Friday, August 29, 2008

Our First Fosters

Our first experience as foster parents came with Dohni, Nigel and Tom Kitten, who were dropped off at the shelter as an 'oops' litter. Dohni and Nigel were black and white, and Tom was a smokey tabby. We were told initially that all three were boys. They came dirty, hungry, and with fleas.

Each of the kittens got a bath on arriving home, which they accepted rather happily. I set up our spare room as the kitten room, with plastic sheeting to try and protect the carpet, and then put down lots of blankets and kitten cushions, as well as a mattress against the wall for them to hide behind and climb on. They LOVED having plenty of food available. Tom Kitten was protective of his food, and growled while eating it. To try and combat this, we took to gently stroking him and talking to him while he ate. He dropped this habit after about 10 days.

Dohni and Nigel grew fast, and were very rambunctious. Tom Kitten on the other hand, who was smaller than the others when they arrived, barely grew at all. The other two, while still sweet kitties, took to bullying him. Dohni and Nigel went back to the shelter to be desexed when they reached the magical 1kg mark. Nigel found his forever home 2 days later, and Dohni the day after that. Tom stayed with us for a while.

Dohni turned out to be a girl! I should have known really, she was a dainty little thing, and very happy to put lots of love on you. Both Nigel and Dohni got along really well with Fui. They loved to play with him and watch him, and he was fascinated with the kittens. Dohni was very clever. She was onto everything straight away. Initially, I tried using a baby gate to confine them to one part of the lounge, but she worked that out in about three seconds flat! Nigel was a bit more reserved. He would watch what was happening very carefully, and you just knew he was figuring it all out.

Tom Kitten thrived after being seperated from his brother and sister. When I took them back to the shelter, I bought home a second litter, Pipi Saurus-Rex, Charlie Brown and James Bond, and one other kitten Trixie. The first three were younger and smaller than Tom, and he loved having a chance to be topcat. He started to grow more quickly, and became more confident. Trixie was very gentle with him, and really helped him to come out of his shell. I absolutely adored him. It would have been very easy to keep him!

Tom was ready to go back to the shelter a week after his siblings. He was adopted 11 days later. He was a lovely little boy, and I am very proud of the way he grew and learned. The three were a great introduction to fostering, very laid back and happy. They were an absolute joy:)

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