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questions on being a foster Mum to cat

redhed
January 11th, 2007, 07:03 PM
Hello...
I decided that I might just go "have a look" at the animal shelter to see what they had for kitties these days. Although I have been having a hard time deciding if I want to replace my beloved "lost" cat. It is so painful when something happens to them because I think of my pets as family members not "just" pets. There were 2 females available for adoption at the shelter....neither really said "pick me". There was a male that they had sent down to the local pet store that I stopped in to see and although he seemed a bit shy he finally came out of his cat cave to rub against my finger. The animal shelter lady said perhaps I would like to "foster" one of the cats to see if they are the right fit. Seemed like a good idea although I know it would be hard to return them if they aren't . Well I have the male here at home and he is hiding in a box...the girls at the pet store said they hadn't really seen him come out of the cat cave there. It seems to me that when my cat first came to live with us she hid for a day or two.......although my two "grand kittens" that came to visit over xmas weren't shy at all. I know that this guy has had a bit of a rough go of it tho. He's about 5 years old and came from a home with two cats that were surrendered due to a new baby's allergy. When he went to a home with the other cat....one of them wouldn't use the litter box so they went back to the shelter. Then he was taken to the pet shop with folks coming and going all day. Then a trip in my car to my home. He is a gentle soul as it took some pulling to get him out of the cat cave and from behind a big desk that he made a beeline to when I got him home and there was no growling or heavy resistance. He is happy to let me scratch his chin and he seems to like being brushed although it was difficult to do while he is in the box ( he has long hair....and by the way he has 3 colours.............I am a bit suspicious of whether he really is a boy....aren't only girls 3 colours?????) I haven't been able to get a look at the appropriate spot myself....because he just wants to stay in the box and the long fur.
I guess I am wondering if it is a cruel thing to foster an animal if they are eventually going back to a shelter ? Especially a shy one. I filled out an application form etc so I may do it again......even if I keep this guy/girl? I do hope he/she comes out soon so that we can see if we like each other enough to make it permanent. The other question I have is how long might I expect it to take for him to come out? I believe they would like him back before the beginning of the week if I am not keeping him....give him a chance for someone else to adopt him. I still have probably unreasonable hope that maybe my cat will find her way home come spring...if she is in someone's home right now she won't want to be going outdoors....it's very snowy here and extremely cold right now. The litter box was well used during the winter months...never in the summer. Thank you for your help.........redhed

Frenchy
January 11th, 2007, 07:16 PM
It sounds to me like this cat has been moved around wayyy too much! Poor baby , cats need time to get used to their new home, after all his ordeal, he needs more than a few days. My opinion. If he lets you pet him it's a pretty good start. If he goes back to the shelter, it's only going to make things worse for him . It would be great if you could keep him . :fingerscr

badger
January 11th, 2007, 07:28 PM
I found your post very touching. Obviously your heart is still heavy, and yet you have opened it a crack to admit this stranger. Frenchy is right, it will probably take a good few days, you may have to sign off on the deal before he comes around fully, but I'm sure he will reward you in the end.
The signs are good. Hiding is normal. Just touch - or brush - him where he allows it, and talk to him alot - the voice is super important - he'll come to you in the end, once he knows you're not just another one-night stand. He has been through alot lately, wonders where he belongs. Leave a radio on low near where he hides, maybe buy him some cat treats that you can hand feed him. Keep us posted!

TeriM
January 11th, 2007, 08:31 PM
He sounds wonderful and very agreeable considering what he has been through lately. I agree with Badger's advice and wish you luck.

redhed
January 11th, 2007, 08:57 PM
Thank you Frenchy, Badger, TeriM

I know you are all correct about this poor guy. He must wonder where his next stop would be. I think it's safe to say that I don't see myself taking him back to the shelter or pet store. He's gorgeous...beautiful eyes ( I will get a photo of him when he comes out....he will come out won't he...LOL ) and post it here. I just feel a connection with him....and compassionate t'wards him. I thought I wanted a female....which by the way he might be? The whole 3 colour thing and all....any comments? My husband , my son who lives at home and myself have all been telling him what a good kitty he is ( we talk to animals like people of course ) and he has been munching on a few treats ( in his hidey box ) and some Max cat crunchy food......I hope he remembers where I showed him the litter box is..... I must remember to ask the shelter where his first home was.....if it is near where I live in a fairly small town I guess it wouldn't be unheard of for him to try to go back there. I'm hoping that he will be able to come out in the back yard with me while I do my flowers in the spring. I think it would be very upsetting to the first family if he wandered back there as I was told there were tears when he was surrendered.... I would like them to know he has a nice home tho. Thank you all for your comments. I'm also thinking that this fostering might not be something I want to do on a regular basis.........could end up with all as permanent guests...LOL Gonna go give him another chin scratch now.
redhed

TeriM
January 11th, 2007, 09:09 PM
LOL, sounds like you've already decided to keep him :) . I would make sure that he is kept indoors until you are very sure he has bonded with your family and feels comfortable. He will also probably come out at night when the house is quiet to do some exploring.

MyBirdIsEvil
January 11th, 2007, 11:33 PM
aren't only girls 3 colours?????

Actual calicos are mostly females, though rarely a male is born, usually sterile.

However, a cat can have 3 or more colors and not be a calico. Whether or not a cat is calico is determined not just by color, but genetics. A cat that doesn't fit the right genetics isn't actually calico.
Also, 3 or more colors doesn't = calico, it has to look a certain way.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortoiseshell_cat

I used to have male siamese mix that was black, white, tan and dark brown, but not mottled. All the colors were seperate and he had a raccoon mask around his eyes. I've seen this similar pattern in several male cats.

What does this kitty look like?
Maybe if you post some pictures we would have a better idea. ;)

heyjude11
January 13th, 2007, 12:26 AM
I really hope you keep this cat. As you said, he's definitely had a rough go of it. Any move is extremely stressful for a cat. Multiply that by the number of times he's been placed and you can understand his shyness. Plus the fact he's been separated from his family and two cat companions.
Spend time with him, either speaking quietly to him or just being in the same room with him. Make sure he has places (like the box) where he can go and hide. Let him come to you on his own terms. He is surely feeling overwhelmed and it will take time after all he's been through until he begins to feel safe. However, it sounds like your making progress already. It seems he wants to trust you. It might be a good idea to find out from the shelter what kind of food he has been eating. Any thoughts on a name?
Good luck and please keep us posted.

redhed
January 15th, 2007, 07:59 AM
Well Mushroom ( I have been calling him Moo shoo...just don't like vegetable names LOL ) had started coming out of his shell and actually slept under my bed night before last. I had no luck contacting the shelter on Saturday to ask some questions about him...but got thru on Sunday...one of my questions was if he had for certain originally surrendered with another cat. The answer was "yes...and she keeps calling for him"......so........well you know what I did don't you. Well "Angel" is bolder and more social than he is......walked right in like she owned the place.....he came out of hiding when he heard her meow...then she basically ignored him while she checked out every nook and cranny of the house....him following in hot pursuit. She is 7 and he is 5 so he looks up to her. Now the first family that took them in after they were surrendered returned them saying she wouldn't use the litter box. The ladies at the shelter told me she seemed very clean there and wondered if perhaps the problem was that the litter wasn't cleaned often enuff or that they were used to their own box. A volunteer that was there took me to her home and lent me a covered litter box.....we have a homemade cover for the other one. Well we hadn't been home more than half an hour and she remembered where I showed her and hopped in there...and has been in a few times since. I don't think that will be a problem. They both seem very clean and had no fleas or conditions when they were surrendered.......still trying to find out if they lived close to me or when they had their last check ups shots etc. So they were cute yesterday afternoon laying on my bed cleaning each other. Then she slept for awhile on my son's bed and then the rest of the night between my husband and I. My only concern today is that my son is on days and my husband and I both work this week ( I have a week on week off jobshare ).....I have to decide where I'm going to let them have access. They are both lovely cats with different personalities......and I'm getting attached to them. I hope if my cat should decide to come home in the spring that they will all get along...Ha Ha. I will try to get a picture of both of them to attach by the weekend......redhed:cat:

Frenchy
January 15th, 2007, 11:41 AM
It's so nice of you to take the another one too ! :thumbs up Will you foster or adopt them ? :cat:

heyjude11
January 15th, 2007, 12:26 PM
How wonderful that you took in (adopted?) Moo Shoo's sister. Sounds like a win-win; you got your female cat and Moo Shoo was reunited with his sister!
Hope all continues to go well!

TeriM
January 15th, 2007, 02:14 PM
Awww, warms my heart to hear happy kitty stories :lovestruck: .

TeriM
February 19th, 2007, 12:01 AM
Any update on how these two "fosters" are doing?

kashtin's kin
February 19th, 2007, 12:51 AM
redhead, that's a really touching saga you have going there. It sounds like things are really falling into place; so great that Moo Shoo and Angel have been re-united :goodvibes: . My thoughts are with you and your :cat: critter family...so true that we don't find cats, so much as THEY find US:thumbs up . Do keep us posted, and I know we're all nuts for pictures!!

Note: any typos can be attributed to the Former Feral older kitten now writhing all over the keyboard (mere months ago she was truly wild...bit and scratched me BADLY when I was dumb enough to try to touch her-when she was distracted enough to have forgotten my presence for a moment..now every time I sit down my little 'lap leech' is right there!).