The Pets Of Spring

21 Jan

The Pets of Spring

Spring comes early here, so I’m already all alert. Will we get some polar vortex? Some insane May heat wave over a hundred °F? All of the above?

Time alone will tell. That could take until April.

Meanwhile, with my usual boundless optimism, I’m wondering how much digging my screwed up feet and ankles can handle, whether I will ever take my dogs for a walk ever again, and also fostering kittens, which I can do without taking my dogs for a walk. I just have to take care of them and usually Mom until everybody is ready to have cat shots and/or get spayed, and also my job is to snuggle the kittens, meaning teaching them that humans can be a whole lot of snuggly fun.

I don’t actually believe I’m all that good at this. I’m good at taking care of them and not scaring them. I’m good in crises.

But, the job is to snuggle the kittens, to play with them. To interact with them while they are just getting used to what reality might be.

But mostly also the job is to let the kittens snuggle you.

I have rarely felt so out of my depth as I did when I started getting it about how little I knew about working with abandoned kittens and a shook-up foster mother cat. She was left at the shelter, close to giving birth. Her kittens were born defective. “They were just wrong,” the shelter manager told me. They had to put them down.

But it was kitten season…within a few days, abandoned kittens arrived, all way too young to be weaned.

Thank you, Humans!

So the Angel’s deal I made with our local shelter manager was to foster this poor sweet cat who’d already gone through so much, but was already tending to her foster kittens from two different litters, all abandoned callously by humans, three of these kittens were dumped there sans mother when they were about ten days old.

The kittens all got adopted when they were old enough, and the mother cat was adopted by a mother’s children who wanted to get her a nice cat, because their mom was old and her previous cat had recently died of old age. And my foster mother cat jumped in a son’s lap and went home again.

That actually happened with Jess, too, when I gave her up. Jumped into her new human’s lap.

We’re good at this.

But then there was the part about how my mad tortie invaded the foster space and the foster mom threw herself at me again and again, while I was working to drag Charlotte out of there. Because she grew up there, as one of the first foster kittens.

Once I got Charlotte out the door, I slapped a ton of antibiotic cream on the Mom cat’s rather deep scratches.

Since Jess got trapped and upscaled to the Manor Farm, Char has been confined to the house. She’s been okay about that. So this season should be easier, having gotten past some of the lessons-for-idiots stuff.

I look forward to this. Fostering really rocks. It’s changed my life so much.

It’s difficult in some ways, but it pulls you out there. It’s expanding.

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