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Not everyone is ready to adopt a pet. It takes a commitment to care for an animal for the rest of his or her life.
For students or people who may move or expect other big life changes, it’s not the best time to make that commitment. Nevertheless, for those who love animals, the draw to care for them is still there. So here is an excellent opportunity for the public to foster pregnant or nursing cats and kittens a few months before the sweet, furry babies and mothers are adopted to new homes.
The Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) is a registered charity that rescues pregnant cats and orphaned kittens from much of the Metro Vancouver area.
But this year, their rescue is packed full with more than 300 cats or kittens waiting for a temporary home prior to being adopted. This is where you may be able to help.
VOKRA is looking for people to foster either a pregnant or nursing, mother cat, with groups of two or three kittens that need some care and socialization prior to adoption or an adult cat waiting for the right home.
VOKRA does not operate a shelter. They depend entirely on volunteer foster parents to share their home with some cats needing temporary shelter. VOKRA provides you with the food, litter and medical care for the cats and kittens, and just asks that you be able to pick up the felines to take them to your home if you can. If you foster a mother-cat-to-be, you will be provided with a handbook on signs to watch for when the little kittens are on their way into the world and how to care for the mother and new kittens.
VOKRA is looking for foster homes that are quiet and preferably have no other animals in the house or where the animals live in a different part of the home.
For a mother cat, the best place to keep her is in a spare bathroom where she can be safe and secure, and the room can be easily cleaned.
All cats and kittens should be kept someplace where they can’t escape out of fear or confusion from their new surroundings.
It’s important that all the members of the household agree to foster the felines, but one adult should be in charge of the operation and liaise with VOKRA.
Richmond resident Maria Law decided fostering with VOKRA might work for her, and she started by fostering two young kittens of just six weeks of age.
One black and white and one gray and white, Law named her new charges Hansel and Gretel. Both kittens have cute little dots on their noses. Law says it only takes about a half-hour a day to feed the kittens and clean their litter box, and the rest of the time she spends with them is playtime. Law also says it’s important to train the kittens not to bite your ankles and scratch you, and this training helps them to become wonderful adult cats.
Law has had the kittens for four weeks now, and it’s time for them to be adopted. Law sent in pictures of the kittens for the VOKRA website and wrote biographies about the personalities of the little fur balls.
I asked Law if it would be difficult to say goodbye when the kittens are adopted.
“Well,” she said, “it’s kind of like seeing you kids off when they get married. You’re so happy to see the kittens go to good homes.”
So do you think you could be a good foster parent or grandparent?
Check out the VOKRA website www.orphankittenrescue.com for more information and an application. Hansel and Gretel are up on the website too, along with all the kittens for adoption.
Moreover, VOKRA has wonderful adult cats for adoption who often get over-looked amongst all the kittens.
But these adult cats make wonderful companions.
Check out their photos and biographies as well on the VOKRA website.
Christie Lagally is a volunteer pet columnist. View her blog at christielagally.wordpress.com.
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