John and I have been fostering homeless catties for nearly a year now. And during that time, we have hosted more than forty sweet souls at what I call the Wolf Crossing Cattie B&B. Our house is perfectly equipped for it with three vacant, fully-furnished bedroom/bathroom suites upstairs. It sure beats a cage in a shelter. Among this year’s guests were a pregnant Himalayan mom and dad who checked in on the first day of June. They were surrendered by a very nice lady who loved them, but circumstances had rendered her unable to care for them.
Thirty days later, two cats turned into seven! Born on the last day of June, we welcomed into this world three seal point males, a seal point female and a blue point female. Now, I did not expect to fall in love with these babies, which was just as well because they had been promised to furever homes since before they were born.
Knowing they needed to be socialized by humans, when they were six weeks old we moved mama and the kittens out of their solo accommodations upstairs and into our bathroom. Once they were acclimated, we let them have the run of the house except for mealtime and bedtime, which they spent in our bathroom. And even tho they were beyond cute, I quickly tired of bathroom chaos, litter sticking to the soles of my feet and tiny creatures attempting to climb my nightgown. I said, “I will be glad when these kittens are gone and I have my bathroom back to myself!” And I meant it.
Meanwhile, handsome dad, Gaspar, got adopted and the kittens went about the busy business of discovering their world.
And at some point, when I wasn’t looking and least expected it, the kittens managed to wriggle into my heart. What fun we had with these babies! Dinner time was the best, when they would all race John from the kitchen to the bathroom where they were fed. He would say, “C’mon, Babies!” and they would roar through the house like a pack of tiny wild buffalo, crashing into each other and everything else along the way. Then in the quiet of the evening before bedtime, they would snuggle on the couch with us and purr their little heads off.
All too soon came the day to say good-bye to these little angels. About a week before they were to be adopted, we took them to the vet for spaying/neutering and microchipping. Suddenly, it became important to know who was who. So I bought them each a different color kitten collar (try to say THAT), and they instantly became individuals with the sweetest personalities. There was Blue, Blackie, Pink, Purple and Red. I wish we had marked them weeks sooner.
And so it happened. Very loving, responsible people came to Wolf Crossing, rang the door bell and took away my sweethearts one by one. Don’t get me wrong, I knew they couldn’t stay. I knew I couldn’t keep them–it was never the plan. But neither was the way each of them took a piece of my heart when they left.