“Mama, pleeeeeeease, can we get a cat?” Our two girls issued this desperate plea hundreds of times over several years, and still, my husband and I wouldn’t budge. Our frequent travels precluded us from keeping pets, yet we wanted our kids to know the joy of animal companionship. What to do? As a birthday present for our oldest, we signed up to volunteer with SOL at the PetSmart centers. During one of our shifts, the respite care section of SOL’s fostering brochure caught my eye. “I can do this!” I thought.
What is Respite Care for Foster Kitties?
At SOL respite care means temporarily caring for fully vetted rescue kitties in your home. All food, supplies and veterinary care is provided by Saving One Life. You provide the love, care, and supervision of the kitty. SOL uses respite care for kitties that need a place to go for any of the following reasons:
Why Choose Respite Care?
When I first met Carrie, she said she was excited for our help as many fosters aren’t interested in respite care. “Why doesn’t EVERYONE want to do this?” I wondered. What a perfect fit for our nomadic lifestyle! Respite care is so flexible. With stays ranging from just a few days to a maximum of several months, our fosters have always fit perfectly into our out-of-town schedule. The girls liken it to borrowing books from the library – we check one out when we’re home and turn it back in when it’s time to leave. And since we welcome so many kitties in a relatively short amount of time, we get a glimpse of myriad personalities.
Sixteeen Foster Kitties Later!
It’s been about a year and a half since we joined the rescue, and we just bid farewell to our 16th foster. (I keep a folder on my computer to help hold the memories.) We’ve enjoyed so many firsts:
Sixteen kitties in about as many months. Sixteen lives who have changed us more than we have theirs. We look forward to the firsts that all the rest will bring. Each tells a story, and each reminds us of so much that we still have to learn.
Saying Goodbye is Hard and Rewarding
As with any foster, it’s always hard to say goodbye. But letting them go stretches us and helps us to love them as fiercely as we can for the little window in which they’re ours. I’m so grateful for all the respite fosters who have passed through our home since joining SOL. I love how so many come to us like shadows, hiding behind the couch, then quietly grow to trust our family right onto the bed at night. They each steal a little piece of our hearts when they go, but we know that perfect home is out there somewhere.
Please adopt, don’t shop!
You can find a list of our adoptable cats and kittens via the button below