First of all, the kitty in question is Hampton, and has he got a story!
This handsome tabby and white kitty is 6 to 7 years old. He was in an adoption cage at the PetSmart in Cranberry, just north of Pittsburgh, through another organization. One of the members of FosterCat recognized that he was sick and discovered he had a UTI.
After months of treatment, Hampton was finally placed into what FosterCat thought was a good home in Butler, PA, but several months later they found out that Hampton needed to have emergency surgery for the UTI. FosterCat reimbursed the adopter for the vet bill since it was well over $3,000.
Now it seems the adopter has decided to give Hampton back because a member of the family is afraid him and many other reasons. It may have been the constant care Hampton would need or the fear of his condition—UTIs can be life-threatening and therefore frightening to many people. Most of us in feline rescue and placement recognize that as a clear signal the cat isn’t wanted.
Hampton is very, very sweet and likes to be petted and wants to jump on laps. All he wants is love. The only issue is that Hampton needs to be on Feline CD for the rest of his life which FosterCat will happily buy if someone agrees to foster this poor guy. He’s been through so much, but he’s ready to give another human a chance.
And even if you can’t foster Hampton, you can still help him through helping FosterCat.
FosterCat is exactly that—an organization that fosters cats until they can find a forever home. There is no shelter, just a system of homes and people who are glad to open their hearts to a kitty in need. Everything in the organization is done by volunteers, and all fundraising goes either into direct care for the cats in foster or to promoting the organization to find new foster homes or to place cats.
No animal likes to spend time in a cage. Any shelter will tell you that an animal who has spent time prior to adoption in a foster home is much more likely to be relaxed about the transition to a forever home.
FosterCat was founded by a group of individuals who saw adult cats spending weeks or longer in cages in a shelter, often becoming less adoptable all the time as they became less socialized and more stressed, and often not transitioning well to a permanent home after living in a cage, sometimes returned to the shelter for behavior issues related to stress.
Fostering cats, most importantly, saves their lives because they are no longer in danger of euthanasia from overcrowding in shelters. Secondly, it keeps them in a good frame of mind while they wait for their dream home to come along, and if they have any health issues they can be more closely attended in a foster home. Fostering families can vouch for their personality in a much more realistic way.
FosterCat is set up to support the families who foster with medications, food and litter as needed plus any veterinary expenses associated with fostering the cat. How could anyone lose?
The volunteers of FosterCat get cats out into the public as often as possible to increase chances of adoption, and maintain their own website of adoptable cats, advertising the website address to encourage people to browse for their next kitty. The organization also participates in local “Adopt-a-thon” events and utilizes the cat adoption program at PetSmart, frequently cycling cats into the store and back home so they don’t spend too much time in the cage, but just enough to remain socialized about meeting the public.
I know that, when foster space opens up, they scurry around to shelters to pick up cats in danger of euthanasia, they keep in touch with rescue organizations and occasionally take private surrenders as they did for me when a large black and white cat walked into a meeting I was attending, and although I took him home with me I knew he would have been one cat too many at that time. I don’t have the room to foster but I was happy to send an adoptive family to them who ended up adopting two cats at two different times.
In addition, they are very careful about foster homes and adoptive homes, using an application for each and conducting home visits for each as well.
Volunteers for the organization don’t have to foster cats in order to assist. The list of volunteer activities is long and varied, from driving cats to vet appointments to helping organize the annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser.
If you’re interested in fostering or even adopting Hampton, you can contact FosterCat at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message along to me and I will be glad to forward it on behalf of Hampton and FosterCat. If you’d like to make a donation to FosterCat on behalf of Hampton or just to help them out, visit their website at www.fostercat.org where you can make a donation using PayPal or find contact information where you can send your donation.
The website also includes alumni stories from adopters who have reported back months or even years after the adoption, and a memorial page for any kitty, not just alumni.
And I’m pretty proud of that website—I designed it, and all but one of the kitties you see in the header photos is or was one who lived with me, at least as a foster.