Thursday, March 14, 2019

Our Life as Foster Parents

We’ve had a foster cat at our house the past couple of months. She went home Tuesday evening. We kind of miss her.

Her parents morphed into snowbirds this winter - and I must say, they chose a good winter to do this, what with all the subzero temps and snow we’ve had - and so they needed a home for their beloved Blackie while they were basking in the hot sun down south. Tim and I agreed to take this task on. 

We’ve never done the foster parent thing before, so weren’t exactly sure what to expect. We have two cats of our own, and they are both quite old. Seventeen, to be exact, and pretty set in their ways. Our biggest concern is that our two would not be very receptive to Blackie. 

However, our cats are extremely mellow and while they exhibited mild curiosity when Blackie first arrived, that was about it. 

Blackie, on the other hand, had quite a lot to say about her new surroundings and her new siblings. Blackie, as it turns out, is a very vocal cat.

Hiss. Hiss. Hissssss. Growl, growl hissssss. Hhhhhisssssss. GRRRRRRooowwwwl. 

We never once heard her meow. We don’t think “meow” is in her vocabulary. Nope. In the entire two months she lived with us, although she did far less hissing and growling as time went on, she never actually meowed. The closest she ever got to a meow was a less abrasive growl. 

It didn’t take her long at all to get settled in. The first night she made herself at home with our daughter Katrina, who was still home on Christmas vacation, and so Katrina’s bed and bedroom became Blackie’s bed and bedroom. That worked wonderfully, as that area is one we normally keep closed off and so our cats don’t frequent it. We put her toys and her cat bed in there. Now mind you, she didn’t touch them the entire time she was here. Heaven forbid that she’d use them. We spread her blanket on the bed and that became her sleeping area. 

During the day she hung out with me - and our other two cats, because, as cat people know and non-cat people don’t know, cats really are quite social and like to be with people. They just aren’t in-your-face, demanding attention all the time, like dogs. They are more passive. So wherever I go in the house, the cats are always nearby. If I am sewing, they are in the sewing room. If I am card making, they are in my studio. If I am working at the computer, they are perched nearby. If I am reading a book, they are vying for my lap. Or sitting nearby on the window seat or on another chair. That’s the way it is with cats. The perfect kind of companionship. 

Blackie would get up bright and early each morning and sit with Tim while he ate breakfast and said his morning prayers before going to work. She didn’t miss a day. The other cats and I don’t bother - we stay sound asleep at that unreasonable hour (Tim gets up at either 2:40 or 4:40, depending on his shift. In my book, that’s before God gets up.) But Blackie was tried and true and always joined him. What a trouper! She would greet him with her gentle growl and hop up into the dining chair next to him so he could pet her and brush her. I suspect this was her favorite time of day. No competition from the other cats.

On the night her mom came to pick her up, Blackie was at the open door with me. She heard Mom’s voice and her ears perked up. I could see that she was excited. She stayed at the door, listening and watching. However, as soon as her mom walked in and greeted her, she turned and walked away, with both her nose and her tail in the air, in a huff. “If you think I’m giving you the time of day after you deserted me for two months, you can think again!” 

It’s awfully quiet around our house now. It’s going to take me awhile to get used to it.


  1. We had never had pets in the house but one summer we reluctantly agreed to keep our daughter's cat while she worked her summer job during college break. I am not a pet type person so it was surprising how I did learn to like the little critter. Only thing I did not like was that she went into the basement of our old house and found toads to play with and of course, had to bring them up to the main floor so she could give me a gift. Gifts I was not very appreciative of. LOL Now when we go to visit she will still come up and rub against our legs. But we just heard she is in kidney failure now so I think soon we will be missing our little friend. In cat years she is about 88 years old.

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