Fostering Saves Lives

Foster parents give so much of themselves to the care and well being of our rescue cats and we could not be more grateful for all their incredible work! We asked a few of them to share their experiences and tell us what it's been like helping some of our hardest to place cats find loving homes.

If you've been thinking about fostering, be sure to email info@cattownoakland.org and click the button below to learn more about our program. 

Bailey gets some supervised outdoor time with the help of one of his foster parents. 

Bailey gets some supervised outdoor time with the help of one of his foster parents. 

Cat Town: Who are you currently fostering?

DP: Didi (currently receiving medical care and not yet up for adoption)
EVT: Trevor
MLK: Bailey

CT: Have you fostered for Cat Town previously? How many times?

DP: Yes, more than 10!
EVT: 've fostered about 14 cats. Some singles, some doubles.
MLK: Yes. Between 2013 and 2017 I have fostered 14 cats through Cat Town (including Bailey) and 8 kittens through Oakland Animal Services.
Didi gets pets from her foster mom while relaxing in her cubby bed.

Didi gets pets from her foster mom while relaxing in her cubby bed.

CT: What has been the most rewarding part of fostering for you?

DP: Watching the transformation of stressed/shy cats into sweet, loving, confident cats who just needed the time and space to get there. I also love doing medical fosters--being the bridge to helping the cats heal/recover so that they can get back to their normal lives.
EVT: Seeing each kitty become themselves. Also, I've never fostered with another agency but I've been so impressed with the support from Cat Town. I've had some rough times and Cat Town has been there for me!
MLK: The most rewarding part of fostering is seeing cats undergo incredible transformation while in our home. Whether it is gaining confidence or becoming healthy, I love helping them become who they truly are so they can be adopted into a loving home.

CT: What is something people might not know about fostering?

DP: That there is so much to learn about each individual cat! Every cat I have fostered has taught me one new thing about how cats should be approached. I've had cats my entire life and I have so much more respect for their individuality after fostering complicated/challenging cats.
EVT: That after the heartbreak of letting a cat go to their forever home (because you have come to love them so much!) it really does help to get another foster to begin the cycle of watching a cat become themselves again.
MLK: Fostering is easier than most people think! The process is so simple - all you need to provide is love. Cat Town provides all supplies and medical care, and always make sure that both cat and human are comfortable. They will accommodate and set you up with a cat at your comfort level.

Foster cat, Trevor, purrs and makes biscuits next to his foster mom.

CT: What is one of your favorite foster anecdotes?

DP: I fostered Elise who came to us with a badly infected/damaged eye. We thought she was going to lose the eye, but the vet performed a "Punctate Keratotomy" which was sewing the eyelid shut over the eye. After 4 weeks her eye completely healed! She got to keep her eye and she could see. The before and after photos were amazing.
EVT: So many! I'll choose Buddy (Aidan) and Webster. I got Buddy and he was just a mess; so dirty, cracked paw-pads, scrawny whiskers, oil on his tail. It took a couple of weeks to get him cleaned up - lots of brushing the oil out and rubbing lotion into his pads. en, I get a call from Cat Town wondering if I'd be willing to take a young guy, Webster, because he happens to have the same virus as Buddy. Webster is so lonely and this might work out just fine. So, I say yes but I'm really nervous! I'm not very experienced in putting stranger cats together. We bring Webster in and I don't know if I can explain it but Webster knew JUST how to play Buddy. Webster made himself Buddy's student. He stroked his ego just so, so Buddy felt in control and sort of the BMC (Big Man on Campus). Webster was masterful, but sincere. After I helped Buddy get cleaned up he became fastidious in his cleaning routine. Webster noticed and over time, I saw that Webster was also spending more and more time cleaning himself. Where Buddy slept, Webster slept, too, just next to him, but not touching - respect.

...After only days, there was comfort and they became friends. I loved watching the complicated dynamics with subtle gestures unfold.

Mostly I am so glad they became friends! I've chosen this as my favorite foster antidote because I felt so fortunate to witness it all.
MLK: When foster cats Kimbra and Rivers first came to our home, they both hid under the bed for days. While Rivers opened up over time, Kimbra would hiss and run every time Brian and I entered the room. As time went by, Kimbra learned to tolerate our presence, and gradually the hissing became less frequent - but she had a long way to go. I remember the day we were first able to pet her. At that point we had fostered them for several months, and still had not been able to ever touch Kimbra. Then we discovered that if we fed her treats, we could briefly brush her back while she was eating. We continued to build this positive relationship, and after 5 months, many treats and successful eye surgery, Kimbra would seek our presence, purr and enjoy being pet. In March 2017 Kimbra and Rivers were adopted as a bonded pair into a loving home.

CT: Finally, what is your favorite thing about your current foster cat?

DP: Didi is a complicated medical case, but she has been an absolute trooper. I've had her for almost 4 months and there have been several surgeries, constant medicating, weekly trips to the vet, and she's been in the "cone of shame" for most of that time. Despite all that, she has remained a sweet and loving cat. She doesn't complain one bit. I think she is grateful for the time and care she's getting, and being out of the shelter!
EVT: Trevor is such a companion cat. I've never had one that wanted so much to be next to me. He really is only motivated by a hand on the belly. He is such a sweet boy!
MLK: [Bailey's] gentle, sweet and loving personality. I've never met a cat that wants to literally hug you and give you kisses - Bailey does! 

Bailey is regaining some use of his back legs with the help of his foster parents.