This week our foster cat Sam has his meet and greet with a potential forever home. I wanted to tell his foster cat story in photographs and tell you how he travelled from bedraggled rescue to friendly foster.
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The story of Sam’s rescue is played out over and over around the world but the voices of vets and cat owners can stop the frustrating cycle of misunderstanding and ignorance. We can all encourage spay and neuter for cats and kittens so never be afraid to speak up and suggest it to new pet owners in a respectful way. There might be free or cut price clinics nearby you can suggest, local spay/neuter coupons/vouchers, or even you might be able to offer a lift to a cat owner without transport.
A Touch of Rescue Drama
The family who originally adopted Sam and his brother probably thought they were just adopting cute kittens. They forgot, as many do, that kittens grow up to be adult cats who need care, food and most importantly spay/neuter surgery and regular vet visits.
The family were not sure how to cope with Sam as he grew up and young adult hormones kicked in, and he arrived at our house looking like a ginger twig (or an American popsicle stick) who had spent his days at ‘fight club’. He had not been abused, it was more neglect that happened when world events took over and lockdown family issues intervened.
I don’t think we should blame the family for what might have seemed a cute and fun idea (a kitten for the kids) that just imploded as the two growing unneutered boys began to fight each other. The family did realise that they were not coping and to their credit, they reached out for help. Rachel Rescues NZ a small local rescue that has a busy Facebook presence, came to their aid.
A Foster Cat’s True Nature
The first few days let you discover how much help a foster needs and it did not take us long to find out that Sam was a genuinely sweet cat. He was grateful for the four sachets of food per day and the kibble he was given to build him up. He accepted the healing ointment for his scratches with no hisses or flinches. I was lucky, as not every foster makes such a good first impression. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and patience to get used to a new foster home, but it is always worth the time and effort.
Sam settled in quickly and absolutely adores the bed that is stuck to the window where this photograph was taken. To me is says ‘home, safety and peace’ with a stark reminder as your eye travels over the image to his bare but healing chest area. Someone is healing and he knows it.
A Cat Gains Confidence
Sam did not hide at any time during his stay. He had the whole of our second bedroom to call his home for the past few weeks and he has slowly been introduced into the house corridor and the front room for more window fun.
You can see there is still some ointment residue on his chest in the photograph below, but his curious face shows he is a confident cat who has suffered no lasting damage from being in his previous home. In fact, his ability to play with wand toys and stuffed mice makes me feel he did have some positive experience in his first home. He does not struggle to understand that play is fun.
Tongue Out Tuesday is Every Day Here
Sam has been a natural model, he doesn’t mind the camera and accepts the attention without batting his super meowdel eyelids.
He is a curious cat whose colouring has deepened over the course of his stay, and there is a reason for this which really surpried me, but I guess it makes sense.
The rescue organiser told me that ginger cats fur fades when they get poor quality nourishsment. I had no idea about this so our constant and regular feeding plus the supplement of New Zealand Omega Plus salmon oil has done him a lot of good.
Sam is still eating four sachets a day and is still building up his strength and loves his kitten food, as you can see!
Becoming a Confident Foster Cat
The next two photographs show how much Sam has improved in terms of his looks and his demeanour. He is more relaxed and sits close to us when he sit in his room especially when we give him a brush with the slicker and then a comb. Heis fluffy and soft and quite ‘high maintenance’.
Sam was happy to let me work around him when a sponsor donated food to the rescue and he received several tasty tins! He sat still and I moved the tins around him. I think every model should be so cooperative. In my dreams maybe. Sam was so helpful he even volunteered for an action shot that showed him enjoying a bowl of cat food for the sponsors.
Ready for My Close-Up Mr DeMille
Finally, I thought of a nice portrait that shows Sam as the self-possessed young man he is. Hopeful, happy and ready to move into a forever home where he will be loved and spoiled. His prospective mum has seen my photos and videos of Sam and can’t wait to see him for real.
I will update you on the results of his meet and greet next week. In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed seeing Sam’s portraits as he journeys from sad foster to confident kitten with the help of the Dash Kitten family.
STOP PRESS: Sam has gone to his forever home!