Friday, September 22, 2006

Group 1 Day 1
Let's start to get caught up. In the beginning...
Before I could start fostering I had to attend an orientation class. There we covered all of the diseases and disorders commonly seen in unwanted and found kittens, which could be transferred to humans (zoonoses), which could be caught by the "resident pets" (I have 3 cats, remember), and what some of the care ramifications would be, depending on who had what. Of course, the shelter can't take financial responsibility for treating you or your pets, so you have to be willing to sign up for that risk.

Then there's the bit about scope of responsibility. If the kittens do get sick, I tell them immediately. They go back to the shelter for treatment, not to my own vet. And ultimately, the kittens must go back. That was very important! I care for them until the littlest of the litter reaches 32 ounces in weight (2 lbs.). Then they go back, get a final check for parasites (e.g. worms) and get spayed or neutered. After a short recovery they are ready to go out to the adoption floor, and hopefully will find just the right person or people to adopt them permanently.

The downside to this plan is that if you bond with your kittens (I will, I can't help it) it's hard to give them back. The upside is that once you release your lovingly cared for and socialized kittens to find good homes, you can start all over again with another needy bunch of little ones. More kittens! So I'm giving it a try.

This is the gang shortly after we arrived in the Nursery. Their serial numbers starting with the gray kitten on left and proceeding clockwise are x3F, x6F, x4M, and x5M. There is a red tape collar with the serial number and gender around each little neck. The tub has a soft bed on one side, food and water bowls in the middle, and the litter box on the far side. The shelter (and kind donors) provided the litter box, litter, bowls, food, a few play mice, and the cute little polartec beds. All I needed to add was love.

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