Friday, August 6, 2010

Two new additions to our family- Feline Fridays

Two really great things have happened in the past couple of tumultuous months in our household.  First was the arrival of our foster kitty Baxter.  A great big teddy bear of a cat Baxter was instantly loved by our other three fuzzy kids.  He has frizzy long hair, great big mitten paws and the most laid back personality ever.
He had a very bad first three years to his life, born in a particularly dangerous feral colony in Toronto (bordered by two major expressways), he was a difficult cat for our trappers to be able to catch for his TNR (trap, neuter and release).  When they finally did, they realized he was far too sociable to be put back on the streets, unfortunately there were no foster homes available and back onto the streets he went (and was very upset by it).  A while later he was injured and caught again, this time to be placed in a foster home.  He was skinny and needed to be shaved from all his mattes, but he came around and settled in.
He was adopted to someone, which should have been a good thing, but after only a couple of months his new mom surrendered him to the Humane Society, who surrendered him to the Toronto Animal Services, and was immediately set to be euthanized due to overcrowding. 

Thank god one of our volunteers found out in time and was able to rush to his rescue.

By this time he was pretty scarred, but he came back into Annex Cat Rescue's foster program and in a couple of months ended up with us.  We felt pretty protective of him, and worried about finding him the perfect, amazing forever home.  Then we suddenly lost our beloved Topaz, and decided that we had to keep him, Topals would have wanted us to, and so did we.

We officially adopted Baxter back in May, and he has been our little bear ever since.

A week after Topaz died, we were contemplating dropping out of the foster program for a bit, when we were asked if we could take a tiny little kitten named Teddy.  Well, kitten therapy seemed like a welcome distraction for us and our cats, so Teddy entered our home and was christened Thurman (as in Thurman Merman from Bad Santa).

Turns out Thurms was a crazy little monster, cavorting around the house being a crazed lunatic who liked to bite, purr, snuggle and wreak havoc.  He had an eye infection when he arrived, then was promptly diagnosed with Giardia (which he gleefully spread around to everyone except the hubby!), then was diagnosed with a SECOND parasite!  Needless to say, it's a good thing he's adorable, funny and really good at sappy puppy dog eyes.


Him and Baxter particularly fell deeply in love, though we're all pretty crazy about him.  So two days ago we made it official, and adopted Thurman into our mostly furry family. Of course we are now the crazy people who own four cats!  And it does spell the end of our fostering career  (at least for the time being).

But we're proud to say in the three years we've participated we've placed 15 cats with wonderful families, two of them with us.  It's an amazing accomplishment, and only a drop in the bucket compared to some of the other foster homes in the program.  I highly recommend it to any one with the slightest inclination to help as it's been an incredibly rewarding experience.  Most cities around the world have both city or government run animal shelters as well as privately operated rescue groups for cats, dogs, ferret's and other animals.  It's generally a simple application with a home check to begin participation, and of course you can opt out at any time.

Maybe you'll find your new soul mate in the process.

In Toronto the following groups are all looking for volunteer help, not just foster homes (for instance I remain Annex Cat Rescues Special Event Coordinator).
Annex Cat Rescue
Abbey Cats
Toronto Cat Rescue
Toronto Animal Services
The Humane Society
and many others.

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