The job of fostering cats and kittens is relatively simple: love and care for them until it’s time to give them back. But sometimes, you find you just can’t let go – and that’s when you become a #FosterFail.
I’m happy to report that we have officially failed, for the first time, at fostering. After a total of 18 cats and kittens fostered in our home, we’ve finally found one we simply cannot stand to let go.
Actually, we did let Galaxy go for a little while – 11 days in total – but we couldn’t bear it and got her back just as soon as we possibly could.
Here’s her story, in timeline form:
April 2 – Galaxy arrived at our house as a brand new mom, just past kitten-hood herself, with four tiny, day-old babies to nurse and raise. We had an amazing two months fostering them and fell in love with all five – but most of all with mama Galaxy.
May 28 – She and her 8-week old kittens were kissed, hugged and taken back to Humane Society of Delaware County to be spayed and neutered. Sadly, Galaxy likely never saw her kittens again after leaving that cramped carrier.
May 29 – A day later, all four sweet babies went to their loving, forever homes to recover from their operations… but poor mama Galaxy remained at the shelter. Even though she’s only a year old, the stigma of “adult cat” is hard to get past when there are adorable kittens to be had.
I checked the HSDC website daily, hoping with all my heart that Galaxy would be adopted and finally find her forever home. Over the next week or so, I mentioned a couple of times to E, at night while lying in bed, that I couldn’t stand the thought of her in a shelter – even a great one like HSDC. He never said much and I didn’t push the issue.
June 3 – The day before we were to leave for our long-awaited Kelley’s Island getaway, E asked me out of the blue if Galaxy was still “stuck at the shelter.” I checked the website, replied that yes she was… and burst out crying when he said “This is ridiculous. That cat is amazing. Why isn’t she here at home with us if no one else is smart enough to adopt her!?”
We left the next day for our trip, but before we did, I emailed our contact at the shelter to ask if we could “foster to adopt” Galaxy until we could find her a perfect forever home – or get her used to living with dogs. She agreed and we made the arrangements. We were all absolutely thrilled! It made the return home from vacation all that much sweeter to know we were coming home to “rescue” Galaxy.
June 8 – Galaxy came home to our house again after 11 days at the shelter. She seemed a bit traumatized at first, but now she is comfortable, free and happy in our basement. She has an entire floor to herself and no stinky dogs bugging her. We’ll do those re-introductions in time – for now, she is stress-free and queen of all she surveys.
She will keep hubby company during his long work days, and Z and I visit and hang out with her lots. She has couches, windows, a literal wooden castle complete with catwalk, turrets, secret hiding places and moat, and a sliding glass door to look out at squirrel, chipmunk and bird views. She gives it all two paws up and says she is very, very happy to be home!
Will she stay and be ours forever? Our commitment to Ms Galaxy is that she’ll stay with us until we can find her a better home – meaning one without dogs where she can roam free without canine annoyance. And if, over time, she decides she doesn’t mind the dogs and wants to come up and reign over the entire house, that’ll be just fine with us.
Long live Queen Galaxy! May we always be worthy and serve her majesty well. She is our happiest failure – we have absolutely no problem being a #FosterFail.
Have you ever been a “foster fail” and adopted an animal you were meant to give back to the shelter or an adopter? We’ve been tempted many times, but I think we were fated to have Galaxy. She and our daughter adore each other! I’d love to hear your foster, adoption or animal rescue stories in the comments below or over on Facebook.