It was a Sunday night in October when I began hearing the soft meowing under the floorboards of our bedroom. They were sporadic but consistent and woke me up multiple times throughout the night. By Monday morning, I was not only ready to end the repetitive meowing but I also needed to rescue the small creature making the ruckus.
After Adam left for work that day, I army crawled under our above grade house through a small passageway. I called out to the kitten and the meowing grew louder. When I finally made it to the other side of the house, I found a tiny tabby huddled next to a concrete pillar. I reached for the kitten, who instinctively hissed at me, and grabbed him by the back of his neck. I army crawled out from under the house and examined the kitten. Other that the fact that both of us were covered with dirt, he seemed to be in good health.
Now, what was I going to do with a kitten?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, Luna came into my life in a similar manner. She was seeking warmth in my truck engine on a cold December morning in 2011. I rescued her from the vehicle and… well, she never left. Needless to say, Adam wasn’t exactly thrilled that I had rescued another kitten.
I swung by my local vets office and asked their advice on the kitten. I did not want to keep him but I very well couldn’t leave him outside alone to fend for himself. They recommended I take him to the Humane Society so I headed over to the shelter.
After a short wait, the staff asked where I acquired the kitten and I told them the story of crawling under my house. They informed me he was too young to adopt out – probably only four weeks old – but if I was willing to keep him until he was eight weeks old, they would see that he was adopted out.
So, that is how I unintentionally became a foster for the Jacksonville Humane Society. I left the shelter with a whole bag full of necessities I would need to keep this guy alive for the next four weeks. Now I just had to break the news to Adam that we would be having a temporary but relatively long term a house guest.
The first few days with the kitten were tough. He wasn’t used to being in the house and cried a lot. But I kept him locked in my small half bathroom when we went to bed at night or left the house and he quickly caught onto our routine. The dogs didn’t mind him because they are used to having a cat around. But Luna? She was furious. I didn’t have to work very hard to keep her away from the kitten as advised by the shelter staff.
After the first couple of weeks together, I tried to convince Adam we should keep the kitten. He refused. In fact, he refused to even acknowledge the kitten for the most part and barely supported my decision to foster the kitten. But he agreed to at least tolerate the cat until our fostering time was complete.
The last week we were together, I began to grow weary of having the kitten around. He had grown significantly and now somehow managed to find his way into everything. There was no escape from his mischief. When I’d put him on the floor, he’d claw his way back up the couch and into my tea. When I tried folding laundry, he was right there in the middle of the clothes. He was cute but he was a handful.
On November 16th, exactly four weeks after I found him under my house, I dropped the kitten off at the Humane Society. Our time together was over and while it was a little bittersweet, I was confident that JHS would find him a great home… and thankful that my own household would go back to normal.
I really enjoyed my experience with fostering for Jacksonville Humane Society. I was surprised at how easy the whole process was and other than a little bit of wet kitten food that I bought myself because I had run out, I didn’t have to come out of pocket a single dime for the kitten. They supplied me with everything I needed and I returned all of the unused items. I was happy to help out the little guy but thankful at the same time that he wasn’t mine to keep forever. Luna was especially grateful. She didn’t give me the slightest bit of attention when the kitten was around but gladly resumed her place in my lap once he was gone for good.
If you’re thinking about adopting a cat or dog from the Humane Society, I urge you to try out the foster program first. This will allow you to really decide if you’re ready to become the parent of a fur child. To find out the kinds of animals available for fostering and adopting, visit jaxhumane.org or contact your local Humane Society.