Tag Archives: foster cats

Meet Foster Cats No’s 27 – 34!

family

It’s been a bit hectic on the fostering front over the last few weeks….  First of all there was Olive and her five kittens: Alice, George, Ivor, Jack and Nancy.

Above: Jack, Alice, Ivor and Nancy

Olive:

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Olive had given birth to her kittens in someone’s garden.  Fortunately the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT) were called in and came to the rescue.  I took them on when the kittens were six weeks old, as their previous fosterers had a family emergency and were not longer able to care for them.

Alice and Ivor:

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All the kittens had been very well socialised by the previous fosterers, and were what’s known in the cat rescue world as ‘Bomb-proof’, i.e. super-friendly, super-confident and suitable for any kind of home.  Olive was nervous initially, but soon grew in confidence once she came to the conclusion that I was OK because: a) I wasn’t going to hurt her and was actually quite nice; and b) I was going to provide her with lots of food.  Actually it was mainly b) – Olive loves her food!

Nancy and George

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Olive and her kittens were with me for around a month before they went to the CHAT Lewisham rescue centre for rehoming.  As you can imagine it didn’t take long to find homes for this bunch of cuties, and they were all adopted (in pairs) within a couple of weeks.

Ivor’s magic wand tail!

ivor-tail

After Olive and co. departed I decided to take a break from fostering.  I’ve fostered almost continuously for around five years now and was feeling a bit burnt out.  I planned to stop fostering all together for a few months and then act as an emergency-only fosterer for Cats Protection.  Just in case you’re wondering why I’ve changed charity: I’ve been volunteering in the Cats Pro Greenwich charity shop for nearly four years now (18 Old Dover Rd, SE3 7BT – always good for a bargain if you’re in the area!).  Earlier this year I was asked to join the branch committee, and since then have become a lot more involved in the cats side of things.  I’m now the branch’s Homing Officer, and it doesn’t really sit comfortably with me to be fostering for one charity while rehoming cats for another, so hence the switch from CHAT to Cats Pro.

Anyway, the not fostering thing lasted for less than two weeks after a woman came into the Cats Pro charity shop and told me that she’d found a male kitten wandering up and down a very busy road.  She’d already been caring for the kitten for nearly three weeks – while she’d tried unsuccessfully to locate an owner – but was unable to do so any longer as her dog was becoming jealous and she was worried he may lash out.  I went to scan for a microchip (there wasn’t one), and discovered that the kitten was in fact female, around six months old and hadn’t been spayed.  There was nowhere else for the kitten to go other than back out on the street, so that evening, on my way home from the shop, I called round to collect Susie – as she’d already been named – and took her home with me.

Susie:

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I wasn’t too concerned at having my fostering break interrupted as Susie is an incredibly friendly, affectionate and generally bomb-proof kinda girl, who I knew would be easy to re-home.  I’d made a couple of home visits to prospective adopters earlier the same day, and thought that Susie would be ideal for one of the couples I’d been to see.  I rang them, they were very keen, and we made arrangements for them to come and meet Susie after she’d been spayed, microchipped and had her first vaccinations.  They came round this afternoon, it was love at first sight, they adopted her, and off she went to her new home.  I’ve since had a text to let me know that she settled in straight away.  Hooray!

susie

But I still don’t get to take my fostering break.  On Monday I received a call from our Welfare Officer, who’s a veterinary nurse at a rescue-minded practice which carries out a lot of procedures for our branch.  They’d taken in a young female for a neuter-and-return – she was one of a small group of cats who live in the underground car park of a housing estate and are fed and cared for by one of the residents.  However, when they examined her they discovered an old infected *collar wound under her right leg.  The wound needed surgery, which in turn required external stitches and then a buster collar (aka Cone of Shame) to prevent the cat from worrying at the stitches.  Obviously she couldn’t be returned to the car park in that condition, so now Holly (as I’ve imaginatively named her, given the time of year) is Foster Cat no. 34.

Holly

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The good news is that Holly is a charming, people-friendly, affectionate adolescent kitten (she’s around 9 – 10 months old), and I’m pretty sure I’ve already found her a home.  So once the stitches are out hopefully she’ll be off to pastures new, and I’ll restart my fostering break.  Wonder how long it will last this time?!

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*Collar wounds are inflicted by cat collars with an elastic insert which allows the collar to stretch if it becomes snagged on anything, so that the cat can escape.  The trouble with these collars is that they will also stretch if a cat paws at them, allowing the cat to pass one of its front legs through the collar, which then rapidly cuts into the ‘armpit’ area of the leg causing a nasty and very painful injury.  These elasticated collars are sold as ‘safety’ collars which really pisses me off as they’re not – strays with collar wounds are all too common.  A genuine safety collar will have a break-away buckle, which allows the collar to snap open when snagged, therefore making it impossible for a cat to step through the collar and rip its ‘armpit’ open.

Caturday Cat Pics #21 – Foster Family Update

edward and peter - foster kittens

Doris, and her sons Peter and Edward (above) have been with me for 10 weeks now.  As you can see, Peter (tabby) and Edward (black) are much bigger than last time I posted photos of them, and the whole family has settled down enough to come out of the pen they were housed in previously and be given the run of the room.

Doris (below) – aka Owl Face – is a really attentive mother who absolutely adores her two boys.  She’s only just stopped allowing them to feed from her.  And they’re 5½ months old… with big sharp teeth!  Doris’ chosen method of weaning her over-grown babies?  Vigorous bunny kicks to the head every time they tried to suckle – problem solved in less than 48 hours!

doris - aka owl face - foster cat

I’ve found out a little more about the family’s background since their last Caturday Cat Pics appearance.  Apparently Doris was given to someone as a present, who didn’t actually want a kitten, so decided the best thing to do under the circumstances would be to banish Doris to the garden, where she was fed but never interacted with.  I’m assuming that Peter and Edward were born outside in the garden, and consequently Doris and sons are semi-feral.  How they ended up dumped in a car park of a block of flats is a complete mystery.

edward - foster kitten

They may have had a semi-feral start in life, but I haven’t given up hope that they can find a home together as domestic cats.  They’ve all come an awful long way since their arrival here, and are now pretty confident around me.  No one actually likes being stroked yet, but no one runs under the furniture when I enter the room either, and the boys are happy to settle down on my lap for a snooze.   The whole family really enjoy playing games with me, and they all love being hand-fed cat biscuits.  In fact Biscuit Time usually turns into a rugby scrum – with me at the bottom of the pile!

peter - foster kitten

This week we reached a major milestone, and finally broke through the purr barrier.  Hooray!!  My money was on young Peter to be the first one to crack, but mum Doris beat him to it.  She’s purred twice in as many days – once when being hand fed biscuits, and again while playing The Stick Game.

doris & peter - foster mum & kitten

So, here’s hoping that the boys will follow mum’s lead, and next time round I’ll be able to report on a full set of purrs!

Caturday Cat Pics #19 – New Foster Family!

cat foster family

Meet Foster Cats No’s 24 – 26, more affectionately known as Doris, Edward and Peter.  Doris and her 12-week-old sons Edward (black) and Peter (tabby) were rescued by the Celia Hammond Animal Trust from a car park behind a block of flats in South London.  Another small group of cats had been rescued from the same location a few days previously; sadly this group included a kitten with a broken leg.  A dead kitten was also found at the scene.

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No one knows for sure how these cats ended up in the car park, but it’s most likely that they were dumped there.  A kind resident of the block of flats had been leaving food and water out for the homeless cats and kittens, but other residents objected to their presence and were removing the food and water and chasing the cats away.

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We’ll never know what Doris and sons went through prior to being rescued, but whatever it was has left them absolutely traumatised.  They were so utterly exhausted and shell-shocked that they barely moved for the first few days they were here; toys remained untouched and bedding completely unruffled.  When you consider how lively a pair of 12-week-old kittens should be, it really puts the extent of the family’s trauma into perspective.  Edward and Peter just didn’t seem to know how to play, and poor Doris was permanently rigid with fear.

doris-cfc

The family has been here for eight days now, and I’m pleased to report that they’re making progress.  Yesterday evening Edward and Peter were coaxed into a game with a feather stick, and this morning their bedding was all over the place and the water bowl had been upturned – a sign that they’d probably been wrestling each other overnight.  So it looks as if the two boys have learned how to play!  Doris (pictured above) no longer tries to hide behind her sons when I enter the room, and is now either sprawled out relaxing, or right at the front of the pen waiting for some food.  She’s also started to tolerate being stroked, and even stuck her head forward for a chin rub today!  No purrs yet, but I suspect she’s been on the verge a couple of times.

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This family of three have got quite a long way to go before they can learn to trust us humans, but they’ve make good progress in the last eight days, and I’m confident that they’ll be ready for their forever home in a few weeks.  So far young Peter is proving to be the bravest member of the family – even though he’s the smallest!

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Caturday Cat Pics #13

Spaghetti Western star Lee Van Cleef

I received some very good news this week.  Young Stuart, my former foster cat, has found his forever home!  He was chosen by a guy who had seen Stuart’s video and decided they were a perfect match. Continue reading

Caturday Cat Pics #12

This week Eric discovered that a bloke can’t even enjoy his God complex for 5 minutes without some joker interrupting.

“Behold!  For I am Master of the Universe; Lord of all I survey!”

Continue reading

WANTED: Forever Home For Cheeky Cat Burglar

Spaghetti Western star Lee Van Cleef

Regular Cool For Cats UK readers may already be familiar with Stuart, the magnificently moustachioed foster cat.

Last week Stuart and I bid each other a fond farewell, as the lovable little rascal Continue reading