This is last week’s article in the Euro Weekly News. Since its publication I have already had one enquiry about fostering, which is great. Every new helper is greatly appreciated.
I am always writing about the need for more foster parents as this is a key part of our re-homing process. Of course what I really want is people who will take a cat or some kittens into their home, and love them as if they were their own cats for a few weeks while I get them ready to travel to a new life in Germany. However, whilst that is still my ideal, I am realising that there are other perfectly good ways to ‘foster’ cats, and that the most important factors are that the cats are well looked after and feel safe and secure, with of course some human contact each day.
Almerimar Strays has friendships with a small Spanish cat rescue in Almeria, and more recently with the PAWs cats cattery in Mojacar. In each case the cats are very well looked after, but space for them is limited, and they don’t have quite the same comforts and company as in a foster or real home. This however if fine for a short period and is so much better than being out on the streets. It is no different that cats being put into catteries whilst their owners take holidays.
It has got me thinking that what I am really needing (at its most basic) is for people to provide rooms where cats and kittens can be fed and looked after for a few weeks. The cat rescue in Almeria is a good example of this. It is just a small locale, one room size, which the girls visit daily to look after up to 10 cats.
Alternatively if people do want to foster but don’t actually live near to Almerimar or Mojacar, then it is still possible for them to help us. It does take several weeks to sort all the vet requirements but usually there is a 3-4 week gap between vaccinations, so a cat could live some way away in between, as long as we can arrange drop-offs and pick-ups.
It is also possible for prospective foster parents to specify that they only want to foster tiny kittens for example, or a big lazy female cat, depending on their home, and whether they already have pets. Certainly for people with their own cats, kittens are much easier, as they are seen as less of a threat to existing house cats, and themselves are very friendly and un-territorial. All the foster cats have slightly different needs. Some desperately need love and affection, particularly the abandoned tame ones. Others like the baby kittens will play together happily with little attention. Sometimes we have a more feral kittens that literally just needs feeding for a few weeks until it can get to its home in Germany, and learn to trust its new owner.
All cats and kittens are slightly different, but they all have a basic requirement to be kept safe and well. So in my less idealist moments, this is what I am asking for. People who can help me keep our cats safe and well while I get them ready to travel. Anything else is a bonus. AND in case anybody was wondering, the little boy pictured comes with a brother and a sister!