Bonding with Foster Cat

Yesterday when I went to the shelter to pick up a foster cat, I expected to get a litter of kittens. They’re completely overrun with kittens, but won’t adopt them out until they’re 2 mos., so in the meantime kittens go in bunches to foster homes.

But the SPCA workers looked at me, looked at the list, and sent me home with a scraggly, matted, feces-covered, balding, anorexic adult female. Apparently, she has been in bad shape since getting neutered. She won’t eat, play, or clean herself.

I brought her home and set her up in the bathroom, where she has a plush kitty existence. The other cats have been sniffing around wondering when she’ll come out to play. She ate hardly anything last night. I found it difficult to pet her and cuddle her because she was really quite disgusting. So, I decided to give her a bath. I read up about how to give a cat a bath, but I wasn’t optimistic. I’ve heard horror stories.

I followed the instructions and gave her a pretty thorough bath, although she is still dirty in places I missed. You know a cat is desperate when it just stands there and lets you bathe it. She didn’t hiss, scratch, whine, or anything. Afterwards I wrapped her in a towel and hugged her for a long time, during which she purred and kneaded. Now she is grooming.

**10 min. later. I filled up her water dish and food bowl. Now she’s eating! Hungrily, with appetite!


About Jessica Smith
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10 Responses to Bonding with Foster Cat

  1. Amelia Lohrenz says:

    Bravo! They must have known at the shelter that you would be good for her.

    I sometimes think that cats are too self-aware for their own well-being. They think quite highly of themselves normally, and when their circumstances suddenly leave them dirty, hungry, and sad, they lose so much self-respect that they prefer just to die quietly than scrabble back into Catdom.

  2. Small Fry says:

    Yay! It’s true, she just needed to remember that she is a cat!

  3. alixandra says:


  4. Michelle Detorie says:


  5. Jessica Smith says:

    This morning I’ve let her out to play with the other cats for a little while. Basil and Djuna are being nice to her; Hilda, of course, is never nice to anyone. Kitty is rubbing up against Basil and playing with Djuna’s catnip-mouse. Also, she ate all her food and yogurt from yesterday and most of her food this morning.

  6. DUSIE says:

    you realize this kitty is yours right? good job mama.

  7. Jessica Smith says:

    Susana, shhh! No! I am trying not to get too attached! It’s better if I can help many cats by fostering them and turning them around!

    Now she is eating out of the others cats’ adult food bowl, and Basil shared his treat with her. Basil doesn’t share treats. Basil steals treats. But this kitty does look like she needs to eat.

  8. Reen says:

    Cats in the bath are the best thing ever. They look so demoralized.

    But bathing them is sometimes necessary. When my family moved to Charleston, South Carolina, our cat got such bad fleas that my mother couldn’t figure out any other way to get rid of them but to drown them. There were so many that the water turned red.

  9. Jessica Smith says:

    That is totally disgusting.

  10. Annandale Dream Gazette says:

    awwww-what a cute picture. Jessica’s Home for Wayward Cats! Lisa Jarnot really loves her cats too. something about poets and cats I guess. I had a Havana Brown once. she was definitely my surrogate baby.

    they eat yogurt?!

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