May’s Foster of The Month is a rockstar foster who helps all kinds of cats. From scared kitties to ringworm-positive cats, all are welcome in Eva’s home and in that big heart of hers!
When asked about how she joined the fostering ranks, Eva responded, “I’ve always wanted to be a foster parent, and while I’m not quite financially ready to have my own kitties, I am SO happy to take in and raise any feline friends, especially with the amazing assistance and supplies provided by SAFe. I think it’s so important to give cats and kittens a space to grow into themselves outside of a shelter and to leave more space in shelters to take in more cats in need.”
We couldn’t agree with Eva more, as we’ve seen countless kitties who were shut down or scared when they arrived at the Rescue go off to foster homes where they have the environment they need to thrive and get ready to find a family of their very own!
Eva explains that every cat is rewarding in its own way: “I love medical cases where I can help my fosters heal but I also enjoy cases based on providing socialization.” Fosters who go above and beyond like Eva are so important for our ringworm-positive kitties in isolation and for shy cats who need to learn to trust humans!
For a lot of fosters, there are a few special kitties who are the toughest to let go of and that they will always miss. Eva says, “I think my most rewarding cat I ever fostered was Midge (formerly Katie Belle), who struggled with her weight, her bathroom habits, and joint pains. With all these issues, it’s hard to be a happy cat all the time, but Midge was a complete charmer regardless. As she settled in, her bathroom struggles cleared up for the most part, and I began to see her sassy and sweet attitude. When her now-parents came to meet her in her foster home, I knew they were the perfect match from the very start! Seeing their updates on Midge just cemented that belief, especially when I saw a picture of them taking her on a walk in a little stroller. She’ll definitely always have a place in my heart!”
Letting go can be difficult for a lot of fosters, but for Eva, there are valuable lessons and beauty to be found in the struggles: “Fostering has taught me how to love and let go. I was lucky enough that my first ever pair of fosters ended up getting adopted by my best friend. However, there are only so many friends and family members who can take cats and allow you to see them again. I continue to think about every cat and kitten that I’ve fostered, but with each case, I learn more about how to be satisfied and happy with the time I spent with them and the joy of finding them a new home, rather than being sad about sending them on to their new adventures. Fostering is definitely a character-building activity!”
Many fosters don’t do this fostering thing alone and Eva’s boyfriend is her right-hand man in fostering adventures! Eva explains that he has proved invaluable to cats with socialization issues: “Many cats I’ve fostered haven’t been comfortable around large men. Having someone like my boyfriend there to give them love and show them gentleness has helped many of my kittens and cats come out of their shell and lose their fears. A few cats have very much preferred men, and in those cases, my boyfriend acts as a stabilizing and comforting figure for them while they learn to become comfortable with me. He’s amazing!”
Being part of a community who has the same love for helping animals definitely helped with the jarring changes that many of us faced as we adjusted to a world of being socially-distanced. Eva says, “Fostering has acted as an avenue to interact with and change the world from the comfort of my own home. In addition, my fosters have given me so much of the love, entertainment, and companionship that has gotten me through COVID. Being home more with them has also shown me how they have even more love to give than I originally thought. Cats give back everything and more that you give to them, in the form of their cuddles, their hilarious antics, and their trust.”
Eva’s advice for anyone thinking about fostering? “Go for it! There are so many ‘what ifs’ and reservations that people have about taking in animals temporarily, but fostering will show you that all of the hardships involved are insignificant compared to the learning experiences and joy gained from the process.” She continues, “If you’re worried about not having supplies or time, work something out with a rescue like SAFe! Many rescues are willing to provide the necessary resources to help fosters and open up more room to help more animals. Fostering saves lives, both feline and human.”
We are so lucky to have Eva helping to save kitties! We’ve said it before and we will say it a million more times, we couldn’t save the lives we do without fosters like Eva everyone in the SAFe Rescue community.