A young woman with bangs smiles at the camera while a small kitten pokes its head out from the top of her hoodie.

Foster of the Month: Rebecca S.

With the warmer months a.k.a. kitten season fast approaching, SAFe Rescue is lucky to be able to send so many young cats to wonderful foster homes like Rebecca’s. Rebecca has been doing so much for little ones over the years, and we’re so excited to share her story as March’s Foster of the Month!

Why She Fosters

It all started with a YouTube channel.

“I was a fan of Kitten Lady’s [Hannah Shaw] videos on YouTube,” explains Rebecca.  “I learned a lot from them, and always had it in the back of my mind that when I had time I would foster.”

When Rebecca found herself working from home in 2021, she recognized the opportunity to pursue her fostering dream. Three years and several litters later, Rebecca has become a champion for small kittens, especially those with extra medical or socialization needs.

“The most rewarding experience has been seeing kittens who are super scared start to get comfortable around humans,” she says.

Rewards + Challenges

Rebecca has taken on a variety of cases over the years, including undersocialized kittens and kittens with ringworm, a common fungal infection. In 2023, she found herself looking after a pair of sisters with both social and medical challenges.

Peach and Daisy were already wary of humans, then they contracted panleukopenia (or Feline Parvovirus), a serious viral infection that required them to spend time in the intensive care unit. Thankfully, they pulled through, but now Rebecca had the task of getting them socialized.

Fortunately, Rebecca had learned a lot—both from her Kitten Lady research, personal experiences, and resources provided by SAFe’s Foster Team—and she knew that patience and persistence were key. With a little extra effort, she could show the kittens the world wasn’t such a scary place, after all.

“I would sit with them in their space, letting them get used to me,” she says. “Eventually, they were relaxed enough to start playing, then start snuggling with me. By the time they were ready to get adopted, they always wanted to be in my lap!”

SAFe’s Foster Specialist Michelle applauds Rebecca’s hard work.

“Anyone who has done this sort of behavior modification knows that it can take a lot of time and patience and respecting a cat’s boundaries and body language,” Michelle says. “Rebecca does such an excellent job.”

Sisters Peach and Daisy were sick and scared when they started foster care, but with Rebecca’s help they learned to come out of their shell.

Advice to Future Fosters

To those considering the foster life, Rebecca says: “Just start doing it! Especially if you start fostering through SAFe, everyone is so kind, supportive, and willing to help you through the process.”

As someone living in a one-bedroom household with other pets, Rebecca also offers these practical tips:

  1. On space: “Kittens, especially the young ones, don’t need a lot of space. In fact, [for health reasons] it’s better to keep them contained in the early days.”
  1. On cohabitating with other animals: “They’ll need to be separated from your household pets. I keep my fosters in my bathroom for most of their stay. I also have two resident cats who don’t love other animals, but it’s pretty easy to keep everyone to their own space.”

Finally, Rebecca wants to remind future fosters how ultimately rewarding the experience can be.

“I was worried saying goodbye each time would be hard, but the best part about fostering is that if you’re feeling sad about your foster friends leaving, you can sign up again and meet someone new!”

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