Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Drama of a Foster Based Rescue

This post should be titled: "Things I Shouldn't Have to Deal With". Sure, we rescue cats, pay bills, deal with adopters and foster homes. But when things go bad in a foster home, it's always disturbing.

I received an e-mail from a foster home to move a cat. Nothing unusual. Sh*t happens. But as the day progressed, the e-mails started sounding more urgent....They started out with, "Can we please move so-and so?" By the end of the day.... "The cat HAS to go today...my boyfriend is threatening to throw the cat outside..."

The alarm bells went off. "Throw the cat outside????" This had been a very responsible foster Mom. What is going on? I didn't ask many questions. It was 8:30 at night and I knew something really bad was going on at that home. I called another foster Mom that lived near her and asked her to pick up the cat. God bless her...she did it. She left her warm home with her family and picked up this poor cat from what I think was an abusive situation. I have no idea what was going on...but the young woman that had been fostering him was very upset. The poor girl. I wish I could help her too.

I can't begin to write about all the stuff that has happened in foster homes throughout the years. We've had some very dramatic situations. I try really hard not to dwell on these things or my head would spin off my neck like a top. I really do believe that people's intentions are GOOD. But when you're dealing with people, stuff happens that isn't always predictable. Isn't it that way with any job?

I think about my own life. When I was young, I took care of my cats. They were neutered, vaccinated and loved. I didn't trim their nails, and I was grateful that they weren't sick much since I was always poor. I moved a lot, went through a bunch of different relationships. My apartment looked like a Salvation Army showroom. But God help the man that wanted to throw out one of my cats.

I've spoken with a few other rescues throughout the years and some of them want nothing to do with a foster based rescue. "It's a hassle", they'd tell me. There are some days I understand why. But in my opinion it is the BEST way to rescue cats. Without foster parents we wouldn't be able to help people choose the right cat for them. Without foster parents our cats would be in cages, or I'd end up with 100 cats in my house and a divorce.

Without foster parents - I'd lose 90% of my friends. I really love these people that help me and our cats. They accept me as I am, and we have a common goal and bond.

For the good, the bad, and the ugly....I'm grateful for every last one of them.


Social Mange said...

For all women with animals...the minute a man threatens your pet, the man has to go.

Because next it will be you.

Megan said...

You're so right.

I would toss any man out the door that was abusive to my kitties.

Pets are innocents; they rely on us fully for their wellbeing. To betray that trust and abuse a pet is unforgivable in my eyes.

My aunt (the writer of this blog) is one of my heroes. I wish I could do as much as she has done, but my two rescue-cats are all I can handle at this point in my life.

Social Mange said...

In case that foster reads this column....from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association website...

OVMA's SafePet program is dedicated to assisting women in leaving abusive partners by providing temporary housing and care for their pets. More information is available on the OVMA's web site at http://www.ovma.org/pet_owners/safepet.html