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It was another ordinary day at work.
Then, our rescue officer brought in a box of five kittens. Someone had dumped them out, and the box was found next to a dumpster. Just another day in the life of a rescue officer at SPCA.
Finding a box of abandoned kittens was nothing extraordinary. But this one changed my world.
For the first time in my 26 years, I became a fosterer (fostering my puppy three years ago doesn’t count because I eventually kept him).
The babies were about a month old. I volunteered to foster two of them until they were ready to be put up in the shelter (the other three went to three other fosterers).
The bathroom in my bedroom became their home for the next month. They adored the dry area of the bathroom (and would discover, and pulverize, the wet area in a few weeks).
I agonized over their feeding and bowel movements, because babies wouldn’t take much milk from the syringe. After some research (and quite a bit of flailing), I switched to milk bottles. That worked much better. But Seal Point kitten didn’t eat much, and we couldn’t get them to pee or poop. More agonizing.
Fortunately for me, work allowed me to bring the kittens in. Travelling with animals is a pain when you don’t drive and public transport hates animals. Thankfully, kittens were small and adorable, so most taxi uncles were happy taking them. We got Seal Point kitten checked by the vet, because he hadn’t pooped in four days (the joy that later overwhelmed us when we finally got him to poop is indescribable).
Lesson learnt: When facing difficulty getting kitten to poop, use a damp towel to stimulate the anal area. Your average textured towel, not damp tissue paper.
Watching them sleep quickly became a hobby.
Then their eyes started developing and they were able to see clearer. They stopped bumping into things and started to learn about the litter box.
I loved watching them play,
and watching them eat heartily on their own without soiling themselves was pure joy.
They started gazing at us,
and began to explore their surroundings.
They ventured beyond the second floor,
and eventually met the dog.
The babies continued to grow,
take power naps,
and conquer things.
Their scratching instincts developed, and they discovered the scratch post.
Then it was time for their first vaccine.
On that day, they also met their potential (and eventually, future) family.
It was back to more conquering,
and being silly.
And then, five weeks after I first brought them home, it was goodbye.
The babies went home with their newfound family. Their happy ever after.
☁ ☁ ☁
I no longer have to rush home to feed the babies (now I just rush home to walk my dog), and there are no more sleepless nights spent worrying about their bowel movements. No more paws clawing at our feet when we use the bathroom, and my dog and cat can have their scratch post, beds, and room back.
Our lives are back to normal, and there’s no sign that the babies were ever here, save for the tiny scratch marks on my mats and the collection of photos we took.
I can’t say it wasn’t tempting for us to keep the one we grew so attached to, and for a while we debated over whether we could/should. But we knew they would do so much more if they had each other, and keeping them would mean we wouldn’t have much time/energy left to save other babies who needed saving.
Fostering is for people with giant hearts. Because I feel like a piece of my heart went with them as I watched them leave.
But knowing that my babies are together in their own happy home being a good family’s new babies? Knowing that they’re being loved and cared for, and will be adored by their family till the end of their lives?
That, in itself, is so much happiness.
Happy Source: Fostering