Kittens, kittens, kittens! Some people think that once summer is over we are through with kittens but it’s not true. With climate change we are finding that the cat breeding cycle is changing too. It’s starting a little later in the year and continuing further into the fall. We now pretty much can count on having Christmas kittens, which was unheard of even 20 years ago. Unfortunately, about this time of year, with school starting and everyone’s lives getting back on a schedule we lose a lot of our foster homes.
Playing with kittens is hard work but someone has to do it! Is that someone you? We’re looking to replenish our foster roster and need people (singles, couples and families) to step up and take these cute babies into their homes so they can grow up out of the shelter. It provides them with attention and socializing in a home environment so when they go to their permanent homes they are already accustomed to the sounds of TV, vacuum cleaners, telephones, children, other pets and more. Actually, who needs television when you have a litter of kittens romping and playing? They are immensely entertaining! Sure you have to scoop a litter box and do mid-day feedings, but isn’t it worth it?
Sometimes we have a mom with a litter of young kittens, which makes it even easier for you. She does all the hard work of feeding and cleaning the babies – you just get to enjoy them (and care for the mom, of course). Want your (older) children to experience the miracle of life? Don’t let your cat breed – foster! They get the same experience with the benefit of a lesson on volunteering and giving back to their community. Some people worry that it will be hard to part with the babies when they are finally big enough to come back for adoption but hopefully by then all your friends will have fallen in love with a pair of the kittens and voila! You have helped to find them homes (with people you know so you can keep tabs on them).
Don’t worry if you do become a foster failure – what we affectionately call people who end up keeping one or two of their foster babies. It does happen, but we help you be realistic about what you can take on permanently. It also helps to have another litter of needy babies ready when you bring in your litter for adoption. It can help ease the transition to know you are needed to help others! That part really does get easier with each litter. Knowing that they are all going to good homes also helps.
If you think this is a challenge that you are up for – please stop by, or download and fill out a foster application so we can get you into the program. We provide all the food, litter and medical care – it only costs you time and space in your home! Most of our fosters help with the orphan kittens that come through our doors. Depending on their age and condition, they will need anywhere from just a week to two months of care – you can decide what you are up for. Occasionally we get a cat, dog or rabbit with an injury or illness that needs someplace to heal and, again, you can specify what you are comfortable taking on.
We still have a good two months of kitten season and we are out of foster homes! Now would be the perfect time to sign up to try out this program. The kittens are counting on you!
“Get Them Back Home” Campaign – Every lost pet should have a way to get back home. FREE pet ID tag and a back-up microchip are available to all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. No appointment necessary, just come by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wed. 1-6:30; Thurs.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30; Sun. 1-4:30.
Fix-it Clinics – Free spay and neuters for cats; and $60 dog surgeries (up to 80 lbs.) for low-income Rohnert Park and Cotati residents. Call 588-3531 for an appointment.
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at email@example.com.