Friday, June 12, 2015

Letting Go of Love

Faith hiding in Fifi's fur
Being a foster parent is a beautiful, rewarding experience.  It's also pretty tricky.  You want to foster and are good at it because one has the desire to nurture, heal, protect and have the skills to provide the basic necessities for it to live.  And yet, when it is time to give them up, you have to set all of those feelings and natural tendencies aside.  It tests your willpower and ultimately means you turn off your heart and turn on your head.

Three weeks ago one of the little foster kittens in our program, Faith, wasn't thriving.  She was sick, wasn't eating and Laura, our Foster Program Coordinator encouraged the foster family to bring the eight ounce kitten back to us for special care.  Laura took her the first night and was up every couple of hours syringe feeding her and monitoring her progress.  I took her after that thinking I would only have her for a weekend and then she could go back to her foster family and siblings.  As it turned out, she needed one on one care beyond the weekend which I was happy to provide.  During the three weeks I had her she was my constant companion.  She went with me to work, to meetings, to my friend's house and then back home again.  Everybody who saw her fell in love with her because she was just so darn adorable, would connect with everyone and purr the minute you touched her.  As she became stronger and healthier she started acting like a kitten - playing and climbing up onto everything and even engaging my own adult cats into hide and seek.  She loved to climb up onto your lap, then onto your shoulder and just purr in your ear until she fell asleep.  She was once again a thriving kitten and I had fallen in love. 
Faith waking up from a good nap.

Then came the hard part - giving her up.  As long as she was sick and still on meds, I knew she would remain in my care.  But once she was well, I knew the best thing for her, for me, for my own cats, and even the cats that call our office home, was to let her go.  That is what I mean by turning off your heart and turning on your better judgement.  So on Tuesday, she went home with another foster family who had kittens the same size as her.  She is doing very well, having a blast playing with her foster brothers the way kittens should......but there is a hole in my life that she once occupied.  I knew it was the best thing, but that didn't make it any easier.

So hat's off to everybody who fosters.  You are a special group of individuals who can see beyond the immediate satisfaction and selfish desire to keep them all.  For the greater good, they are passed on to live a wonderful life and your home is open to nurture and heal and protect the next deserving kitten or cat that needs all you have to give.

Meow for now,


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