Friday, October 16, 2009

Our Path to Five Cats Part Two: Fostering The Greek Gang

As previously mentioned, I kept in touch with Pete and Lily's foster mom; occasionally sending her updates/pictures of The Twins (her name for them, not mine). When we went to Petsmart to get Lucy, Pete and Lily's picture taken with Santa, Christy's husband Brian WAS Santa. That was an amusing adventure, by the way; trying to get two kittens and one prancy dog to look at the camera at all at once. Well, they didn't so we ended up with two separate pictures that I sliced together to make one decent shot. We were not supposed to be in the picture, either, but Santa couldn't manage all three (I wonder what THIS year's photo shoot will be like?)
Lily would not look (in this shot)

At one point early this past Spring, Christy asked me if we'd consider fostering kittens because, "You'd be a perfect foster home!" Yeah, right. But, over time, I started thinking about it more and more; another adventure, something else to experience. So, after we got back from our anniversary trip to Charleston, Christy and Brian came over to a) see Pete and Lily (who hissed at them, go figure) and b) talk to us about fostering.
Long story short, we decided to give it a whirl. Mr. B, however, made me promise up front that we WOULD NOT adopt any of the kittens we were about to foster. I promised (oops).
Christy had a litter of kittens in mind for us; a batch that were not too young (they wouldn't require bottle feeding or dosing for worms...ugh) but WOULD require a lot of attention because they'd been found in a storm drain at IBM (what IS it about kittens and storm drains, anyway?) at seven weeks and they were borderline feral. She told me there was one in particular who was going to really need extra special attention because he was terribly, terribly shy. In fact, she was so concerned about him that she was considering handing him over to Sue (the owner of Hobbes House), who obviously had a lot more experience dealing with this situation than the B's. In the end, though, we all decided he'd be better off coming along with his siblings.
Ok, true confessions here; one of the things I was most looking forward to about this whole deal was naming them. Obviously I knew it was likely that their forever home would change their names (after all, we changed Pete and Lily's (they'd been part of "The Scooby Gang")) but, still, what fun! Mr. B and I tossed ideas around and finally decided on Greek Gods as the organization prefers the kittens to be named things in sets or groups so that they can refer to them as such; "Make sure you bring The Greeks Saturday!" or, "Hey, how many of those bean cats do you have left (Lima, Pinto, Cocoa, etc.)?" BTW, even though I have NO intention of fostering ever again, I still come up with cute names for groups of kittens.
So, we'd be getting three boys and two girls. Mr. B and I decided on: Zeus, Hera, Ares, Athena and Apollo (I wanted to be true to Greek mythology and use Artemis instead of Athena (Artemis and Apollo were twins) but Mr. B did not like Artemis and since he was putting up with this whole fostering thing, I acquiesced). We'd assign each kitten their name once we got to know their personalities a bit.
Even I am not sure who is who in this picture, although I am pretty sure Athena is right up front

The Greek Gang arrived on a rainy Thursday in early June. Before they came, we'd prepared our middle guest bedroom for them; removed the big dresser, but a small night stand in the closet (this is where the cat box went), put plastic sheeting on the bed and an old comforter on top of it, etc. In hindsight, it really would have been better had we moved the bed out of the room entirely, but, we had no place to store it (as it was, the big dresser stood out in the upstairs hallway for several months).
They were so tiny (9 weeks at that point) that all five of them fit inside a small cat carrier. Most of them were huddled together in the back but one of them looked out at me and gave me a little hiss (turns out this was "Shy Boy"). After we got the cat box and food and water set up and toys scattered around (and the door shut), Christy let them out where they immediately made a bee-line for underneath the bed (the primary reason why the bed should have been removed; it definitely made it more difficult to get at them/made it easier for them to prolong their socialization).
After Christy left, I put a baby-gate on the outside of the bedroom door to keep them from running out when I opened the door up (although at that point, this seemed an unlikely prospect given their sheer terror). Pete and Lily immediately went over to the door and started to sniff about. I went downstairs to ponder our new responsibilities.
In addition to providing food, shelter, care, love and affection, we'd have to take them to get fixed at 12 weeks (plus rabies and other shots). A week after that, they'd be given the green-light to go to Adopt-A-Thons, "Thons" for short. Thons happen every Saturday and Sunday, 3 hours each day, at the same Petsmart where I first met Pete and Lily and Hobbes House. They asked that we commit to at least three per month, but, obviously, the more you attend, the quicker the kittens will get adopted (ha ha ha). So, three weeks before they were due to get fixed and 4 weeks before their first Thon, our primary responsibility was to get them SOCIALIZED. I mean, people are not likely to adopt a kitten that hisses, shies away, runs away, won't allow itself to be petted or picked up, won't purr, etc.(that is, most people except yours truly).
With them all huddled under the bed refusing to come out, this seemed like quite a tall order indeed!

The one who will be Zeus emerges as the fearless leader (the next day)

To be continued after we return from Orlando...
Mrs. B

1 comment:

Margot said...

Love it, Amy. Even tho I know the conclusion, am looking forward to the next installment.