Introduction to Cat Tails
When members of Homeless To Forever Foundation (HTFF) were discussing different subjects they wanted to blog about, as the person who was planning to write about cats, it was suggested to me that I write an introduction to my blog, Cat Tails. How I came to be in charge of the Monrovia Petsmart Cat Room, where so many stories have come from the cats who have passed through HTFF to their forever homes. So here goes.
Two and a half years ago on a late Friday afternoon, I drove off the Huntington exit from the 210. I was returning from a job interview miles away; I was tired and cranky. As always, I passed by the Monrovia Petsmart. From a distance I could see there was an adoption event going on, so I decided to stop. I thought that I probably needed some supplies anyway for my four felines at home. As I walked closer to the Petsmart, I noticed large handwritten signs saying ‘We need fosters!’ Well, years before I had fostered four 2-week old kittens and before that five kittens from birth. I considered these experiences highlights in my life – and I really needed a highlight that day! Of course, I kept a kitten from each of those litters, so you see the major weakness in me fostering. My mind deceived me, saying, “oh this would be something I could do while I’m job hunting that I care about-I could foster 1 or 2 and bring them to adoptions each week. It has been years since I had the time to do something for animals.” I already had my eye on a 4-month old brown tabby among the adoptable cats named Kiki, who as soon as I stuck my hand in to pet him, obligingly rolled on his back to receive rubs on his spotted belly.
I asked one of the volunteers who I should talk to about fostering. She pointed out Catherine, the founder of HTFF. I went to talk to her about fostering Kiki. We agreed that she would drop Kiki off to me that Thursday and I would bring him to HTFF adoption events on Saturdays and Sundays. Dear Reader, I was delusional! Of course I conveniently forgot what my husband would say about this. As soon as I happily told him we would be getting a foster kitty in a couple days, he turned red and yelled, “Foster my ass – we’re getting a 5th cat! We don’t have room, this adds more years to our commitment to these cats…,” and so on. You get the idea. Kiki came to live with us two days later. To sweet talk Don into this, I promised it would only be a month – surely Kiki would be adopted by then. The first weekend I took the baby to HTFF’s adoption event, put him in one of the crates and left him until the event was over. After two weekends, I would come back to Petsmart and half of me would hope Kiki’s cage would be empty, meaning he got adopted. But the other half of me was always delighted to see his little face when I came to get him!
Well, this went on for 3 weeks. The fourth weekend I felt ill and didn’t take Kiki to the adoption (felt ill because I considered him mine now and didn’t want to give him up). Meanwhile, my other cats had gotten used to Kiki, even my 2 year old silver tabby, Frankie. They were now wrestling buddies, but when Kiki came in the first day the look of Frankie’s face was, “how could you betray me!” He had been the baby. And Don would make menacing noises whenever the date came up – “It’s almost time for Kiki to go back.” I imagined him rubbing his hands together with an evil crooked grin…
You know of course that Kiki was adopted by me from HTFF. The inevitable result of someone who really isn’t suited to fostering and should volunteer elsewhere! Don resigned himself to another furry companion (he really is a nice guy). And I said to Catherine, “you know, I’d like to keep volunteering with your group, but I think fostering isn’t a great idea for me. My tendency towards being a really crazy cat lady is the problem. What else can I do?” She suggested I speak to Maria about volunteering in the catroom. I did, starting at one morning a week and quickly going to two a week. Then I was helping with Saturday adoptions and after about 9 months, I’m running the cat room! There is always work to be done in animal rescue groups and never enough people.
So, that’s how after two and a half years with HTFF, I am now going to try my hand at writing stories about the always fascinating feline creatures I have met during this time.