The toughest thing about fostering other than parting from them when you drop them off for adoption is knowing that eventually, you will lose one. I knew this when I started fostering, and I know this as I am typing right now, but still my heart is breaking into a million pieces.
On Sunday, a little over 48 hours ago, Stubs came down with the same cold as her sister and she stopped eating. We were more worried about her sister at the time and quickly booked an appointment for Monday afternoon. From what we could tell, Stubs seemed okay.
When we got to the vet, we were told that both her and her Sister Zipper2 have a fever and secondary bacterial infection from URI. It was recommend that we leave them both at the clinic over night, we brought Darth home with us and waited to see if Zipper2 would recover.
The vet called this morning to let us know that Stubs didn’t make it, she was surprised too since Zipper2 was the sicker one. I don’t really remember what else she said over the phone, I just remember the absolute shattering pain in my heart.
When you foster, you are there to take care of the little ones, to provide them with the best care possible so that they would have a higher chance of survival, so that they can be healthy and find loving forever homes. The foster kittens do not belong to us, and so there’s a sense of added responsibility when you take care of them. We were entrusted with caring for them. We are the parents until they are ready to go out on their own. So when you lose a foster kitten, there’s always doubt, guilt, and a sense that you have failed some how at parenting. My brain knows we tried the best we could and eventually something like this will happen. However, my heart still questions what would have happened if I had just taken her into the vet 24 hours earlier, would she still be alive? Someone else out there would have had the opportunity to enjoy her company as much as I did.
I have only had three short days with her and already I was head over heels in love with the little girl. It was obvious she had a rough start but you really couldn’t tell by the way she behaved. She loved to be around people and from the first day tried to follow me every where I went. She purred at the sight of me and was always trying to sit next to me whenever I am in the nursery. I knew when I got her it would be difficult to drop her off for adoption, but nothing prepared me for this.
When you own a pet, often you know when the time comes and you get to say goodbye, I never got to say goodbye to her. When I left her at the vet’s office, she was purring on the counter, looking at me with her big eyes. The thought of her dying alone in a cage is breaking my heart, the thought of not getting the chance to say goodbye, to let her know how much I loved her company, to let her know that she’s one of the best kitties I have ever known, is one of the hardest things of being a foster parent.