Monday, March 28, 2011

Like a Box of Chocolates

We now return to KITT-FM, where it's all kittens, all the time. And now, broadcasting live from our studios in Purrbank, Cat-i-fornia - heeeere's your hostess, Mother Catresa!

Hi folks!

Forrest Gump, in his childlike wisdom, gave us many good lines in that wonderful 1994 movie. And in a conversation yesterday with a friend, I used one of Gump's witticisms to talk about fostering.

"Kittens are like a box of chocolates," I told my friend, Lane. "You never know what you're going to get."

Indeed. And tonight, I will be picking up my first "box of chocolates" of the season from the Humane Society, and I am excited with the wonder and mystery of what the box will contain. Will I get orphans, or kittens with a mom? How many babies will there be? And the most intriguing question is, what will they look like? Will I get orange or brown tabbies? Black kittens? White kittens? Tuxedos? Grays? Or something else?

Will the "box of chocolates" all be, say, peanut butter meltaway tabbies, or will it be one of those variety packs with some peanut butter, some caramel, some nutty, some raspberry creme, and others?

I'll find out soon enough tonight, and I can't wait. Mama C will report back very soon!

Until next time, I remain,
Mother Catresa
Patron Saint of Homeless Felines
(and the "smitten kitten")

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Um, Sorry ... Do We Know You?

We now return to KITT-FM, where it's all kittens, all the time. And now, broadcasting live from our studios in Purrbank, Cat-i-fornia, heeeeeere's your hostess, Mother Catresa!

Hi folks!

I am thrilled to report that the two "handsome, single studs," as reported in my last post, have found their forever home - TOGETHER! Yes, the Good Lord has answered my prayer in exactly the way I had hoped: He found a lovely home for both Kitty and Simba, who are now enjoying their spacious house in a southern Pittsburgh suburb with a nice family, after spending nearly a year in my guest bedroom.

And though I celebrate the cats' good fortune and happy future, I must admit that, selfishly, I felt a bit swatted in the face when I visited Kitty and Simba in their new home last week. See, it seems as if Mother Catresa already has been forgotten.

I went to the new owner's home to drop off some paperwork - which I could have easily mailed, but I wanted to see the kitties one more time. The kind, hospitable owners showed me inside - and, just like he often did at my house, Kitty was hiding under the bed. Simba, on the other paw, was crouching under the dining room table, on top of a chair.

"Simba, old buddy!" I exclaimed, as I stretched out my hand toward him, and said "Come here, come here!"

Simba jumped down, looked up at me with seeming recognition, let out a little squeak, and lifted his nose, so I could pet it. But just as my hand touched his face, he bolted and ran down the hallway, making a beeline for the underbed world where his buddy awaited.

"Well, you ungrateful ratfink," I grumbled.

I followed Simba into the room, got down on my knees, lifted the bedskirt and peeked underneath - hoping, in vain, to summon out Kitty and Simba. But no such luck. Just like they did at my house when they were frightened, they just stared at me, and refused to budge.

I jokingly said, "Oh gee, so this is the thanks I get? Foster mommy comes to see them again, and they don't even want to interact with me? Niiice."

When I realized the cats weren't coming out, it dawned on me: perhaps I am like a nurse in the ICU. I may have saved and nurtured my patients, and they are grateful: however, I remind them of a traumatic time in their lives. After all, these boys met Mother Catresa when their old mama gave them up, and they lost the only home they knew. I'm sure they love me, in a way. But, let's face it: I am a reminder of hard times, and who wants to revisit that?

Chances are, Simba saw me - and Kitty, heard me - and they thought that the big, bad lady was back with the cat carrier, waiting to snatch them and take them back to the Petsmart cage. Again. That's what the cats probably associate me with - and really, who can blame them?

Well, Mother Catresa understands. This is just part of the work I do: letting go. Just like I remember all of my dozens of foster kittens over the years; but, if I saw them now, they probably would have no idea who I was. (Their adult selves, incidentally, would look quite different than the kittens I knew, too).

And that's OK. I can live with that. Because even if they don't remember me, all of my furry alumni will forever dwell in my memory. And my role as a foster, really, is to prepare the kitties to be someone else's pet. Just like a parent's role is to prepare a child for adulthood. It ain't easy, but someone has to do it, right?

I kept that in mind as I gave the family a warm "thank you" and wished them well, walked out to my car, and drove off - watching the road through my misty eyes.

Until next time, I remain,

Mother Catresa
Patron Saint of Homeless Felines
(and the "smitten kitten")