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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Welcome to the Foster Care Megathread!



What’s the point of this thread?

There's a bunch of points! First, my wife and I have enjoyed fostering immensely over the past year. It's rewarding, challenging, and a lot of fun. We'd like to encourage more folks to hop on board. The process itself is rather easy to get into, but a lot of people are intimidated by the prospect. This thread is a place to ask questions about fostering and learn more about the process.

The other main point of the thread is story sharing! One of the best parts of this gig is going into our SPCA and hearing stories from other foster parents. We hope this thread can be another extension of that.



What is fostering, how does it work?

Well, it’s going to vary from area to area but generally speaking, fostering is done through animal shelters, or rescue/adoption facilities.

In a good, no-kill shelter, these facilities can often find the need for an animal to be placed, temporarily in a good home. Though many times this is due to the facility being crowded, it can often be due to the fact that the animal needs some socializing so that it can be adoption ready, or it may be a little sick and needs to be separate from the general population.

When an animal meets one of those needs, a foster coordinator will e-mail their list of eligible foster parents, and see who is up for the challenge!

The animal will have a specific goal; oftentimes with kittens or puppies that goal will be to hit a certain weight. Once the goal is achieved, the foster animal can then be cleared for adoption and sent on their journey to find their forever home!



Why should I foster animals?

Fostering can a supremely cool experience. A really good reason to do so is if you love animals but are not necessarily willing to make a potentially 10+year commitment to owning a pet yourself. If you’re interested you should check it out, but first…



Why shouldn’t I foster animals?

If you’re a softie, like me, you seriously need to consider your ability to wave goodbye to your fosters. I can tell you that in our house, we fostered one dog and saying goodbye to him melted my heart into a little puddle and I lost tons of sleep over it.
We only foster cats now.

After having 100+ animals pass through our house at this point, it definitely gets easier to say goodbye with each passing visit.

Another thing to consider, how much time, space, and money do I have?

Time: You’re likely going to wind up taking care of animals that are slightly needier than your typical pet. Not all the time, of course, and you’ll certainly be warned when you’re considering your next foster that “this cat is very sick and needs and extra bin of attention”, but then you’ll see the picture, be smitten and won’t be able to help yourself.

A good rule of thumb is that a foster pet will likely require a solid hour a day of your attention, if you’re fostering a litter of puppies or kittens as opposed to one, that doesn’t really change all that much and it can in fact be easier as they won’t be as bored/agitated if left alone.

Space: I know that it’s possible to foster without a dedicated foster room, but boy does the idea of that sound unpleasant to me. That’s our setup anyway; there is a room in our house that serves that one, unique purpose. This is especially important if you already have pets of your own. It can be very stressful for your pets to just have a constant parade of new animals going in and out of their living space. It can be equally stressful and overwhelming for the foster to have to deal with a big house/space right from the jump.

Money: Fostering, at least in most cases, is supposed to be free. But, of course, if you’re the sort who is interested in fostering, you’re likely going to have a hard time containing yourself and will want to buy various treats and toys for your fosters. You’ll also likely have to spend a decent amount of time in your car shuttling your fosters to and from the facility for checkups. So yeah, gas.



How long is a typical fostering experience?

It varies greatly, but you’ll almost always have a pretty decent idea of what you’re looking at. Typically it’ll be between 1 week and 2 months.



I’ve heard about foster failure, what is that?

Foster failure is when you just can’t say goodbye for some reason and you end up keeping your foster. Most places will be cool about this, and though it may tap you out as a foster, most organizations will be OK with you stepping up to forever parent status because they know that means that the foster is getting a good home.



An important note on boundaries, expectations from Alteisen. Please note tha Alteisen fostered terminally ill animals While his experience comes from a unique perspective, it is still largely applicable to the fostering experience:

Alteisen posted:

So I spoke at length about my experiences fostering and there's one thing I wanted to touch on, something I'm sure you're all aware and have had experiences with and that's the state of mind.

It seems to be you all do this because you're wonderful people, because you genuinely care and want to give these poor animals who have nobody to bat for them a good life, make sure their first steps in this world are ones full of love and care.

When I opted to first care for my first terminally ill animal I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, I simply knew the animal would not live as long as most do, but somewhere along the line it became a bit warped in my own head, in some ways I convinced myself that either my presence or sheer force of will could prevent the inevitable and in many ways I made their passing much harder on myself than it needed to be, because rather than accept it as simply the natural order of things, I took it as a failure on my part, I didn't try enough and so on and so forth. Its really messed up, even today despite knowing I did it all right there's this part of me that still blames myself for their passing, like I failed somehow.

So I really urge people to be careful, especially if you ever decide to care for an animal on its deathbed, maybe at the time its not a comforting though, it wasn't for me, but you are doing your best and without you those little animals would have nothing.

Basically, if you foster for long enough, you're going to run into some tough situations. Many of the lovely goons listed below can attest to that fact. Should the worst occur you will naturally deal with some of the stages of grief and you will invariably be very hard on yourself.

What we're doing here is compiling a resource not just for the betterment of the animals, but for ourselves too. I'm a social worker. I know just how important self-care is for ensuring good care of others. This thread is a place to not just ask for help, but to ask for support as well. I've been so happy to see this thread evolve into a place where people have been helping each other!


List of Foster Goons, Shelter Volunteers, and Feral Animal Magnets!

Helpful weight gain recipe for itty-bitty-kitties:

LivesInGrey posted:

I'll leave you all with the recipe we use to help with healthy weight gain. This makes a batch fit for an empty pasta sauce jar.

1/2 cup KMR
1 cup water
1 can A&D wet food
2 egg yolks
You can also add a spoonful of baby food, but not all kittens like it.

Place all ingredients in jar, using funnel not to spill the KMR, and mix with fork to get the worst lumps out. Put lid on jar and shake like hell. There will be lumps still, but with time they dissolve. Syringe feed every 3-6 hours, depending on size and health. Scale to fit containers you have as long as the water : KMR ratio remains 2 : 1.

Chili fucked around with this message at 05:36 on Sep 14, 2018

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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

OK, so what’s with this Butterscotch fella?

Good question!

This is Butterscotch:





Butterscotch was our house’s first (and hopefully last) foster failure. He is a truly magnificent beast.

When we got Butterscotch he weighed in at 30 pounds. For a domestic house cat, that is a crazy crazy amount of weight. He was formerly the pet of a little old lady who just couldn't help herself from stuffing him with treats 24/7.

Naturally, I needed to share the triumphant story of Butterscotch with my goon community. He found his first online home in the cute pictures thread, but as time grew on I kinda felt that with each post I made in there he was de-railing the thread. They even re-named the thread after him.

Much in the same way that he has overtaken our bed, and our couch, and our kitchen, and most of our free time, he had overtaken a thread. I felt it was time to find him a new home, and when I realized there wasn’t a mega thread for fosters, I thought this would be a good idea.

So while we all post our foster stories and questions, we also are excited about sharing Butterscotch’s journey to a healthy weight with you.

Butterscotch is currently weighing in at 24 23 19 16 15! pounds. Since we’ve gotten him he’s been steadily losing about a pound a month which is the optimal trajectory for obese kitty weight loss. We’re so proud of him!

From now on, Butterscotch updates, videos, and pictures will be posted here, but if you are interested in seeing some of his antics, you can check out my post history in the cute thread here, about halfway down the first page: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...90&userid=48029

Here are some highlights, for the lazy:

Videos:

Being the best/worst: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDbrIO25aZc

Doing the best he can to play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMMiwrzYCP8

derp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-KyqZOen_Y

Smooooooshing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8Wk7aRSOhA

(I've uploaded a bunch more of these on my channel)



Pictures:

The picture posted when he was up for fostering:



After his first bath:



Snorlax Impression:



This:



This is pretty much how he always is when we’re home:



Couch surfing


Chili fucked around with this message at 21:03 on Dec 11, 2017

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry



So happy to see the Butterloaf in his own...okay, shared with other foster stories, thread!

Geolicious
Oct 21, 2003

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.


Lipstick Apathy

Here for Buttery goodness.

But also here for little babby kitties.

Alder
Sep 24, 2013



Thanks for the updates. Looking forward to more cattes soon.

WrenP-Complete
Jul 27, 2012



This is gonna be great. May this thread live up to the honor and dignity of Butterscotch.

ACES CURE PLANES
Oct 21, 2010




The best thing about Butterscotch is his constant look of either "Could you please not?" or a million-mile stare of despair and/or concern. My personal favorite being:


Radio!
Mar 15, 2008

Look at that post.



Oh my god Butterscotch has his own thread this is the best day!

spookygonk
Apr 3, 2005
Does not give a damn


Best fatte catte.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe



Another lazy Sunday.

We're going to try and sort out more fosters tomorrow, if not I'll make another butterypost.

Tendai
Mar 16, 2007

"When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber."



Grimey Drawer

Chili posted:



Another lazy Sunday.

We're going to try and sort out more fosters tomorrow, if not I'll make another butterypost.
Goddamn, that's a great cat

I wish I could foster, now that I'm in a place to do it. Unfortunately Kiska hates other cats with the fiery passion of the sun I can't wait till I move and can go be a cat socializer at the animal shelter.

porkswordonboard
Aug 27, 2007
You should get that looked at



Hooray for Senor Butterball! I know that's not his name, but I can't help myself As always, kudos! You guys do some sterling work.

Dick Trauma
Nov 30, 2007

God damn it, you've got to be kind.

Clapping Larry

I don't think I've seen even one photo of Butterscotch where his fur didn't look very soft. Like his entire body is bellyfur.

Tendai
Mar 16, 2007

"When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber."



Grimey Drawer

Dick Trauma posted:

I don't think I've seen even one photo of Butterscotch where his fur didn't look very soft. Like his entire body is bellyfur.
Seriously. Combine that with how warm I know cats are and how big he is and I imagine it's just like having the world's softest, fuzziest heating pad.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Dick Trauma posted:

I don't think I've seen even one photo of Butterscotch where his fur didn't look very soft. Like his entire body is bellyfur.

Soft as Country Crock.

Though believe me, that ain't on its own. He needs grooming, we use a good brush on him and you wouldn't believe the amount of fur that gets pulled off. He loves that though, so it's win/win.

Safari Disco Lion
Jul 21, 2011

Boss, if they make us find seven lost crystals, I'm quitting.



What brush are you using? I bought a Furminator a while ago but I'm not very happy with it.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Safari Disco Lion posted:

What brush are you using? I bought a Furminator a while ago but I'm not very happy with it.

Search for the zampa brush on amazon. I've been very happy with it.

FluxFaun
Apr 7, 2010




How thick is Butter's fur? My kitty Momo is short hair, but he has such crazy thick fur that it's hard to brush all the excess hair off of him.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Chili’s house of fosters has re-opened!

Say hello to a bonded pair!

Stinky is the boy.



And Jazzy is the girl!



(We didn’t name them, and frankly these are some low tier names, we can call them something different, suggestions are welcome!)

They're around 1 year old.

Stinky is very very frantic, he darts about and is a total attention hog. As soon as either one of us walks into the foster room he glues himself to us.

Jazzy is a little trickier, she spent the better portion of the weekend hiding, but we’ve finally figured her out. She likes when things open; cans, bags, what have you. She gets very curious and wants to see what’s going on… and then she doesn’t eat anything. So she likes when things open… but for some other reason than that they may contain delicious contents?

Anyway, our big treatment goal for them are to help ensure that they eat. Stinky is doing really well with that, and we’re coaxing Jazzy into munching on some tuna here and there. The other, equally important goal is basic socialization. Which again, Stinky is fine with, but Jazzy still needs a touch of work on, I was able to convince her to sit in my lap for a good few minutes today, wasn’t able to get a picture as she’s still a bit skittish, but we’re getting her there! The plan is to hold on to them for about two weeks provided that we get them to adoptable levels of health/socialization. Not expecting any hiccups on this case, they're pretty straightforward.

Stay tuned for more updates, and seriously these are terrible names, we all can come up with something better I’m sure.



Oh, and Butterscotch:



Sociopastry posted:

How thick is Butter's fur? My kitty Momo is short hair, but he has such crazy thick fur that it's hard to brush all the excess hair off of him.

Thick and Buttery. It's as glorious as you can imagine and running your fingers through the belly fluff is as splendid as skipping through a meadow of daffodils.

Dick Trauma
Nov 30, 2007

God damn it, you've got to be kind.

Clapping Larry

So many pictures of Butterscotch are less like a cat and more like a landscape.

Radio!
Mar 15, 2008

Look at that post.



Chili posted:


Stay tuned for more updates, and seriously these are terrible names, we all can come up with something better I’m sure.


Gilbert and Sullivan.

(no I'm totally not suggesting this because I have a cat named Gilbert of course not)

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Radio! posted:

Gilbert and Sullivan.

(no I'm totally not suggesting this because I have a cat named Gilbert of course not)

I'd be tempted, but we aren't huge fans of their work.

value-brand cereal
May 2, 2008

Does it feel like your love life has gotten a bit stale? Do you suspect that your partner is no longer attracted to you? Why not do what the ancient assyrians did and smear crushed Lobsta Fahts on their cock before applying a thin layer of Iron Dust on your Junk. They won’t be able to resist you.


Pocket and Pizza. Or Pizza and Pocket.

Sanguinary Novel
Jan 27, 2009


Garfunkel and Oates?

Azhais
Feb 5, 2007


Cybernetic Crumb

Tango and Cash

Radio!
Mar 15, 2008

Look at that post.



Obama and Diamond Joe.

Alteisen
Jun 4, 2007

by FactsAreUseless


Stinky looks so much like my old russian blue.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Alteisen posted:

Stinky looks so much like my old russian blue.

Yeah! At first I thought for sure that he was, but he doesn't have a lot of the characteristics that Blues have, can't write in his fur with your fingers, unfortunately. Also, good names so far, we'll go with our favorite offering from the thread tomorrow.

Rexxed
May 1, 2010

Dis is amazing!
I gotta try dis!



Stinky looks like a Buttons to me (or Mr. Buttons). Can't think of a good one for Jazzy but Jazzy isn't bad.

Klaus88
Jan 23, 2011

Violence has its own economy, therefore be thoughtful and precise in your investment

Rexxed posted:

Stinky looks like a Buttons to me (or Mr. Buttons). Can't think of a good one for Jazzy but Jazzy isn't bad.

Buttons is a really bad name for a cat.

Elmnt80
Dec 30, 2012

I got a SOCOM scout and twenty extra mags
And a couple severed heads in my bug-out bag






Name the male cat after a famous male jazz singer and leave the female named jazzy imo.

Edit: Like naming him Louie for Louis Armstrong. Louie and Jazzy!

Azhais
Feb 5, 2007


Cybernetic Crumb

Elmnt80 posted:

Name the male cat after a famous male jazz singer and leave the female named jazzy imo.

Edit: Like naming him Louie for Louis Armstrong. Louie and Jazzy!

Django

cat_herder
Mar 16, 2010

BE GAY
DO CRIME




Jazzy was the name of my cat from childhood who passed a few years ago.

Be super gentle with this one and give her all the treats and love while she's still young so she doesn't hate the world like mine did

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

meteloides posted:

Jazzy was the name of my cat from childhood who passed a few years ago.

Be super gentle with this one and give her all the treats and love while she's still young so she doesn't hate the world like mine did

I just spent a good half hour in the foster room, she's moving right along. Got her playing and demanding rubs and scritches, she's a sweet girl.

Anyway, chose the names. They are announced here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2F_AhaxILk

And yeah, Jazzy isn't that bad of a name, but Stinky certainly is. It may have been an affectionate moniker from a previous owner, but a bonded pair is hard enough to get adopted out, we can certainly try and set Mr. Stinkman up better than this.

Geolicious
Oct 21, 2003

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.


Lipstick Apathy

Chili posted:

And yeah, Jazzy isn't that bad of a name, but Stinky certainly is. It may have been an affectionate moniker from a previous owner, but a bonded pair is hard enough to get adopted out, we can certainly try and set Mr. Stinkman up better than this.

We have a bonded pair at the shelter I help at named Tywin and Lancel. And they came from a big hoarding situation raid. Tywin is super outgoing but Lancel is still so shy. And they are both black cats. But they came in as BFFs and they will go out as BFFs no matter how long it takes. (I'm so thankful to work at a no-kill)

Sometimes the clinic staff really picks bad names. Bless their hearts, they're doing their best. But sometimes the volunteers have to submit a request to get a name changed. Like little Morticia who had been there for a long time was adopted pretty quickly after we got her stuff changed to Marilyn. And, sure, the adopters usually change their names, but they gotta have good ones at the shelter.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Geolicious posted:

We have a bonded pair at the shelter I help at named Tywin and Lancel. And they came from a big hoarding situation raid. Tywin is super outgoing but Lancel is still so shy. And they are both black cats. But they came in as BFFs and they will go out as BFFs no matter how long it takes. (I'm so thankful to work at a no-kill)

Sometimes the clinic staff really picks bad names. Bless their hearts, they're doing their best. But sometimes the volunteers have to submit a request to get a name changed. Like little Morticia who had been there for a long time was adopted pretty quickly after we got her stuff changed to Marilyn. And, sure, the adopters usually change their names, but they gotta have good ones at the shelter.

Yep. Certainly thankful for that too. I'm fairly certain these cats came in to the shelter with these names, so there's probably some flexibility. But regardless, he's Django to me now!

Seat Safety Switch
May 27, 2008

MY RELIGION IS THE SMALL BLOCK V8 AND COMMANDMENTS ONE THROUGH TEN ARE NEVER LIFT.



Pillbug

Whenever I see Butterscotch videos I feel like they need a tuba soundtrack. He's so great.

Your little free loaders are also great. I hope they find a new loving home soon!

Do you do the foster interviews for your organization too?

Sanguinary Novel
Jan 27, 2009


Do cats actually use those self-grooming bristle arches?

Kwyndig
Sep 23, 2006


Heeeeeeey

Depends on the cat, some of them like the sensation, others don't.

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Anarchist Mae
Nov 5, 2009

by Reene


Lipstick Apathy



Need to make a bigger one and then hang it on a wall.

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