As anyone who regularly watches my Facebook or Instagram accounts may know, I’ve recently started fostering a cat. Her name is Zola. She is about 7 months old and she is super cute.
I originally volunteered to foster because I’ve been having this insane urge to adopt a cat lately. I don’t know why, but I’ve just really wanted one.
So when IACC had a panleukopenia outbreak, and a lot of rescues saved cats from them and in turn needed fosters to take in their healthy cats so they could watch after the sick/exposed ones, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to both get what I wanted and not have to dedicate 20 years of my life to it.
This is the first time I’ve lived with a cat on a regular basis since 2009, and it’s the first time ever I’ve been its primary caretaker. I still have two more weeks with Zola, but here are some of just a few things I’ve learned so far:
Cats can be nocturnal
Sure, I remember the good old days while I was a teen where we had our kitten Oreo, who loved to knead his paws into your neck as you tried to fall asleep. Somehow, I found that charming. Now, I realize the value of sleep. And a cat running around getting into everything and then purring and rubbing against your face at 4 a.m.? It’s not ideal.
Cats know no boundaries
OK, I’ve gotten used to the fact that I can’t go to the bathroom by myself simply from having a dog. But cats have no sense of personal space. “Hello human, don’t mind me while I sit my butt right on your face.” And cats jump on counters, and tables, and they don’t really listen when you tell them no. Gone are the days when I just put something on the counter if I wanted to keep it out of the reach of my dog.
Litterboxes are ridiculous
I know that I have to pick up my dog’s poop every single time he does it, so cleaning a litter box only twice a week should seem like no big deal–a relief, even. But for some reason, it’s like the lesson my mom’s always tried to hammer into my head–“If you clean up after yourself every time you do something, then it never gets out of control/messy”–finally comes through when it comes to pet poo.
Dogs really do eat cat poop
One of the big points my mom tried to make when advising me against getting a cat was that Norm would try to eat out of the litterbox. While I knew our dog Scamper used to do this, I’d really hoped Scamper had just been an oddball. And that seemed to be the case, too–the only time Norm went near Zola’s stuff was when he was trying to eat her food. Until today, when I got out of the shower and found Norm lying in the second bedroom–“Zola’s room”–with a cat turd in front of him.
I’m a dog person
I think I’ll just stick with Norm. He and I make a great team. Everyone has told me I’ll be a foster fail, and while I do love Zola, all of the above is true, and I really don’t think I’ll keep her. I still love cats, and I’ll still happily snuggle with Cat and Herman and Pumpkin and Kyra (friends’ and family’s cats) if they let me… but I think at this point in time, I’m not the cat owner type.