Elai lives with Eli, and has co-cared for a number of furries in the shared house since she moved in two years ago. This is what Elai has to share in our last blog post celebrating foster carers!
What have you learnt?
My mum never let us have any pets while growing up, so when I moved into this house, where my housemate already had a couple of cats of her own and was signed up for fostering, that was the first time in my life I actually got to live with cats (and now I would never be able to go back to a cat-less existence. So pretty much every single thing about fostering has been a new experience to learn, from every little detail about the proper daily care of cats with different needs, to slightly more abstract things like cat behaviour, and the enrichment of their environment, and even how to properly regulate my own attachment and expectations while still falling in love with every single cat and thoroughly enjoying their company for however long we have them. It has certainly proven to be a very fulfilling experience.
Tell us about your funniest experience fostering
This happened when we were fostering Nanathema (her RSPCA name was Hermione, but we never called her that), who was one of the liveliest, and the loudest and chattiest cat we’ve ever fostered, with never-ending energy. She was inherently hilarious, just by virtue of her playful personality and delightfully stupid face, but this was certainly one of her most brilliant moments. I was sitting on my bed, with my bedroom door slightly ajar, when I heard a cat quickly meowing up the stairs, immediately followed by my door bursting open as Nanathema barrelled straight onto it at full speed and leapt onto my bed. She did all of this while happily chirruping around the sock she was holding in her mouth, which she proceeded to drop onto my lap as a gift while excitedly yelling at my face and trotting around me, rubbing her head against me. She looked so incredibly proud of herself, having stolen one of my housemate’s socks from her clean laundry pile and brought it to me as a hunting trophy, that I couldn’t stop laughing for a few minutes. She was an absolute delight to have around, and I still love her dearly, even a year after she was adopted out. I always love getting new pictures and updates from her forever family, they’re a sure way to brighten my day.
What is the best thing about fostering?
Meeting new cats! All the time!! So many new cats!!! All of them great!!!! 😀 😀 😀
As much as I absolutely adore our permanent resident cats, they aren’t really the biggest cuddlers, usually preferring to do their own thing. But many of our fosters have been huge snuggle-pusses, very enthusiastically seeking out attention and warm cuddles, so they’re a great way to fill the need in my heart to always have a cat purring happily in my arms 😀
It’s also great to get to know each and every one of them, to really come to know all their different personalities, their likes and dislikes, the little quirks that make them unique. And cats are hilarious and delightful, they make life a lot more interesting and fun 🙂
It’s the easiest thing to fall in love with every single one of them, and I love seeing them go off to good homes, knowing that we gave them the chance to have a wonderful life. One of my favourite things is when the new families keep in touch with us, sending pictures and updates, because I love seeing how the cats are doing, even long after they left us! 😊 (especially if they were tiny kittens when we had them, and now they’re full-size? Incredible. 😛 )
How many foster fails have you got?
My housemate already had two foster fails of her own when I moved in!
Our current foster, Willow, who came to us at just nine-weeks-old and also proved to be completely perfect from the moment I lifted her up from the carrier she came in, and she straight away proceeded to purr and meow and rub herself all over my hands and climb on my shoulders. She is very drawn to humans, always meowing for attention whenever there is no one in her room, and immediately climbing on top of the nearest human as soon as she has the chance, falling asleep on shoulders and boobs for hours at a time, and sweetly licking noses and foreheads and fingers. Like all kittens, her never-ending energy often gives her the ‘Crazybrains’, where she will zoom all over the room at the speed of lightning, massacring every toy in her path like a fearsome hunter. She has a fascination for technology, always going for cables and moving things on screens, which makes me think she might want to be an engineer, and is very committed to research 😛 She has already destroyed three different dangly string toys in her enthusiasm. She gave me the priceless chance of dealing with a cat having a bathroom accident all over the sofa for the first time in my life, which I’m sure is a very valuable learning experience 😛