I'm not sure what direction this blog is going to go, since it's run by Ollie, the new foster at our house.
I don't know if Ollie will update it or I will, but if the "voice" changes, you'll know why. But first some background....
As many of you know, Randall and I have a permanent foster dog in our home in Elvis, the little SchipperChi senior boy who was rescued by the Waco Humane Society after a puppy mill raid n Elm Mott, Texas in May 2009.
In July 2009, Elvis became a part of our household as a foster and in October, he became a permanent foster with us. Elvis has many, many medical issues (along with some personality problems) that precluded him being adopted into a forever home. So instead of pushing him off on someone, the Humane Society offered him to us as a permanent foster and we happily agreed. So he has a home here where he's loved and cared for however long he needs it. So, in truth, it's his forever home...he just came to it in a round about way.
In mid-March of this year, we lost our beloved tabby boy, Savoy, to kidney failure. We had thought it was a simple infection and he was on antibiotics within short order, but there were obviously underlying issues, and he went in to total renal failure and had to be euthanized. It was very unexpected and very hard because he was only 6 years old.
Shortly after that, I had to leave Waco to go to Dallas for several weeks, so we knew that any cat we brought in would have to wait until my return. That got delayed, and I didn't come back in town until the end of May. Taking a week to recover (and make amends to our current feline resident, Howdy, the Devon Rex hybrid), I then begin seriously looking into fostering another cat.
Randall and I had decided a month or so ago that fostering was the way we wanted to go at least initially, and I contacted Fallon, the Waco Humane Society's foster director, and made an appointment to go out to the shelter on June 1, to look at possible foster candidates and then bring one home if there was a fit.
I had some requirements that I was hoping to fulfill. I knew I wanted an older cat (3+ years of age), probably a male and a cat whose personality leaned more to the Savoy side of things than to the Howdy side. Savoy was a laid back cat who was still playful and very loving, but not pushy. Howdy is true to her Devon breeding and is a higher maintenance, demanding cat (truly my cup of tea, but marital bliss means making some compromises, and Randall really liked Savoy's personality).
I knew that the temperament thing was going to be hard to test for because shelter environments are so stressful that cats are not at their best. But I at least wanted to try. I had tentatively looked at Snowshoes and Siamese as possible fits, but knew that until I got out to the shelter, I wouldn't really know what was available.
Meeting Fallon in the office, we went out to the "cat room" to take a look at available cats. My first stop was at the cage of a lovely lynx pointed Siamese boy. He was VERY appealing, but Fallon said he was a handful. He was also younger than what I was hoping for, but I knew if it had just been me making the choice, he probably would have fit the bill.
Or maybe not. Because I turned to my left and saw a large, multi-cat cage with three or four cats lounging in it. On a perch closest to the bars was a gorgeous, solid black cat. He laid there looking as if he was a black panther surveying his kingdom. Oh my was he pretty. On closer inspection, not only was he a big black boy, but he obviously had Oriental Shorthair close up in his pedigree.
Wiggling my fingers through the bar got me a tilted head and invitation to pet, but he wasn't going to stir unless there was a better reason. Still, he was very compelling and a look at his card showed he was an older boy and was an owner surrender (along with his cage mates) when s/he moved and couldn't take them with her. At 9 years, he was a bit older than I'd thought about, but still a really good candidate.
I wasn't ready to commit, though. There were - unfortunately - a lot of cats there to see. All colors and flavors and I did want to get a good feel for what was available. Sorting through the candidates, it seemed most were younger than I was looking for. The vast majority were 1-2 years old and though most looked adoptable, I just wasn't sold on any as a foster. That lynx point Siamese boy, though, kept calling to me.
Bringing Randall in to look at the narrowed list, and he immediately gravitated to the black OSH boy. So I had Fallon pull him out so I could see him better. The closer up I got, the prettier he looked, and it was obvious by the way he felt in my arms that he was a cat that had been very much loved and cared for...he just wasn't going to get himself worked up and his hopes up until things were settled.
And they were. The black OSH boy was the one. He would be our foster cat.
More in the next post as Ollie makes the transition from Shelter Cat to Foster Cat...