A story for those of you who might be considering Foster Caring:
On Christmas eve, 2017, Verona, together with her Mother and 3 siblings were surrendered to a Victorian pound. Given the current law, because they were surrendered, they could have been immediately killed, had it not been for the intervention of Vic Dog Rescue, who rescued them. Verona and her siblings were approximately 8 weeks of age. Verona was the runt of the litter and had been injured – her leg had been damaged somehow; thankfully, not permanently.
When Verona arrived to me as a foster, she was small and shy; she hid from everyone, including me; she did not like to be touched and if I tried to pick her up, she cried out in panic, as though she were going to be hurt again. Given this, I must assume that the damage to her leg had been human treatment; perhaps mistakenly trodden upon or dropped by a child.
I decided, the best course of action was to leave her, to give her love and attention without touching her and hope that she would come around. Gradually she decided I was not too bad and started to give love back in her own way – she would walk right up to me and look at me with her big round eyes as if to say, “I think I like you; I think I trust you”. She started following me around the house, wanting to see what I was doing and be part of the action. One day, she came close and lay down beside me. Next step, she let me pat her and then one day, when she was about to be in harm’s way, without thinking about it, I lent down and picked her up! It was fleeting, but I held her.
Verona has been with me for 12 months now and she has come such a long way. Recently, she came beside me and tentatively placed her two front paws on my lap; when she realised where she was, she pulled away. A few days later, I was elated when she climbed into my lap, again fleetingly, but never the less, she had chosen to be with me.
During the last few weeks, it has become a morning ritual - Verona climbs into my lap for a cuddle; she purrs contentedly and happily lays with me.
- Yes, foster caring can be demanding.
- Yes, foster caring requires patience.
- Yes, foster caring can be emotionally draining.
- Yes, I cry when a fostered pet moves to their forever home.
However, the rewards far outweigh any of the above. Each morning, as Verona climbs into my lap, I smile contentedly, knowing where we have come from. My pleasure at watching her grow into a confident and loving young cat is immeasurable and I happily relax and have another cup of coffee, an extension to the precious time, I share with my beautiful Verona.
If you are thinking about Foster Caring, I suggest you stop thinking about it, just do it – there are so many beautiful pets, like Verona, who need a transitional, loving home, to help them become adoptable! The rewards and the joy that foster caring brings to each and every day are unsurpassed.
My foster family can be visited at - www.instagram.com/christinesfostercats/