Monday, March 29, 2010


When we began fostering, it was agreed between my husband and myself that we would welcome one foster at time, meaning there would only be a total of 3 cats in our home at any given moment. Except for afew instances where we aided in helping orphaned kittens, we've pretty much been able to stick to that rule. The rescue we volunteer with is just wonderful about respecting that boundary of ours, and rarely comes to us to ask if we have any wiggle room - when they do, you know it's an's one of the aspects of fostering that keeps me up at night.

This is Moe. Approximately three years old by vet determination, he looks alot older don't you think? Well that's what these lovely shelter environments (and life on the streets) does to alot of these little souls. Think about any homeless man you might run into on your way through life - usually their facial features has them looking at least 10-15 years older than they really are - being totally on your own in the big city will do that to you.

The rescue had a individual lined up that was due to adopt Moe straight from the shelter, but this person's interest was fleeting and on the day he was to be rescued off of death row, this person was a no show - NICE.

So another volunteer from the rescue emailed us last night asking if it would be at all possible for us to house Moe. They are well aware of our "one foster at a time rule" - but if they ask, I know it has to be because Moe's time is dwindling quickly, and they have exhausted pretty much all other options. It was decided that if no other foster home/adoptive home steps forward, we will take we're awaiting further word.

Can I just tell you how much I HATE these types of decisions when they have to be made? Can I just tell you how painful it is for us to look into the eyes of this little boy, who has so obviously suffered in life thus far, and know that we cannot give an automatic yes to helping him.............that we actually have to weigh the situation, the circumstances and stop to think? Can I tell you how much I HATE the fact that I cannot simply throw open the front doors to my house and have a transport truck with the trailer doors upon unlocking, showing kitty crate upon kitty crate of endless little furry lives that have been saved - pull up in my driveway and say "Here's every last one that was due to die today"
There are loads of foster homes that are brimming to the rafters with rescues. I applaud them for their unselfishness and unbelievable caring, and I wish that I could throw every ounce of caution ot the wind and be the same - but I can't.
Our rule exists so that we can ensure our own boys and ourselves, are not stressed out to the max by having a house brimming with cats. It's also to ensure that the number of felines within our home at any given moment, can be given equal amounts of love and attention that will help to keep everyone calm, peaceful and happy. It's a formula that has always worked for us thus far and as incredibly hard as it is when we know so much more need is out there, we try to stick by it come rain or come shine.

It's one part of fostering that is very mentally challenging and emotionally draining. You have to know your limit, you have to know what you can handle and what you can't and you have to be able to vocalize that for your good and for the good of the cats.

Our spare room will be available to Moe if that emergency presents itself and he has no other person who is able to step in and help. I'm waiting to see if that call comes and if it does - than we'll find that extra little bit of space at the Safe Haven to help sweet Moe; but how I pray that someone, somewhere will find it within their heart to also step up and step in - someone who may need Moe as much as he needs them.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I've written before about our one cat Rocky. He's the top cat in our home, both with his roommate Silly as well as with all our fosters - he rules and he never let's anyone forget it. That's why it's even more poignant when I finally catch him relenting and accepting a new houseguest.

This picture was taken this morning as I sat reading in our livingroom (Rocky is to the left in this photo). One of Rocky's favourite spots in our new home (we've only been here since the end of January), is the back of our loveseat which allows him to face the front of the house and watch the goings on there.
Maxwell (our current foster), also seems to have taken a liking to the back of this same loveseat, and up until this morning, he and Rocky would have to alternate time there since Rocky was not prepared in any way shape or form, to share.

This picture says it all. Rocky has now accepted Maxwell's presence - begrudgingly thought it may be, and his allowing for Maxwell to not only share this space, but to get so close to him in doing so, really tells us that underneath Rocky's rough, ornery, jealous, exterior - he is soft and loving and kind, even if he's never going to readily admit it.
Rocky you see, is all about protecting. As I've mentioned previously, we suspect he was horribly abused before coming to live with us, simply by the way in which he acts whenever he is faced with a situation in which he is not familiar. We had him probably 2 or 3 years before we ever heard him purr when we'd pet him, and his huge fear of strangers has him running to hide under our bed when they'd enter our home, up until just recently. Why, even now, when we come home from work, he's making a run for the stairs that lead to our room since the noise of someone entering the house makes him feel very threatened it would seem.
He has a growl that is as menacing as that of a mountain lion and his hissing abilities are well intact. He also becomes extremely nervous if your approaching him or attempting to handle him in a way that he's not comfortable with - he'll turn on you in two seconds flat if he at all feels nervous about what is transpiring.
It's all about protecting............protecting himself, protecting his environment, protecting that which makes him happy and brings him comfort, protecting the things that make him feel safe and which he's grown to recognize as his and noone else's (which includes Mommy's attention).

But as difficult as he makes our fostering in terms of his acceptance, which can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, we're always certain that eventually he'll give us that golden sign that we have his vote of approval - at least for this latest houseguest; the next one will be a whole different story..........well, at least initially.:)

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I was at a workshop today that asked us at the outset to introduce ourselves and indicate a "hobby" that we enjoyed. I realize that fostering does not exactly fall under the hobby category, but it's the one thing in my life that I'm extremely involved in, and so I decided to mention it.

As the day was drawing to close, one of the other participants approached me to enquire further about our fostering and which rescue group we work with. One of her questions during the course of our conversation was "Have you ever been afraid of any your fosters"?

Now to a cat lover, that may seem like a ridiculous question and at first, I smiled and laughed, waving her question away as almost ludicrous - and then I remembered "Squeakers"..............

We had probably been fostering about 6 months when I got a call from the rescue we were with at that time, to enquire about whether we would be willing to take a very sweet boy named Squeakers. Of course, I readily agreed and was only told after that he would be coming to me straight from his neuter surgery, and would be most likely still heavily under the influence of the anesthetic, so a quiet space for him to fully awaken was best. No problem I thought, I knew that alot of the other foster parents took fosters in fresh (if you will), from their spay/neuter surgeries, and I was confidant that our welcoming Squeakers would be a piece of cake - and for the most part, it was.

I had our very spacious bathroom set up and ready with large plush towels, a clean litterbox and water (food would come later after the drugs had worn off). I even placed a little night light in the bathroom to ensure that the overhead one didn't bother him, and presto!, we were all set.

Squeakers was a gorgeous looking cat. A silver grey tabby with white underpatch, he was tall, lean and solid looking - he reminded me of an athlete; physically fit in every sense of the word and totally in his youth being the ripe age of 2. Upon arrival, I immediately placed him the bathroom and he was still experiencing serious sedation, so we left him to rest awhile and I decided to check on him later.

Going back in, I was greeted with a groggy, but very friendly kitty who although obviously quite confused as to where he was and what had happened (the realization that he'd just lost half his brain - as my husband likes to refer to it), would come later, was very friendly, purring and enjoying the petting. After some time, I was preparing to leave the bathroom and turned (with my back to the door), to look down at Squeakers one more time before leaving, softly uttering his name as he sat directly at my feet in an upright position, staring at me intently.

In the span of 60 seconds, we went from a loving exchange with human standing and kitty on floor, to human finding themselves having heart palpatations as she realizes that this cat has now catapulted himself off the floor, sunk his teeth into her hand, had his claws dug into her forearm and was hanging there like a chimpanzee in a tree!! Squeakers hung on in that position for what seemed like an eternity, as I tried frantically to get him off of me - at one point I had to swing my arm like I had a bat in it before he was thrown off and to the floor.
Looking down at him as I surveyed my grossly bloodied hand and arm, and suddenly that sweet look of love in this cat's eyes had turned totally demonic. I mean, you could actualy see that all he was doing was surveying the way in which he could once again sink his teeth into apart of my body and which part looked most appealing.
How I actually got out of that bathroom with only one arm working is still a mystery to me. Shaking and crying and being very near hysteria, I called the rescue coordinator and explained that Squeakers was more Satan than Squeak!!

We realized quickly that animals coming out of sedation can be prone to aggressive behaviour - especially in an environment in which they are not familiar. So we persevered and after a few days, decided that that was an isolated incident, and that with time to recuperate and rest, Squeakers would now be ready to resume his sweet, adorable self and come out to meet the boys.

Well he hated the boys, and he hated me - and I, well I was (I'll admit) terrified of this cat. All he had to do was look at me sideways and I was practically cowering.........I think at one point in the course of his stay with us, I even shut myself in the bedroom because I was convinced I had seen traces of that demonic look again in his beady little green eyes and I wasn't willing to experience yet again his unsavoury taste for my flesh.
Within a short time it was decided that it would be better for everyone if Squeakers was moved to a foster home where he could be The King of His Castle and so off he went very shortly thereafter, to stay with a young man who hadn't been fostering for the rescue very long, but who was very willing to meet and house Squeakers.

Within the space of a couple of days, we received word that Squeakers was nothing short of a little lovebug in his new foster environment and had slept, snuggled in beside his new foster Dad, every night and spent the days playing and thoroughly enjoying the view from his new pad window.
We were so happy to hear the news and even more grateful that Squeakers was much happier in the decision that was made to move him to an only pet foster home.

We have a good laugh now when we recount the details of our time with Squeakers - and laugh even harder when we remember how absolutely terrified I was of him - a little 8Ib, four legged creature that actually did have a very squeaky meow; but all in all, it just goes to show that there can be instances where our little friends can exhibit foe attributes, but a great majority of the time those types of actions can be attributed to past abuse. a stressful experience (like being dumped at a shelter), or being placed in an anvironment where they are not happy (eg: mutli pet household).

I learned alot from having Squeakers as our houseguest. I learned to have more respect for these animals and for the fact that like us, they too can feel a whole host of emotions in a very short span of time.............oh yeah, and I also learned that cuddling up to most males right after they've "lost most of their brain" is not a wise idea - ESPECIALLY when what stands between you and the door is their teeth!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


There's only one other comment I hear frequently from friends and acquaintances when it comes to our fostering and it's the, "I don't know how you can bare to give them up once they've come to live with you" - one.

I'll say honestly that when we started fostering, I never even considered the possibility that we'd become so attached, we'd want to keep them permanently. That may seem somewhat strange or naive to others, but it just never entered my mind as I guess it would most. I was so excited at the prospect of helping to get them out of cages and into our home where I could spoil them rotten, how it would effect me or us emotionally, was never apart of our preparation - at least not at the outset.

The only instance where we decided to keep a foster was when one of our own furbabies had passed on and we thought that the foster staying with us would make a good fit for the male that was left behind. Rocky and Silly (our two boys now), were both fosters that we've adopted formerly, however, they both became permanent members of our family through the deaths of Miss Remy and Chester. Other than that, every foster that has come to stay with us, has either been adopted or had to be euthanized, due to sickness or disease that resulted in their suffering **Note: we've only lost two fosters to death since beginning our fostering**
I admit now that there have been those houseguests that I have cried my heart out the day their forever family came to take them home. They are usually the ones that have grown very attached to me, want to sleep with me, lay on my lap, look up me lovingly all the time, come when I call them, and seem to have singled me out as Mommy. Not all fosters will exhibit all the same characteristics, some are more friendly than others, some are extremely loving when others are less so. Some are friendly but prefer their own space - it really does depend on the kitty just as much as it does with people.

Regardless of their personal makeup however, it's always extremely difficult to accept that enquiry call and then make an appointment to have that someone come out and meet our little friend, if he's been with us anything past a couple of weeks. Obviously the longer they are with us, the more probable it is that an attachement in some form has taken place, and I'd be less than honest if I didn't say that sometimes, I even dread the meeting.

I've had instances in the past when I've known that an adopter sounded really "good" over the phone, and as a result, felt in my gut that most likely the adoption would go ahead and our little friend would be leaving with him or her. If I've become extremely attached, and there are just feelings that are indescrible to a large degree that confirm that to me where no words could adequately convey, than I also know that I'm likely to have tears and a huge lump in my throat as they prepare to take him. Sometimes I have to turn away, leave the room, even go outside, and my golden rule is always to ensure that I've said my goodbye's to the little guy when the feeling is overly favourable, BEFORE the potential forever home arrives because it makes it less uncomfortable for everyone.

There has not been one foster come through our home in all the years we've been doing work, that we haven't wanted to keep. Some more than others, but at the end of the day we would have loved it if we could have kept them all to become members of our family permanently. The minute they arrive, we love them as we do our own and though they may be fosters on paper, for us, they are our babies and we are Mommy & Daddy until their forever home arrives and offers them their 2nd chance at happiness. It's instant and it's complete, and we do not know of any other way to do this work than to give all that we have to each cat that passes through our lives.

So yes, the attachment factor is there and it can be incredibly strong and unbelievably painful when that tie has to be broken so that they can move forward in life and go with someone who promises to love and cherish them forever - but I wouldn't trade the pain and worry one iota. The driving force behind our allowing these fosters to be continually adopted from us, is because every time I see one of our little guys crying inside that carrier as he's being readied to head to his new home, I also force myself to see the eyes of the next little fella that sits lonely, depressed and unloved in a metal cage that isn't big enough for him to turn around in, and which could very well be his last stop on the road in life before he is put down for no other reason than noone wants him, and I see that adoption through because I know it means we can help another. He too deserves that second chance at a life of happiness and love and so we bid goodbye to our current friend because we know that there is another that waits patiently, hoping that someone is coming for him too - and we want to be there.

The attachment factor is real and it can be hard, but not half as real or hard or painful, as knowing that beautiful animals wait in horrid conditions and environments for someone to help them, and that we may be their only and last chance.
I can live with painful goodbyes because I know that tomorrow there is another hello in my future - to meet another cat that needs our home as his Safe Haven.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


One of the things I worried about most (which alot of others interested in fostering have told me they too have been concerned about), when I first started fostering, was how to turn the Two Amigos into Three's Company. In essence, how to introduce a foster cat to my two resident cats without WWIII breaking out in my livingroom?

Except for small spaces of time over the years, I have always had two cats. For me personally, I worried over the lonliness factor if there was only 1 by him or herself, so I've always been of the mindset that two compliment each other better, and are perfect company for one another while we're at work all day or out in the evening or on a weekend.

When we initially started fostering it was Miss Remy, The Princess who I was worried about most. Not about her attacking another cat, but about how royally she'd give the DIVA stare, the DIVA glare, the DIVA hiss, the DIVA saunter, as she clearly indicated her displeasure at having to share her royal abode with a male cat that was virutally a total stranger! Well I'm delighted to report that for a 15 yr old missy, she didn't do too badly. Don't misunderstand, she wasn't full of purrs and tall tail as she encountered this new man whom she hadn't requested, but she did seem to learn to tolerate him to the point where they could be in the same room, on the same bed even, and she wouldn't throw a complete disgust fit.
Things would have probably gone alot more swimmingly if "Chester" (the orange/white male that we adopted when he was 7 shortly after Marty passed away) hadn't decided that (like alot of boys), it was fun to torment the girl.........something about him chasing her at full speed from one end of the house to the other just didn't do it for her (think pulling pigtails in the schoolyard and you get the idea).

As I've explained previously, after Miss Remy's passing, I could not have another female, so the makeup of our situation from then on has always been two males. I have found that males are far more tolerant of newcomers overall than females are. It's not to say that there aren't some females who can handle the dynamics of a new cat in the house, because I've spoken to, and read, from alot of other people of how it has worked for them, and I think that that's great. It's just that the majority of the time, females are not as easily swayed over and don't "go with the flow" as easily as most males do when it comes to multiple cats in a household. True to their feminine side, they wish to be Queen, Diva and Princess all rolled into one, and do not look favourably on anything that might upset that.
I've also heard about how introductions between a foster and the resident cat/s can be instantaneous - meaning you take "Fluffy" home, open up the carrier door and voila!, it's a party! Again, I know it does work for some, but for us it has never worked, and I'm not sure that it's even the wisest of choices.

It's important to remember that any cat being brought into a home with existing pets, is a stranger - period. Nobody knows one another and it seems pretty unfair to just expect them on the spot, to have a quick introduction, size one another up in two minutes, get a sense of personality in under 10 minutes, force them start using the same washroom, eating off the same dishes, and sleeping together, all after the first hour, without so much as some indication that that one or all of them are not happy with your great idea!! When explaining this to potential adoptee's that come to our home to meet a foster, I always tell them to compare it to going to an office function after work hours and being told by your boss that the new technical analyst whose just come on board with the company the day before, is now your new roomate at home............sound like fun? *NOT*
As far as I see it, it's a recipe for disaster and one that can be totally avoided most of the time if you just respect the fact that they need time to get to know one another.

Our one boy Rocky is a "Mighty Little Monkey" as we lovingly refer to him. He's a tabby that is small for a male, and one who suffers from Hypdisplasia (a deformity of the hips) which causes him to walk unsteady - cats with this condition are sometimes referred to as "wobby kitties". Rocky has, we strongly suspect, suffered a great amount of abuse before coming to our family as he has always exhibited a large amount of distrust and anxiety with strangers both human and feline alike.
To make up for his small stature, he is large in demeanour - doing lots of growling, hissing and stalking (and let us not forget the infamous sulking) when new fosters arrive and are eventually given free roam of the house.
Oftentimes we've heard him actually sitting outside the spare bedroom where the new foster will be quarantined, to hear him growling and you'd honestly think it was a saber tooth tiger out there vs. a little, epileptic, unsteady cat!! *L*

The ornery behaviour (as we like to call it), normally lasts anywhere from afew days to a couple of weeks, but it always eventually subsides and before we know it, Rocky and Silly both have completely adjusted and all is once again kosher. We have learned that it's important to give all the felines in your home time to get used to the idea of another cat before actually making the official introduction and with our guys, that few days with a new foster behind closed doors is just what they need to wrap their heads around the idea once again.
There may be posturing, hissing, growling and arched backs initially, but that's all very normal as they "work out" the pecking order of who gets to be top cat, 2nd in command, and so on and so forth.

It's not to say however, that Rocky still doesn't do the "HAPPY DANCE" around the house immediately after a foster has been adopted and is on his way to his new forever home - it comes without fail each and every time............but after almost 6 years and 54 fosters later, there is one thing we're absolutely sure of, and that's that the "Two Amigos" can always become "Three's Company" - they just need the time to work it out - and believe us, they always do.

Monday, March 15, 2010


It only takes one person to abandon (surrender is the polite term), injure, abuse or neglect a cat and yet it can take literally three or four times that to bring him/her out of that same environment and back into the throes of safety. Ironic isn't it?

I want to pay tribute to The Army as I like to refer to them. The countless people who donate their free time to the aiding of cats (and other animals too of course) out of shelters the world over. They are those who work long hours 7days a week, 365 days a year, come sunshine, come rain, or come snow, who give up personal time with family and friends, who come home from long days at their paying jobs to continue on in their unpaid jobs, who lay awake nights worrying about the ones they've saved, the ones they will, and the ones they cannot. They brainstorm for new ways to fundraise and then work tirelessly to ensure that those fundraising efforts are successful so that they can in turn help more cats, they answer pleas from the shelters when they have no more space, to try and find a way to make space, and they spend countless hours assisting people from all walks of life who have questions, need answers, want help, or have given up on the cats in their lives. They are those who nurse from sickness back to health and beyond. They are those who witness the effects of abandonement and abuse and try to make it right. They are those whose arms will hold with love and tenderness when the final call comes that signifies they cannot save all.
They are the Mom's and Dad's, the sisters and brothers, the daughters and sons, the Grandma and Grandpa's of this world who all unite like any army does, these ones being for the sole cause of trying to save animals who have noone else that wants to.

Without these armies, there would be no rescue's or rescuing. There are those who claim that they do this single handedly, that somehow without just them, these animals would perish. But the truth of the matter is that anyone rescuing is just one in a long line of soldiers who come to help many who are the forgotten, the unwanted and the discarded - it is a team effort in the largest sense of the word.

I know one such army and they are an incredible group of individuals who are dedicated, passionate and driven. There are those who refer to policeman and firefighters as hero's because they are usually rushing into a situation when the rest of us are doing our utmost to rush out.
Well these rescue volunteer's are also hero's in my opinion - they are the one's offering hope to beloved little souls that others have deemed expendable. They are the ones that rush into the ugliest of situations to save, when others have turned their backs and walked away.

My deepest wish for armies everywhere is that there will come a day when the call to save does not have to be answered - when every animal is treated with the respect they deserve and has a home with love and protection.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Our latest houseguest has been with us almost a week and we've named him Maxwell. This boy waited upwards of a month in the shelter for help and I'm only sorry that it had to be that long. But, one of the first golden rules I learned many moons ago when we first started fostering, is that in many ways you just simply cannot allow yourself to dwell on what these cats have had to endure once they are safely with you. It may not be this way for everyone, but for me personally, dwelling on such negatives is very emotionally draining and I would much rather put my energy and focus into the positives that come out of helping these little souls feel safe and loved once again and ultimately bloom back into wonderful felines, than in replaying the unpleasantness they would have had to endure to get to us. Don't get me wrong, I'm very aware of what a shelter environment is all about, as well as the effects of abandonement - I've seen the results first hand, but once the foster is in our care and home with us, I focus wholeheartedly on trying to make them feel as safe as possible and to reassure them that everything is now going to be okay.

Maxwell has just been a little angel since arriving. He had a bout of the infamous "URI" but luckily it wasn't as severe as I've seen. It did however require hours of painstakingly coaxing him to eat, and because the poor guy was experiencing congestion, it required wet food that was even made way more smelly by the heating process. Boy, it doesn't matter how many times I smell that stuff, the look and aroma always makes me just want to gag.........but the important thing is that Maxwell has done incredibly well and for the most part, ate all by himself without much force feeding have to be introduced. *Thanks goodness for that*

At first I was a little worried about his coat as it appeared very strange in appearance, but I think the stress of the shelter had simply caused it to become very unhealthy looking - nothing that some serious brushing couldn't fix. Luckily, this boy just loves the brush and we've spent quite some good quality time, brushing and eating, eating and brushing - it all seemed to go hand in hand. My little wire brush is like a god send - I can't count the number of times it's helped to win a new foster over in the very early hours of us meeting.

Maxwell is now on the mend and this morning he was "let out". That means that he goes from his private quarters to having the experience of our whole home to roam around in. As I type, he's adjusting to the stalking and growling of our sweet little Rocky........who upon first meeting a foster is anything but sweet!
He is handling the introductions to our Rocky and Silly very well and by all first accounts, doesn't appear to mind the presence of other kitties at all which is a super added bonus (his chance of adoption is increased if he's willing to have a cat friend).

So for today, it's monitoring the exchanges and ensuring that no serious fur fly's. I already have "that feeling" - the one that tells me once Maxwell's pictures and profile go up on the rescue's website, it won't be long before his forever family finds him. Have I mentioned how much I love Happy Endings?? :) :)

Friday, March 12, 2010


I have loved animals for as long as I can remember. I had a grey/white cat named Smokey when I was little girl of maybe 12 or 13. Lots of people will say that their cat was "The Best Cat", but Smokey really was.

He slept with me every night and was always close by whenever I needed him. We moved from the only home he had ever known when I was just shy of my 16th birthday, and he was never settled again. The jaunt back to that old house was probably a half hour or 45 minutes, but somehow Smokey always found his way back there. Our neighbour at the time was a veternarian and it was she who had originally introduced us to each other after Smokey had somehow ended up at her clinic. She'd call us to let us know he had once again returned to the now empty house and that she was feeding him, but he would never stay with us again. Eventually, everyone seemed to get tired of making the trek to go and bring him back, and although I don't remember the specifics of why I never made that trip, I wonder now if it was somehow because I just couldn't bare to see his sweet sad face as he begged me to return to our old haunt where we had enjoyed each other's company so much and been there for one another when we needed each other the most.

After Smokey, it was obvious that I loved cats. Oh, I love all other animals as well, but I have always felt myself especially drawn to the paws and whiskers of the feline population. I obtained a gorgeous little tortoishell "torti" female from the THS here in the city when I was about 21. I will never forget the first time we met.......I walked into the "Cat Room" at that shelter and she was in the first cage to my right. A tiny little 6 month old sweetie pie who was adamant that I was not going a step further into that room without noticing her! She had her skinny little arm stuck so far out of the cage trying to get my attention that I often wonder how she didn't end up doing some damage.
She was a beautiful golden sand colour, with flecks of orange and brown and white all weaved through her coat. She had the most adorable little feminine face with long white dark whiskers and green eyes that were as little diamonds; but it was her personality that defined her! She was a true PRINCESS and she strutted her stuff, never letting anyone forget that it was HER WAY or the HIGHWAY.............she was my babygirl, my little "Beemer" as I used to lovingly call her and to this day, her impact on me is such that although she has been gone almost 5 1/2 years now - there has never been another female grace my home. Miss Remy as she was known, was absolutely precious to me and I have never met a cat like her since.

Her partner in crime for the 16 years I had her was a stunning, big dark brown marble coloured male name Martel "Marty" that I drove 2 hours in a snowstorm to adopt from a woman up north who was running a cattery out of the basement in her home. He was painfully shy and abit of a big lug it seemed, but he was gentle and didn't have a mean bone in his whole body - I knew that Miss Remy would love him and he her, and more important, I knew that he would let her be the boss!

We were the three musketeers through alot of ups and downs in my life. They were my best friends, my confidants, my allies, my solace - they comforted and loved me unconditionally and they were always there when I needed them.

I lost Marty first. He became sick with cancer at the age of 15 and we had to make the painful and gut wrenching decision to bid him goodbye. It was 5 months after his death when I began to seriously consider how I could best pay tribute to him and I came to think about fostering.......

Miss Remy was the same age as him, and I agonized long and hard over what bringing another cat into the home would do to her at such a senior age, but it was decided that we would only know by trying; and so our journey into the world of fostering had begun.

I dedicate this blog to the precious memories of my little Beemer and my Marty Farty - two very special furry friends that will forever be the reason the Safe Haven Hotel exists - for the little souls, who like both of them had to once upon a time, face the fear and feel the sadness that comes with abandonement and neglect.