If you were to ask me why I got back into rescue, I’d tell you about the past few days. It was the most eventful week since I got back into cat rescue a year ago.
We started fostering just before Christmas last December, first for Roo, who was adopted a couple of months later, and then for Judy, who only stayed with us a week before moving on to another foster home. Then, in March, we took in Dickens and Poe, the two skittish foster brothers who needed time and patience to learn to trust humans again. Last Saturday, Dec. 10, they finally went to their forever home together. Being able to help cats bridge the gap from shelter or outdoor life to a forever home is one of the reasons I got back into rescue. Last weekend was bittersweet because I loved those boys with all my heart, but I was so happy to see them go home with a true cat person.
Then, the next day, we set the trap for backyard cat Fireheart. Instead of catching him, we landed little tortie Spottedleaf. Caring for feral cats was the reason I got involved with Rescue Angels of Southern Maryland, the organization is foster and volunteer with. Rescue Angels has an active TNR program, and I had learned the hard way that feral cats stand no chance at our local shelters.
It was hard to let Spottedleaf go last Wednesday. I knew the weather was going to turn cold on Thursday, but she had let me know without a doubt that she was totally over being in a trap in my garage. My son and let set her free on the back deck where we’d trapped her.
Two days later, we finally caught Fireheart. We’ve been feeding Fireheart in the yard since July, and I got used to seeing him in the yard. He was a frequent visitor, often coming during the day. Fireheart was neutered and vaccinated, and on Thursday, I brought him to the same caretaker who has Bluestar, another of my backyard cats. I already miss seeing him in my yard, but I know he has a safe forever home and that he is reunited with his buddy Bluestar.
So, it’s kind of been an up-and-down week. Each transition has been a mixture of joy and sadness, which, I have learned, is sort of the essence of rescue work. You let these animals into your heart, and seeing them off to their forever homes – whether inside or outside – brings tears of joy and sadness.
It also brings a realization that the work is never done, that there are more animals that need someone to care for and love them.
This busy cat week has ended, but I’m fairly certain a new one will begin soon.