At any given time, Cat Town typically has about 50 cats in foster homes. An important part of fostering often includes caring for cats with illnesses like ringworm. For those unfamiliar, ringworm is the common name given to a fungal infection of the superficial layers of the skin, hair, and nails. We liken it having athlete's foot - with some easy precautionary measures, it's really very easy to care for a ringworm cat.
Volunteer, Jacqui R has fostered a number of ringworm cats with us since 2015 - only one of her many Cat Town roles - and has plenty of expertise to share.
I talked with Jacqui about her experience, what she’s learned, and what she hopes others can learn working with under socialized cats.
Larissa C: Including fosters, how many cats do you have at home right now?
Jacqui R: Three. Glenda is my current foster. Sparks and Maximus are my forever cats. Sparks is a foster fail. She was my first foster along with Mirabel, who found a good home. They were both kittens but I just connected to Sparks so much I couldn’t let her go.
LC: Have you been a cat person your whole life?
JR: Yes. I had two cats growing up. They both passed away two years ago but they lived to the ripe old age of 20 so I feel really blessed for having them in my life for so long.
LC: How did you get involved with Cat Town?
JR: I used to live a block away and I came one evening to see the cats. After that, I started following Cat Town on Instagram. There was a post about a kitten needing a foster home. My fiancé and our cat were still in Illinois at the time so I had the apartment to myself and decided to reply. Within a day I had two small kittens in my apartment. Then I couldn’t stop volunteering!
LC: What is/have been your role(s) at Cat Town?
JR: I’ve had a lot of roles. I started as a foster, then a Cat Zone volunteer, then an adoption counselor, and I started working in Cat Zone 2 before it was remodeled and I was recently trained to work with forgotten kittens. I was even on a cafe committee before they decided to lease the space. However, I spend most of my time working with my fosters, who are normally ringworm kittens stuck in my bathroom.
Editor’s note: For our readers less familiar with the inner workings of Cat Town, the new adoption center space, often called “the studios,” was formerly known as Cat Zone 2.
LC: What inspired you to start working with Cat Town and our under socialized cats?
JR: I don’t think there was an “inspiration” moment. I fell in love with Cat Town’s focus on the cats and what they needed, and I felt giving a little bit of my time to those cats that needed it was a small thing to give.
LC: You have fostered lots of cats with ringworm before. What is something you think people get wrong about cats and ringworm?
JR: There are no actual worms involved. It’s a skin rash that’s very contagious to other cats. While it can be transferred to people, it’s not as contagious between people and can be treated with over the counter medication. While it can be a hassle to foster if you already have cats, it’s not impossible.
LC: What is something you’ve learned about cats during your time at Cat Town that you think people wouldn’t expect to be true?
JR: Cats are more like people than we expect. Dogs have been bred for long enough that they have personality traits based off their breed. Cats haven’t been bred that way. Both my cats look very similar and both myself and my fiancé raised each of them since they were little; but Maximus is very peculiar about how he gives affection and he doesn’t vocalize very much; Sparks on the other hand is very vocal and loves affection. You can’t judge a cat based on how they look, you have to get to know them, one at a time.
Huge thank you to Jacqui and all of our wonderful foster volunteers for the amazing work they are doing every day for each of our under socialized and sick cats and kittens!
If you'd like to get involved by fostering or volunteering, please email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.