Saturday, June 11, 2011

Foster Fail

On Thursday night, I drove Gardenia to her new foster home.  I felt bad leaving her, especially after spending about 20 minutes coaxing her into the cat carrier, during which time she was the friendliest she has even been since she arrived - she purred, she played, she wanted to be petted, she rubbed up against me - as if she thought she could convince me to keep her around if she was on her best behavior. And I wanted to, but she just hasn't been getting along with my other two cats, Katrina and Maggie.  She scared the beejesus out of them, to be honest.  Katrina would simply stay out of her way and hide any time she was near but last Sunday night, G had a major cat fight with Maggie - fur flew, cats were screaming and dashing to and fro, claws were out and one or the other left some cat pee on my bed.  After that, I had  to keep them separated until a new home could be found for G.  No doubt, she was feeling territorial, given that initially she had had two kittens to protect and she was used to defending herself and her babies while living outside for the past several years, but now that they are gone and she has become an indoor cat, she needs to learn to get along with others.
She really is a lovely cat (in spite of the somewhat annoyed look on her face in the photo above!), she just needs a little time and attention so she can feel safe and comfortable (if you know anyone who might be interested in adopting her, please have them call the Abbey Cats hotline at 416-284-2140).  But I did feel a little bit like I had failed her, because she couldn't stay here.  Even though she has gone somewhere where she will be the only cat and will hopefully be much happier there (although I think she wanted to make friends with my two cats, she just didn't know how or needed to establish her seniority first).  I guess that's the way it is with foster care sometimes - if personalities don't match, a new home might have to be found.  I knew I had to consider the wellbeing of the other two cats in the household, who, to be fair, were here first and were getting along with each other just fine.  If I left all three of them out together, Maggie wouldn't eat or use the litter box for hours at a time, she seemed that frightened that if she came out of hiding, she would be attacked.  That wasn't good.
On the plus side, another side of what my friend Dwyn calls "foster fail" is the fact that it is now official that I am going to be adopting both Katrina and Maggie (formerly known as Lady Killigrew) to be my very own cat companions for as long as we three shall live.  I have enjoyed having both of them here and they get along so well together, I can't bear the thought of someone else adopting them and taking them away from me.  The cheque is in the mail, the paperwork is being processed, it's pretty much a done deal.
Failure isn't always a negative.  Sometimes it's code for a happy ending and sometimes it's just a way of moving on to the next chapter.  In this case, it's a little bit of both.

Of course, with Gardenia gone, I have room to take in a couple more foster kittens (I just can't say no to a sad story of a cat in need) - I'll tell you about them tomorrow!

1 comment:

coolmoon said...

Love the foster kitty stories - even the 'failed' ones. My husband and I just this week took in and are keeping a beautiful DOG that couldn't be kept in her home any longer. We were so afraid she wouldn't get along with our much older MALE dog - but in just 6 days, they've become buddies, sharing food bowls and toys.
Keep the stories - and your abundant kitty cat love - coming!