I never really thought of myself as a cat rescuer. I have always had a soft spot for cats but rescuing them wasn’t something I thought I could ever do because it would be so heartbreaking. As an adult, I had only adopted cats from rescue organizations – first from the ASPCA in New York then from Kitten Rescue in Los Angeles because I knew that they had amazing cats that needed homes – and it was the right thing to do.
Then somehow I became a cat foster.
It was really all accidental. A couple of years ago some feral cats started appearing outside of my building. A neighbor had seen them and started to feed them then I joined in. I contacted Kitten Rescue, since they were the only rescue I knew, to see if they could help. Not knowing anything, I asked them to help me trap them – thinking, of course, that they would trap them and find them homes. I learned that was impossible for feral cats as they couldn’t be tamed, but they could help me find homes for tame cats we caught. I didn’t realize that meant I would be fostering them. The initial trapping led to me fostering 2 semi-feral cats, Oreo and Smokey.
It took a year and a half, but I found Oreo and Smokey an amazing home together. It couldn’t have been more perfect. During that time, I fostered one other cat, Tangy, and found him a home relatively quickly. Once all of them were settled, I didn’t think I’d foster again. It was hard, as I became very attached to these cats. They were part of my family. But it was also very fulfilling to find these cats their forever homes and make them and their permanent humans happy.
A couple of months after everyone settled into their new homes, someone from Kitten Rescue needed a kitten to be held for just a few hours. I volunteered since it was close to my house and my cats didn’t seem to mind. Then I decided to foster the kitten. But the kitten needed a friend, so I fostered another kitten as well. I found them a home quickly and together. And then I got more kittens to foster.
Finding amazing homes for cats is a high. It feels so good when it happens. You’re saving a cat’s life and making a human’s life even more fulfilled by helping them add to their family. I miss all of the cats that I have fostered, every single one of them. But I couldn’t be happier that they have amazing homes.
Pam Allison has been a Kitten Rescue foster for about two years. She has two cats of her own – Wally and Casey – who have mixed feelings about all of the visitors in their home. You can see more pictures from her family here.