How would you feel if everything you knew, your entire world, came crashing down in a moment? If your quiet, simple life was turned completely upside down, you were taken from the only safe place you had ever known and plunged headfirst into an environment made of noise and chaos?
All Marge knew was that her human was gone. The ins and outs of hospital visits and declining health were outside her understanding. Gone were the days of sitting on the rocker on her human’s lap, providing warmth and company while the human read her book. Gone were the days of sharing the day with her cat housemates, following the human through her daily routines. Instead, there were new people, and strange smells, and many other cats who she didn’t know. There were pokes and prods from new humans, who she didn’t know and certainly didn’t trust. There were loud noises and she could hear dogs barking outside. The only way she knew to feel safe was to wedge herself into a box and pretend it wasn’t happening. Some of the humans spoke nicely, and their fingers felt nice when they stroked her head and ears. But where was her house? Why was everything different?
This is the reality for many cats who enter the shelter system. What to us humans appears as a simple change of living situation or a temporary discomfort on the way to a new home looks very different from the cat’s perspective. Especially for more timid cats who have only ever known one home, the shelter environment—any shelter environment—is loud, scary, and completely alien. At ACS and at many other shelters across the country, we do what we can to reduce the stress and help our cats to learn that we are here to help them and that we will provide love and care until they leave for a new home; however, the fact remains that for some cats, it takes a very long time for them to trust us and begin to feel comfortable living here. In the time it takes for that to happen, their true personality doesn’t shine through, making it unlikely that they will bond with a potential adopter.
The perfect solution for these cats is a more home-like space where they can be themselves while they wait for their new family to find them. Enter foster families! Foster homes provide for these cats what we can’t in the shelter—familiarity. The comfort provided by a quiet and “normal” place to live can make a world of difference in the life of a cat like Marge. Marge is a sweet girl at heart, but the hustle and bustle of the shelter is really not her cup of tea. This beautiful girl needs a chance to step out and show us all who she is, so she can make that bond with some perfect person. Foster families can provide that chance for Marge and so many other cats like her, now and in the future, who just need something a little different. Such a simple thing to us, to let a cat live in your house for a while; but from the cat’s perspective, you are providing so much more. Can you imagine the difference you could make?
Please apply online at https://www.animalcaresanctuary.org/foster-family-program/ to give Marge the chance to shine in a real home environment.
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