I legitimately think I’ve cried more tears in the last few days than I have in the past six months combined. Nothing is wrong, I just had to say goodbye to my first litter of foster kittens.
I made the decision to foster knowing that saying goodbye is the end goal and with an awareness that it would be hard, but the whole experience has been so much more intense than I was prepared for. This morning I feel hungover despite not drinking last night, and I think it’s just extreme dehydration from sobbing when it was time to send one of the kittens I’d developed a bit of a favoritism for away to his new home yesterday evening. I was a fucking MESS.
Even though they were only with me for three weeks, I got so attached to them. I think when you spend time syringe feeding these tiny little babies and have alarms set every three hours in the night to check on them when they got violently ill with a stomach parasite and you barely sleep anyway because you’re so worried about them, you really develop some kind of deep emotional bond. Having them all get so sick was fucking awful, on my third vet visit with them I broke down in tears at the clinic out of sheer exhaustion and stress and feeling like I was doing everything I could and still failing them.
But ultimately, what I am constantly reminding myself, is that even though it’s so hard for me to say goodbye knowing I’m not going to see them again, they’re going off to an excited new family who are going to love them and give them good lives. All the people who have taken my boys have been so nice and I am confident they’re going to be very well taken care of. The goal is getting them strong and healthy and adopted into good homes and I have achieved that, and despite the emotional rollercoaster leading up to this point I feel happy and proud. It really is one of the most bittersweet things I have ever experienced.
A lot of people have been asking if I’ll do it again. I definitely will. I’ve even put my name down for the emergency foster list, meaning if a litter comes in that immediately needs a home for a few days to save them from euthanasia while looking for a full time foster, I’ve said I will possibly be available to come pick them up at short notice. In hindsight I think perhaps taking on four at once for my first time was a little ambitious and having six cats in my apartment was chaotic, so next time I may just take in two.
I’ve still got one of the kittens with me, he’s found his new home but his adopter is out of town for Christmas so he’ll be staying with me a little longer. Once he’s gone I’ll be getting the maids in to deep clean the living fuck out of my apartment, taking a break for a week, and then I’ll be ready to start chapter two.