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Fostering

04 February 2017


FOSTERING 

HAVING HAD CATS ALL OUR LIVES, WHEN OUR BELOVED SAM DIED THREE YEARS AGO AGED SIXTEEN  WE DECIDED THAT WE WOULD KEEP TO JUST OUR TWO FELINE SISTERS, BUT AFTER A WHILE WE REALISED THAT WE WANTED TO HELP OTHER CATS THAT NEEDED A HOME IN SOME  WAY. AFTER  CHATTING WITH A FEW PEOPLE WHO ALSO VOLUNTEERED WITH CATS PROTECTION WE DECIDED TO TAKE THE PLUNGE AND OFFER OUR SERVICES AS FOSTERERS.

MAKING THIS DECISION WAS A BIG COMMITMENT ON OUR PART AND ALSO FOR THE CHARITY. US, BECAUSE WE WERE AGREEING TO TAKE ON THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CARING FOR A CAT/CATS OR KITTENS. SOME OLD, SICK OR  SUFFERING FROM STRESS DUE TO VARIOUS PROBLEMS, SOME ENCOUNTERED FROM THERE PREVIOUS HOME, STRAYS WHO HAD NOT HAD HUMAN COMPANY OR THE COMFORTS OF A HOME FOR WHO KNOWS HOW LONG. THIS COULD INVOLVE DAYS,WEEKS OR MONTHS OF CARE BEFORE A NEW HOME WAS FOUND FOR THEM. CATS PROTECTION WERE ALSO PUTTING A LOT IN THIS BY SUPPORTING US IN EVERY WAY BOTH FINANCIALLY BY SUPPLYING A PEN AND ALL THE EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO FOSTER A CAT AS WELL AS A SMALL TEAM OF EXPERIENCED VOLUNTEERS  TO PROVIDE HELP, SUPPORT AND ADVICE.

THE FIRST STEP WAS FOR US TO MEET SARAH AND KAY, WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR  HOMING AND WELFARE RESPECTIVELY. THE FIRST DECISION TO BE MADE WAS IS THERE A SUITABLE SPACE OUTSIDE FOR  AN ANIMAL PEN. THE ANSWER TO THAT WAS YES, JUST OUTSIDE OUR CONSERVATORY WHERE A VERY UNPRODUCTIVE VEGTABLE PATCH USED TO BE. SECONDLY WE HAD A REALLY GOOD CHAT, WE ASKED AS MANY QUESTIONS AS WE COULD THINK OF, LIKE FOR EXAMPLE,  WHAT WE WERE LETTING OURSELVES IN FOR AND TO BE FAIR THEY ALSO TOLD US ALL ABOUT THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF FOSTERING. WE  DECIDED AFTER A VERY SHORT TIME THAT THIS WAS WHAT WE WANTED TO DO AND THEY GAVE US THE GO AHEAD.

THIS IS WHERE THE TRUE COMMITTMENT OF THE CHARITY COMES IN AS THEY THEN PURCHASE A PEN FOR YOU. THIS IS NOT CHEAP BUT IT IS OF COURSE AN ESSENTIAL PIECE OF EQUIPMENT NEEDED BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE CAN BE DONE.  KAY MEANWHILE COMES TO VISIT AGAIN AND GOES THROUGH THE PAPERWORK AND ONLINE DUTIES REQUIRED WHEN YOU ADMIT AND REHOME A CAT.

IT IS QUITE AN EXCITING DAY WHEN THE PEN ARRIVES AND IS ASSEMBLED IN THE POURING RAIN. A FEW DAYS LATER THE ELECTRICS ARE DONE AND AFTER A FEW MORE FINISHING TOUCHES  WE ARE FINALLY READY TO FOSTER!

THAT WAS ABOUT EIGHTEEN MONTHS AGO AND WE HAVE CURRENTLY REHOMED TWENTY SEVEN CATS PLUS KITTENS. JUST AS KAY AND SARAH HAD TOLD US WE HAVE HAD HIGHS AND LOWS BUT MAINLY ALL HIGHS. WE HAVE HAD SOME WONDERFUL AND REWARDING TIMES WITH OUR FOSTER CATS, ALL VERY DIFFERENT CHARACTERS. WE THOUGHT WE KNEW A LOT ABOUT CATS BUT WE ARE LEARNING  MORE ALL THE TIME. TO SEE A CAT THAT FOR WHATEVER REASON FOUND  ITSELF WITHOUT A HOME BUT AFTER OUR CARE AND THE COMMITTMENT OF CATS PROTECTION HE OR SHE CAN FINALLY GO TO A  LOVING NEW FOREVER HOME, IT HAS  GIVEN US A GREAT FEELING OF SATISFACTION AND ACHIEVEMENT. WE HAVE A LOVELY COLLECTION OF BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS  OF SOME OF THEM TO KEEP AS A PERMANENT MEMENTO. IT IS AMAZING HOW WELL AND HAPPY THEY LOOK WHEN BACK IN A HOME ENVIROMENT. WE WILL NOT KID YOU INTO THINKING THAT IT'S ALWAYS EASY AND WHILE YOU HAVE A CAT IN CARE THEN IT IS 24/7 UNTIL THEY LEAVE YOU BUT WE ARE SO PLEASED THAT WE MADE THE DECISION TO FOSTER AND WOULD RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE WITH THE TIME AND COMMITTMENT TO HELPCATS. WE HOPE WE WILL BE FOSTERING FOR MANY MORE YEARS TO COME.

AS WE HAVE IN THE RECENT PAST HAD A FEW FOSTERERS RETIRE WE ARE NOW IN URGENT NEED OF SOME NEW PEOPLE TO JOIN OUR SMALL FRIENDLY GROUP. WE ARE ALL VOLUNTEERS WHO HELP AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER, PLEASE COME AND JOIN US, IF NOT AS A FOSTERER THEN YOU MAY BE ABLE TO HELP IN OTHER WAYS. PLEASE HAVE A  LOOK AT THE VOLUNTEER SECTION OF THE WEBSITE OR CONTACT OUR CO-ORDINATOR FOR A CHAT, LYDIA SHELTON ON 01271 860787.

CAROL AND NICK WARD