Friday, January 27, 2012

A Multi-Cultural World

I had to meet with a family today who wanted to give us her 5 kittens.  She was very nice, and apparently the cat got out before she could be spayed.  I don't believe in taking kittens from the public unless there's a plan in place for the Mom.  I've known one rescue in particular that takes kittens from some guy over and over again, but never offers to help him with the Mom cat.  That sounds very wrong to me. 

The kittens were dropped off at the vet clinic where I received a call a few moments later - the vet wanted to adopt one of the kittens!   Grrrrrrrrreat!   That's one adopted, 10 million to go!  :)

 I was talking with another foster Mom today about how difficult it is to screen adopters when I have trouble understanding their English.  Toronto area is a mega-multicultural area with so many different people from so many different walks of life.  Some accents are harder for me to understand than others.  Over the phone, there are some folks who don't sound like they're speaking English at all.  They want to adopt soooo badly, and they sound very frustrated as we both try to muddle through an adoption screening process. 

Every once in a while a get a phone call from a young child asking about adopting a cat.  They sound so cute and it's always for a non-English speaking parent.  I often wonder how what I say translates into their language.  When I screen someone to adopt one of our cats, I rely on the tone of voice and the manner in which they answer the questions to determine honesty and integrity.  I can't do that when I'm speaking with a 7 year old. (hmmm....or can I?) 

Then there are those people who speak English well, but some things don't translate the same way.  For example, I will often get the question:  "How much to buy?"  We all know that rescuers prefer the word "adopt", so I try not to bristle.  Nine times out of ten, the adopter is wonderful and I'm glad that I pressed on with adoption. 

I had no intention of rambling on about this today.  But those of you who read this blog know that I often don't plan what I'm going to write and just start typing.  That's not always a good thing :)

I'm happy that it's Friday and happier to learn that we just "sold out" of cats at one of our Petsmart locations.  (Did I just say, "Sold out"?)  LOL!   Happy Friday!


Allison at Novice Life said...

Yes Beth, wouldn't that be "adopted out"? LOL, I totally know what you mean ;)

Wednesday said...

I can really relate to the language problem. I live in a university town with a large international community. I work in the insurance business and I am always having a conundrum with foreign-language speaking customers. I often have to deal with children translating for their parents, but it makes me very nervous to having someone sign a legal contract for insurance when their 10 year old is explaining it to them! However, I don't want to ever give the impression that we don't welcome international customers!

It's great to hear that you "sold out" of kitties at an adoption location. Way to go!

House of Carnivores said...

It's okay to ramble, especially about adoption things! I've responded to a few posts over here, and I want you to know that I frequently read your blog! I am also giving you an award over at my place:

Please enjoy.

Laurie said...

Tim and I encountered the language problem with Clementine -- the little boy had to translate for his parents and it was such an off experience, but they were soo happy to have her and we could tell they were a great fit for her :)