Archive for July, 2013
I had been a foster parent for KittyKind for almost a year when I first met Misty… A scruffy-looking, extremely agitated, and downright LOUD young calico who was found in a box outside of the Union Square Petco. As KittyKind had no space at the shelter, I didn’t have much of a choice as to who I would bring home that day… or certainly I would have chosen a more “mellow” cat to share my tiny studio apartment with indefinitely. It didn’t take long for me to discover that poor, howling, smelly Misty was in heat and would make sure that I did not get a moment of sleep. I contacted KittyKind almost immediately to get her an appointment to be spayed because I did not know how much more I could take … I actually deemed her “the most obnoxious foster kitty ever” and my friends agreed that her behavior was truly unsettling. Luckily, I got an appointment three days later and Misty returned home as a new woman. She was still a bit scruffy looking and very vocal… but she had quieted down a bit and we became more comfortable with each other. Still, I did not have any plans to adopt her, believing she would probably do best in another home where there would be more space. So, a couple of weeks later, after she recovered from her surgery, I took Misty back to KittyKind’s adoption center, and took in a series of other foster cats in her absence.
I never missed any cat before like I missed my Misty (I’ll admit that I do sometimes pick favorites)… My apartment just seemed too quiet without her. And I even missed getting pounced on as soon as I turned off the lights… a habit that I first found rather frightening. I wanted her back… but still was very reluctant to adopt a cat because of my African Grey parrot, Juju, whose health issues were burdensome enough. I feared the responsibility of committing to another animal and still wished to continue fostering as I found it very rewarding… especially after seeing the cats that you took care of, nursed back to health, or helped socialize get adopted by loving families. Every time I visited Misty, she would turn away in her cage and ignore me; when I asked Miriam if anyone had expressed interest in her, she confirmed that Misty was very ornery in her cage to the point of not being able to handle. Misty’s personality had done a complete 360 from her behavior with me, which completely broke my heart and made me lose confidence as a fosterer. For those of you reading this, cage-stress is not all that uncommon among animals. It is not until you bring them into your home that their true colors really begin to show… if you meet a cat who you are thinking of adopting, but who seems unfriendly or antisocial, PLEASE give him/her a chance! Misty is a perfect example of a cat whose confinement in a cage was the determining factor for why it was so difficult to adopt her.
Anyway, after seeing Misty so upset, I talked to my KittyKind colleagues and decided that I would give Misty a break from the cage and try to get her adopted out of my home … which obviously never happened since I am writing this now. I simply could not give her back for a second time. It was totally out of the question. So on June 2, just days after graduating from college, I officially adopted my first KittyKind cat, Misty. Today, I am proud to say that we are very happy together in a new apartment and I even find her intermittent whininess to be very endearing, among many other things. She is just such a good girl. All my Misty asks from me is a little bit of love and affection. This very special cat made me realize just how much I had to give all along. And after everything the two of us have gone through together, I am still very much a fosterer. Who knows… I might just adopt a few more cats someday!