WHAT YOU CAN DO
I’m always happy to shout out both organisations, the Humane Society and Furbabies Cat Rescue because both organisations need donations and volunteers. You can donate money of course, but they also accept food, litter, toys, blankets, etc. They provide everything for their foster families on top of caring for the animals that are physically in the shelter. There are also plenty of ways to volunteer. When I first started fostering for the Humane Society, I also volunteered in the shelter on Saturday mornings, cleaning the enclosures and playing with the kittens that were waiting to be placed in foster homes. I loved doing that! The Humane Society also had volunteers on the adoption floor for cats, dogs, and other small animals. Not to mention the dog walkers! And Furbabies definitely needs more foster families.
Even if you’re not in Longmont, Colorado or Birmingham, England, there are likely organisation near you that need your help. Do some research about what’s nearby and how you can get involved. It’s seriously the best volunteer work I’ve ever done!
UPDATE ON JAKE AS OF 2 APRIL
Well, you guys. The day has come. We took Jake back to the cattery this evening because he’s officially been adopted! I was hoping we would get to meet with his new family, but he’s spending the night at the cattery and will be picked up tomorrow. They assured us that they are a lovely couple. She has experience with shy cats in the past, don’t have children or other pets, will keep him as an indoor cat, and plan to build a cat sanctuary for him. It sounds like it will be a really great situation for him, which helped ease the pain of saying goodbye.
We really enjoyed our last few days with him and are so glad we got to be a part of his life. We helped him get acclimated to home life and find out what kind of forever home would best suit his needs. A few days before he left, I was talking to our neighbours and they mentioned that their own cat had passed away in February. She said, “The soul of the house is gone.” (I would have tried to convince them to adopt Jake, but they said they feel they’re too old to get another cat.) What she said has really resonated with me in the last 24 hours since he’s been gone.
I can’t figure out if it’s because he’s the only single cat I’ve fostered or maybe because he’s the oldest cat I’ve fostered, but it often didn’t feel like a fostering situation. When I had four or five kittens living in my bathroom, it felt more like a temporary situation for everyone involved. But when Jake was taking part in our family dinners (both in eating his food at the same time as us and in licking our plates clean after we were done), he felt like family. When he would curl up between us in bed every night, he felt like family. I’ve found myself looking for him in the window when I’ve gone into the house the handful of times I have since he’s left. I’ve found myself looking over the edge of our bed for his little ears. I’ve caught myself almost calling his name.
This is probably the hardest goodbye with a foster kitten I’ve had, but I know he’s going to a fantastic home that will love him so well and give him the life he deserves. If we felt we could have give him that, we definitely would have kept him. I think it’s even harder than saying goodbye to my own cats in Colorado because at least I get updates about them from my mom and get to see them when I’m back.
We’re looking forward to fostering again soon, but for now, we’re just really grateful for our time with Jakey Jakerson.