“Why I no longer take in rescue cats”

Become a foster family to save kittens and cats was such a joy. It seemed like a perfect solution for my kids and I wanting more pets but not being able to add to our family due to our living situation.

We’re crammed into a small apartment, me, three teenagers, our rescue cat Timmy who we found at our local vet, and our two parakeets Archie and Bennie.

We are complete !

But what we could do was lend a hand with our local organization Hills Cat Rescue looking after kittens and rescue cats for a few days and weeks here and there.

READ MORE: American influencer Meredith Staggers has been close to death after the birth of her third child

Jo Abi with her kitten Timmy
Timmy is the first fur baby we added to our family, a rescue kitten we found at our local vet. (Instagram@joabi_9)

Our first two charges were Peaches and Fern, two female sibling kittens who need love and care and need to increase in weight enough to allow sexing. They stayed with us for about three weeks before they could have the operation and soon after they were relocated together by a local family.

Just before they left us, we were asked to take care of two more rescues. Their names were Jonla and Jack, not siblings, but both needed urgent care as they went through the relocation process.

READ MORE: Sydney’s mum’s battle with rare disease: ‘Right now anger isn’t going to serve me’

Jo Abi rescues cats and kittens Hills Cat Rescue
Peaches (left) and Fern were our first two loads courtesy of Hills Cat Rescue. (Provided)

Jolna was another kitten who was already sexless and had only been with us for a little over a week before heading to her new home.

Jack was another story.

He was older and had been transferred to us from another foster family. I was told that Jack’s previous foster family had become very attached to Jack and were about to add Jack to their family permanently. The only problem was that they already had several cats, rescues they couldn’t bring themselves to give up.

For a daily dose of 9Honey, Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Jo Abi rescues cats and kittens Hills Cat Rescue
Jack was an older rescue and terrified of his new surroundings. (Provided)

Unlike Peaches, Fern and Jolna, who as kittens accepted their changed circumstances more easily, taking only a few hours to realize they were safe with us, Jack was terrified.

It hid in the back of my closet for a day and a half, then moved to the back of the TV stand behind our cable basket for another two days. We had to hand feed him.

It was smelly and unkempt, a sure sign of a distressed cat.

Over the next few days, we would find Jack in various discreet places in our apartment, including under our beds, above my closet, in the children’s closets behind their blankets…

Jo Abi rescues cats and kittens Hills Cat Rescue
Our next two rescues were Jolna (top) and Jack, and Jack would prove harder to heal. (Provided)

Jolna was quickly adopted and we ended up with just Timmy and Jack, from five kittens and cats to two more manageable. It allowed us to focus more on Jack and what we needed.

It was a very slow process, but it eventually warmed up to us and Timmy. We thought he was ready to meet a potential new family, but when they came for a visit, he hid under my bed, terrified.

We realized he needed a lot more time to regain his confidence in a safe and loving home, so we spent the next few weeks with him. Before we knew it, we loved him, and especially Timmy too.

We were stuck.

Should we add her to our family or keep looking for another home to keep taking in kittens and cats?

Jo Abi rescues cats and kittens Hills Cat Rescue
Jo Abi and Jack huddle in the living room. (Provided)

The kittens were easy. They were adaptable and cute and easy to reinstall. Older cats are tougher. They are not as cute and take longer to adapt to new circumstances.

We didn’t want Jack to have to go through this process again, but it took me another three months to commit to taking him on full time, completing the paperwork and paying for him.

Jack is now an integral part of our family, but he taught me an important lesson.

We really can’t accommodate any more cats. Kittens, yes, but not cats.

Older cats take longer to recover physically and mentally and by the time you do, you love them and can’t give them away. To this day, Jack’s former foster family asks after Jack and misses him.

And this foster home is another reminder that if we keep taking in cats, we’ll end up with far too many cats. And we rent! In a small apartment!

Jo Abi rescues cats and kittens Hills Cat Rescue
Timmy (left) and Jack…the bromance is real. (Provided)

It’s just not an option for us anymore, and that makes me so sad.

I recently discovered that our organization had been contacted by 14 families wishing to give up their cats for multiple reasons, none of which had come through us. Pets are not for people’s comfort, they are for life.

And older cats are far too difficult to repatriate.

Jo Abi rescues cats and kittens Hills Cat Rescue
“Older cats take longer to recover physically and mentally.” (Provided)

No one in our organization will ever allow one of these beautiful creatures to be put down, so this incredible group of cat lovers will continue to add to their already vibrant families.

It’s so frustrating and heartbreaking.

Jo Abi rescues cats and kittens Hills Cat Rescue
‘Jack is now an integral part of our family.’ (Provided)

The goal is to de-sex every kitten that comes to us to prevent this problem from getting worse. Then there will be less cute little kittens and more beautiful, loyal, loving and vulnerable senior cats waiting to find their forever home.

Cats are kittens only for a short time. They are cute and it is very tempting to pick one up.

But please consider adding an older cat to your family.

Jack is the most amazing boy. He is now happy and confident, running towards visitors who come through our door while Timmy is still running into Philip’s room to hide. He is playful, clumsy and his purr sounds like a lawn mower.

Jo Abi rescues cats and kittens Hills Cat Rescue
“Please consider adding an older cat to your family.” (Provided)

He has a delicate stomach and can only eat one type of dry food.

But we couldn’t imagine our family without him.

Still, two is our limit, so we’ll leave the older rescues to the rest of this amazing team of cat lovers.

If you are looking to add a fur baby to your home, please visit Hill Cat Rescue in Sydney or your local cat rescue organization.

The first time that shy, scared, damaged old cat rushes up to you, jumps into your lap, and loves you as much as you love him, it’s priceless and well worth the effort.

Share your animal rescue story by emailing Jo Abi at jabi@nine.com.au.

Adorable babies and their gallery of cats.  YouTube user Rina Takei

Adorable toddler and cat befriend window cleaners

#longer #rescue #cats

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *