Kittens can be quite a handful!
This September, we’re shining the spotlight on Inma and Carlen who, along with their daughter, are celebrating their one-year anniversary as part of the SAFe foster family. Throughout their fostering journey, they’ve seen kittens make social breakthroughs, maintained meticulous medication charts, and learned firsthand that with much patience comes many purrs!
Why They Foster
During the COVID-19 lockdown, Inma and Carlen took in two kittens, Jade and Mickey. “It had been a while since we had young kittens in the home and it was so much fun, though our resident senior cat didn’t seem to agree with us,” Inma says. “Since we were staying put at home during the pandemic, we spent so much time with our cats.”
Two years later, Inma found out about a coworker fostering a mama cat and five kittens. Hearing how positive this experience was, Inma consulted with her family, and they agreed to try fostering themselves.
Left to right: Inma, Carlen, and their daughter with Rescue kitties.
Rewards + Challenges
“Our first foster kittens were extremely shy,” recalls Inma. “I still remember the first day when we brought them home, the day before school started last September.”
The kitten trio ignored the inviting setup Inma had prepared, dashing into a hiding space instead.
“We didn’t even have time to see what they looked like. They would sometimes hide inside the drawers of our desk. The first time we almost had a heart attack when we couldn’t find the kittens anywhere, only to find out that they were cozily snuggling inside the drawer.”
With a little time and frequent, low-key visits to their space to read quietly, Inma was able to earn the trust of these cautious cat sisters.
“When I least expected it, I would have a couple of kittens sniffing me, walking over my legs, and coming close to me. Patience was key and paying attention to the signs they gave us.”
Left to right: Domino, Ash, and Raven were the first fosters Inma’s family took in. Though shy initially, they flourished with patience and care.
Since then, Inma and her fostering copilots have shared their home with many more cats, each with their own set of charms and challenges. A kitten with potty training difficulties had a signature head tilt when her name was called, while a pair of kittens with upper respiratory infections required a medical chart but was great practice for Inma’s daughter, who wants to be a vet one day. (According to Inma, she’s the best at giving the cats pills!)
Advice to Future Fosters
For those interested in fostering, Inma offers this advice: “Do it! It is such a rewarding experience! Our lives have definitely changed for the better!”
But Inma also wants newcomers to be aware of the time and effort required to make a feline feel at home.
“Sometimes kittens need to get used to being around people. Pay attention to their body language and, if it seems they are receptive, pick them up and hold them. Sometimes I even sing to them! ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ has proven to be a favorite. Take many pictures and videos and be observant! And, above all, give them love and have fun! You will receive it tenfold.”
Thank you, Inma and family, for your continued commitment to cats in our community. We a-purr-ciate your dedication and diligence in building nurturing environments for cats of all shapes, sizes, and needs. Here’s to many more anniversaries with us!