Heather started her caregiver journey in 2021. She fosters cats for CARE and has dogs of her own. When the pandemic hit, Heather began working from home and saw our plea for foster caregivers for kittens. She had the time and space in her home and decided to give it a try.
Did you have any concerns or hesitation before you began fostering, and if so, how has it played out for you?
I was worried about getting support if my kittens got sick, but my mentor and the Cat Welfare Committee are so responsive. I have always gotten all of my questions answered and good advice quickly.
What kind of support do you receive from CARE?
Cat food and cat litter have been reimbursed and there are always supplies and medicine at the office. I also get good advice from my mentor and the Cat Welfare Committee.
What’s your favorite aspect about fostering? Why do you do it?
The kittens! I love watching them learn and grow. They are so funny and have such individual personalities. I love it when they finally start liking me and recognize that I am their caregiver. They are absolutely adorable.
What advice would you give to someone considering foster caregiving?
Please do it! It’s really rewarding to foster with CARE. Not only are your expenses taken care of, but you will be assigned a mentor who really cares about you as a foster and your foster animals.
What’s your favorite story about one of your foster animals?
I had one kitten, Peter, who had a bad health scare. He had a respiratory issue that turned into pneumonia and one night he stopped breathing multiple times. After speaking with the Cat Welfare Committee, I was advised to take him to the emergency vet. After two back-to-back emergency vet visits, he was given meds and I got advice on how to manage him when he stopped breathing – which he did about 10 times the next night. Needless to say, Peter and I became bonded after that experience. He would sleep on my pillow at night and follow me all over the house like a puppy. Since the incident, Peter developed a chronic head cold. He would sneeze and had a runny nose and the vet said he would probably have this on and off for the rest of his life. I didn’t think Peter was adoptable so I was happy to keep him and call it a foster fail. One day a family came to visit some other kittens in my house and they fell in love with Peter and asked if they could adopt him. I have always believed that I cannot continue to foster if I adopt the cats in my care but I was so sad to see him go. He was such a friendly little guy that I knew every family that visited would want to adopt him. But to continue to foster, I let little Peter go.