The cats are ready to go, at last!


The problem looking over my photos and selecting the ones that are the cutest and will garner lots of interested adopters, I found myself awash in tears. I could barely type out a description or upload a photo. I'm still crying now.


I just kept looking at their faces. I missed them and they are still here. I never want any of them to leave. They've all captured my heart and I honestly don't know if I can be here when they get adopted.

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And if this wasn't painful enough, Sam and I are done after 17 years. I am flat out heartbroken. The person I used to be able to go to when I was sad and needed a hug is lost to me, probably forever.

I have lost so much in my life. I don't know how to go on.

I suppose this is what they call burnout or just a big, bad bump in the road? Whatever it's called, I don't recommend it.


Just sending you out tons of sympathy and tons of virtual hugs!
Again I am SO sorry that you are going through all of this right now.
Please hang in there. I promise, things will get better. They will.

Great big hugs to you Robin. I wish I had something to say that would make you feel better.

So sorry you've hit such a rough patch, Robin. Things seem to go wrong all together, don't they? I am very sad to hear about you and Sam... I wish him all the best, and you too.
The kittens being ready for adoption is such good news, but I know how sad it must also feel to you. You've done such a great job for them - I guess it's kind of like a parent seeing their children go out into the world. Your job is pretty much done - now it's someone else's turn. But you know that they'd never have got this far, if it were not for you! They are still alive because of all you have done for them - you have enabled them to go on and have happy lives. It's not the end, but the beginning - because of Robin!
So, although you're sad, do remind yourself what you have achieved for those little kitties. You Rock!
I hope that life picks up soon. When you hit the bottom, you may bump along there for a bit, but you can only go up from here!
With love and thinking of you

I'm so sorry to hear that Robin, about your relationship. That must be so difficult. The best I can say is that you'll heal; you will.

As for the kitties... The best comfort there is the knowledge that this will allow you to continue to help more cats, which is your honorable ultimate goal!

You're in my thoughts, and good luck!

It stinks that you did hit this rough patch, burnout, whatever. It sucks that you have to do this without the support you had for so long - that just makes it that much tougher on you. Just remember that you gave them all a wonderful start in life - you literally saved them. For that you will be thanked by all of us. I am not surprised you got attached after so long, but they will find wonderful, loving homes (hopefully that will keep you updated) and that is all because of everything you did for them. You do sound like you need to take a bit of a break - some time for yourself, and just take a breath and relax for a little while. This has all been a lot - you deserve to have some time.

You can be as picky as you want when you select homes for the kitties. Each one is so individual and so adorable. I'm kind of having trouble not begging for one. BUT, I do know that I'm maxed out especially in terms of I won't be able to afford the vet expenses if I grow the family any bigger. And I know I have a responsibility to care for the health of the kitties and pups that I've already committed myself to.

The Cat Lady Network is out in force to support you! Acninee is right - you be as picky as you want with those kittens. It WILL all work itself out.

Oh sweetie. I'm so sorry about stuff with Sam.

Is couples therapy an option?

It all seems so romantic in those first five years, then the next five are where you really get to know one another, and decide if you can tolerate all of their messy crap. I think if you survive 10 + years with someone, you deserve that chance to work it out. And after all you've tried it still is lost, so to speak? then you pick up and move on.

I hope, that if you WANT it to work out, that you'll fight for it. Love ain't always pretty. But as we know from our furry ones, it's pretty damn awesome.

i was going to say buck up, you'll find AMAZING adopters who you'll be okay with letting the kitties go, but then i read the last part about sam. you know better than i do, but are you sure it's done, and not just a bump along the way? could you two maybe take some time and let things cool off, get back to normal, and then go from there? all relationships go through ups and downs.

this is the part about the internet that bothers me - when someone needs help, and we're all too far away to actually do anything. i'd love to take some kittens for a little bit, give you some time for yourself, and give you a hug. but i'm here, and you're there. sorry. :(

I don't have words. I'm a good writer, but I don't have anything that can really help.

I don't foster coz I *don't* give them up. That's why I have 17 cats and why I am going down to GA to get #18. Every animal that comes into my care is in my care until it dies. That's how I am. I'd be a horrid foster parent. I'd keep them all.

As for your relationship with Sam... Mark and I have been together 20 years now, married for 16. Our relationship works because we both want the same things out of life and we try not to take each other for granted. I don't know if you and Sam can come together again, but that is where I think you need to start if you want to try.


Just want you to know Robin I am here with you! Do believe time will heal. Love and hugs!!!

Robin, I am so very sorry about you and Sam. I wish I had sage advice that would make everything all better but I have not any. However, I do have {{hugs}} and a shoulder.

You have done such an amazing job with the kittens. Many people would not have even pulled them so close to Christmas, let alone deal with their super cootie issues. You be as picky as you want for them. You nursed them back from near death, you have earned the right.

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