Foster of the Month: Trudy

Growing up on a farm in Iowa, Trudy was often surrounded by barn cats.

“In the summertime my sister and I would wake each other up with kittens,” she reminisces.

Years later, during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, Trudy stumbled upon even more kittens..this time on her Instagram feed. A former colleague and friend of SAFe was fostering small kittens, and Trudy was inspired to do the same.

“With the lockdowns and all three kids at home, I thought it would be wonderful to have kittens and mama cats in our home!” Trudy says.

Trudy with her resident cat.

Challenges

The joys of kitten care come with their own challenges, and Trudy’s got plenty of stories to tell.

“We once had a litter of super spicy kittens who needed eye drops and oral meds multiple times a day, yikes!” Trudy says. “We used a towel to wrap them like burritos to administer the meds, but whoa! It was challenging!” 

Another litter developed the fungal infection ringworm shortly after Trudy’s family took them in. Though ringworm is highly treatable, it requires a vigorous regimen to keep the patients and their space healthy and clean.

Fortunately, like many of our fosters, Trudy gets by with the help of her family. The extra hands proved extra useful in special cases like ringworm.

“My daughter Eva would shampoo and rinse the kitties while I disinfected the room,” says Trudy. “Good thing those kittens were so darn cute and we were already attached to all of them!”

Trudy’s daughter Eva with two foster kittens, Butterscotch and Honey.

Rewarding Experiences

The positives of kitten-rearing have more than made up for the hard work.

“A big litter of kittens with their mama cat is my favorite foster situation,” Trudy says. “Teeny week-old kittens are so adorable, and it’s such a rare thing for anyone to see an actual litter of kittens nursing and making biscuits. They are pure sweet goodness!”

Having a constant supply of kittens has also made Trudy and her children extra popular among their friends.

“It’s been great for our kids to be able to have friends over to spend time with the foster kittens,” she says. “The most rewarding thing has been facilitating kitten and mama adoptions to friends and friends of friends, letting them get acquainted beforehand at our house, and seeing updates as they grow! 

Although Trudy already goes above and beyond as a foster, she’s found another way to help the kitties too. In her free time, this crafty cat lover makes gorgeous blankets for SAFe residents out of recycled cashmere sweaters. Even when she’s not on-site, Trudy’s impact can be seen and felt by the kitties who get to snuggle into her homemade blankets.

Advice to Future Fosters

With dozens of foster alums to her name now, Trudy offers the following advice to newcomers: “Start with a small number of kittens to get the hang of it.”

The proper room layout and equipment is also essential. Trudy recommends an opaque, multi-panel plastic pet playpen set in order to “contain little ones to a small area until they really learn how to find and use the kitty litter!”

Thank you to Trudy and her family for looking after so many mama cats and their families! Your care makes a world of difference to these little lives, and SAFe Rescue is grateful to have committed cat lovers like you on our foster team!

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