What’s a life without a feeling of giving back? A life half-lived, perhaps. A life satisfying on a surface level, but a little bit empty. A bit uninspiring.
You don’t have to be intensely religious, or even spiritual, to experience the adrenaline rush — and with practice, even an all-body euphoria — that comes with making someone else’s life a little bit better, even if just for a moment. (One might even argue that this moment is the most important moment of them all. And now this one. And now this. And so on.)
With that, I present to you my COVID-friendly way of making things just a little more delightful: kitten fostering.
The process is simple – find a local shelter or the humane society, find the volunteer link, and follow the directions to take the online “course” that teaches you what to expect, tips and tricks, and “dos” and “don’t dos” (each facility has slightly different policies about things like quarantining the animals, posting on social media, and length of time you need to be willing to keep the foster in your home).
I’m on my third litter since I started doing this in spring of 2020. Each has been a completely different scenario — a group of five orphans (same mother, likely 3 different fathers), a mother and her two nursing boys, and this time two unrelated 8-week-old female balls of fabulous. I’ve learned from them all, and loved them all. (So say my teenaged kids, too.)
And somehow, by some crazy random turn of the forces in the universe, we have so far been able to break ourselves away at the end of the foster term and give them back to the center (admittedly, after hoping against hope that one of our friends adopts them so we can come visit — a tactic that actually worked for two of them).
But I’m not gonna think about that part right now, because these two cuties are making my current moments pretty darned amazing, and it’s time to get back to returning that favor.