|Q. What do you like most about volunteering with the RSPCA?
It allows us to use our spare time in a productive way, and in a way that brings such enjoyment, as well as a bit of a challenge at times. The joy of seeing cats and kittens go to loving homes makes it all worthwhile. Watching, often frightened and neglected, kittens thrive and become friendly, happy and confident; having fun and developing into healthy pets. It is incredibly rewarding and heart-warming to see.
Q. In what ways is your role challenging?
While fostering is an amazing way to give back, and to have a positive impact on the life of an animal, we are also conscious that caring for and nurturing small animals is a huge responsibility. The joy they bring to our lives is incredible, but to be a fosterer takes time and dedication. It is about ensuring that the animals are mentally and physically stimulated, as well as being able to observe and recognise any changes or instances which could, for example, indicate that they need medical attention.
To date, we have fostered approximately 700 kittens over the years. We wouldn’t change it for a thing.
Q. What’s your funniest or most memorable experience from your time fostering?
One of our most memorable moments was when we had nine 7-week-old kittens in foster with us. We laid on our bed and all nine of them climbed on the bed and snuggled down on us and went to sleep.
Another really special memory was when we spent some time with two frightened, feral kittens who, one day, put their trust in us and came to us voluntarily for a cuddle.
The funny times are just too many to list, kittens are always fun and make us laugh.
Q. Is/are there any aspect(s) of your role that people might be surprised to learn/know?
Our own 6 cats play a big part in the fostering process too. They welcome kittens into their home and are invaluable in teaching kittens ‘cat etiquette’, as many have been separated too young to have learned how to read body language and signals that help them learn appropriate/sociable behaviour.
Q. What do you hope for the future with your fostering?
Just to continue helping the animals in whatever way we can. Ensuring we rehabilitate them so they are ready for new homes.