Monday, October 8, 2012

NYC & beyond: "Why I Foster Cats" by Debra Hoffman Knowles

Debra and her husband are Foster Volunteers with Cats in the Cradle Rescue in NYC. Debra has granted permission to post her recent essay below. By the way, Emily Rose pictured here still awaits the right adopter(s). See details in her Petfinder page.
Foster Mom Debra writes, "I love the petfinder pic where she's rolled onto her back-it's so her. She is the first cat I've ever met who loves belly rubs! What a lovely girl she is!!!!"
WHY I FOSTER CATS by Debra Hoffman Knowles

A few weeks ago I was asked by a Young Woman why it was that Animal Rescue was so important to me-what about people who were in need. My answer was  The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” (Gandhi).
   The simple truth is that I can't pass by and do nothing. It rips my heart to get the 'To Be Destroyed' list on FB, and I do what I can, which right now, is to share, and hope that someone down that line of animal rescues, and those with open hearts and maybe a bit of space, will be able to make a miracle.
    I think about that when I look at the Miracle that is Emily Rose. A plump, plush grey and white cat with large owl like eyes and a funny series of chirpy 'meows' when you say 'Emmy Emmy Emmy Roooose', Emily Rose was left in a vets office in her carrier. When it became obvious that no one would return for her, the vet, instead of calling a rescue, bought her to CACC. For a large, plush, sweet and terrified 'mid aged' cat, Emily was in grave danger. Even though she was declawed, the 'kill' list can be in the double digets some nights.
    That we found out in time, that she was pulled by a small, local Queens Rescue was either luck or a Miracle. Emily Rose arrived with my husband, in our 21 year old jeep on a warm evening. We had no seperate place for her-we set up a small cage in the bedroom, where she would share space with our cranky oldster, Natalie the Natcat.
     Frightened, it was quickly apparant that Emily Rose had been cared for well. Indeed, she was probably much loved, for she's a sunny, sweet, talky girl, with wide eyes that still sometimes reflect her puzzlement at what's happened. As I've watched her adapt to life with a Clowder of 5, including a one year old bullying male, I marvel at the Magick that is CAT. Emily has begun to come into herself.
    From day one, I began networking. Rescue friends, cat friends, former adopters, all were contacted. Emily Rose has so many factors on her side-she's funny, chirpy and loving. She doesn't dislike other cats, and enjoys being petted and talked to and loved. She asks for only patience and love.
    She has had a couple calls...calls we hope will pan out. I will miss her when she goes, as I have missed other fosters.
    But why do I rescue?
    Recently, in an email, from an Adoptor who has a cat we fostered now named Zoe: 'She's found a world of wonder at our summer cabin, gazing out the window at birds, chipmunks, and once, a bear. She hid for 2 days after seeing the bear. She is Queen of all she sees, and over all our hearts." As I read this I had to smile, remembering another wide eyed love, a small tortie with a funny little meow. She had gotten a home with friends of my catsitter, and I had cried for three days, missing her. She had, in a short space of time, become family.
    Did I miss her? Yes. But emails like make me realize that Magick is afoot.
    And so, as I take a deep breath, and watch Emily Rose meow along with my others, I know why I do rescue.
    Reasons to consider opening your home as a Cat or Dog Foster Parent:
1) You will always feel good about coming home and knowing your Foster is waiting along with your other family, for a meal as opposed to waiting to be euthanized.
2) You will have many purrs, kisses, or big wide eyes to greet you.
3) You will get to meet wonderful fellow fosters, and meet the best animal people you could ever imagine.
4) You will never hear a complaint from your Foster.
5) You will be an Agent of change in a positive way.
6) You will be loved unconditionally.
7) You will always see 'adoption' in a very different and personal way.
8) You will be a hero-and it will come so easy.
9) You may be saving a cat or dogs life...but they'll be saving yours, too....you'll understand when you Foster the first time.
10 You will be a part of something bigger and more positive than yourself.
11) You will know you made a difference, in a way that will change your life forever...
Emily Rose is the current name for kitty formerly called Smokie Blue
She is still seeking her forever home! Her Petfinder page is:


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