Last year I dove into the world of animal rescue. Head first to be exact! After coming home and finding a flyer posted next to the elevators at my condo complex, stating all stray cats would be trapped and taken to the shelter. The shelter here in Miami is a high kill shelter. They recently stopped taking in cats, and any strays brought to them are killed. See what I did there? I didn’t say euthanize. That’s because if you take the word by its meaning, they you will see that you really cannot euthanize a perfectly healthy animal. No, our shelter kills, and it kills a lot. Sure, their numbers have gone down, but only because they now ship dogs and cats to other shelters and sometimes work with rescues.
Anyway, when I saw this I knew I couldn’t just leave those cats to that fate. I’ve been covertly feeding them for a couple of years and really knew nothing about where to take them for help. I took to Facebook, and began my journey. I hooked up with some good and caring people. These people had been in rescue for years and knew the ins and outs. I was able to make some connections and found out there was a program in my area that would help me in getting these cats spayed and neutered.
I was able to find a home for one cat that was feline leukemia positive, as well as four others. At one point I had ten cats in my apartment. Yes, ten! I have six of my own, so the additional four was quite frankly a nightmare. Of the four, two were about five to six months old, one was shy but the other was quite feral. At one point I was keeping them in my spare bathroom and the feral one got out. She gave me a hell of a scratch before she got into the carrier. The other two were about four months old.
With some help, a home was found for the two older kittens, and I kept the smaller two until a home could be found for them. This was eight months in the making. I have had these two girls with me and while I will tell you it has been incredibly stressful at times, I absolutely adored these girls. My journey with them ended last night. Today they are on their way to a new life. I can’t even express the sadness I felt knowing that I had to let them go. It was as though part of my soul was being torn from me, and I think it was. They took a little piece of me with them, and in turn they left a big piece of themselves with me. Their impact on me will last until I take my final breaths on this earth. I never wanted to foster, because I knew how hard it would be to let them go. But they taught me that as hard as it is, when your part is done, you let them go. You let them go because it was your job to prepare them, to show them how to trust and what it means to be loved.
As sat there in my car with my foster girls, Isis and Astra, and who I eventually came to call Smudge and Mochie, I said to myself, “I can never do this again. I can’t allow myself to feel like this again.” I could very easily have been a foster failure, but my space dictates that I cannot bring any more cats into my home permanently. Permanently being the key word here. You see, as I was saying good-bye to my friend who is taking the girls on to their next stop in their new life, she asked me if I could foster a little kitten. A tiny baby not even six weeks old yet, until the end of April or mid-May. I smiled and didn’t even hesitate. I hope to welcome my new charge this week.