The most frequently euthanized animals in our local shelters are kittens, chihuahuas, and pit bulls. When orphaned kittens are brought into the shelter without their mothers, they need round the clock syringe or bottle feeding, which is realistically not possible for many shelters. Without rescue organizations, fosters, and volunteers, the kittens have nobody to care for them. Pit bulls and chihuahuas get a bad rap for many reasons, and some people may certainly have an understandable bias, but these specific breeds need all the good press and exposure they can get. In our fostering ventures, we have welcomed chihuahuas and many pit bulls, but never kittens...until now.

You know that book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus? I feel like that comparison can best be applied to raising kittens vs raising puppies. It's a funny transition going from the kitty room to the puppy room every morning. I go from desperately seeking the kitties love and attention, all while avoiding razor sharp claws on my feet and legs, to the puppy room where EVERYBODY is happy to see me. Even though cats are polar opposites of the animal I tend to love the most, it doesn't make me appreciate and enjoy them any less. They are individuals in every sense of the word- sassy, independent, silly, curious, adventurous, and everything you don't think you need in a pet (but you absolutely kinda do).

Here's a fun little story I wrote about just one emotionally exhausting experience with our foster kitties:
"For the past 3 hours, my husband and I have been frantically searching for two of the kitties who completely DISAPPEARED in the blink of an eye. We searched what we thought was every nook and cranny in the house until we decided they MUST have gotten out. How? We didn’t know, we just knew they absolutely weren’t in the house. We walked all over our 5 acres for an hour, desperately calling for the kitties. I chased two squirrels for much longer than I’d like to admit, thinking it was one of the kitties (I have bad eyesight). I set cat food in bowls all around the outside of our house, and I was just getting ready to call for reinforcements when I heard a noise in the kitchen. After pleading with 6 crazy dogs, a cranky child, and a frantic husband to SHUT THE F UP, I could finally hear a little pitter patter near the oven. We discovered there’s a tiny opening between the oven and cabinets, so Joe (my husband) stuck his arm through, and took a picture. And we hoped with all our hearts that we’d see exactly what is in this photo. THESE F#%*{^! CATS!!! So we discovered that a) there’s a spot in our house we didn’t even know existed (more areas to have to clean now yay) b) apparently the dogs have known about this spot and are already using it as a ball storage compartment and c) CATS ARE NINJAS AND DO NOT GIVE A S*** IF YOU’RE CALLING THEM FOR HOURS. I am so relieved that we found them and that there is not a mysterious ghost in our house who opens doors to let our animals out, which is what we were beginning to believe. I will now be suing the previous owners of this house, and these cats, for emotional distress. Goodbye."


And here they are just as content and cuddly as ever. Jerks.

If you're more of a dog lover, which I would assume so if you're a follower of mine, I'd like to urge you to at least consider the pleasures that come with owning a cat. They are quite easy physically, but they may torture you emotionally a little bit. All in all, they're worth it, and they need your help even if you prefer dogs. You may not be able to foster one (or two or three or four). You may not be able to adopt one (or two or three or four). But you can keep an open mind. You can educate yourself about feral cats and shelter kitties. You can tag friends on social media posts about cats in need of foster, rescue, or adoption. Even a little bit goes a long way, especially in the animal rescue world. Here's some good sources regarding feral cats and TNR and here is a source for kittens and cats available for adoption.