I walked into the overcrowded shelter. This was my first time to “evaluate” cats. How was I to decide what’s considered adoptable and what’s considered disposable? To me all of them deserve a second chance. I was told to concentrate on the kittens, adults with unique coloring and the completely social animals with no negative owner surrender notes. I was struggling through my evaluations and to my surprise I came across a tiny 7 week-old black kitten overcast behind his litter box. It was malnourished, frightened, defensive and over 4 weeks old. Needless to say, everything I was told to avoid in selecting an animal! At first glance I recognized fear in his eyes but upon further examination I empathized with his emotions and rationalized his fears. I knew what his outcome was had I not have stepped in. I begged to take him home and after much coercion I was ecstatic when my plea was granted. His name was Faron.

After a brief period of time caring for Faron, I discovered how precious he truly was. In less than a week he was a social butterfly eager to find his forever home. The perfect kitten soft, talkative, playfully quarky, and loving. I was in love.

Soon it was time for his adoption. Feelings of uncertainty overwhelmed me as I witnessed him carried off with his new family holding his bag close in hand; I couldn’t control my tears. There was no point in fighting the inevitable much longer. Part of me knew it was a loosing battle. My foster kitten, Faron, finally found his perfect home.

On my way home all I could think about was how difficult it would be opening the door to an apartment abruptly muted by the absence of my new feline friend. Inarguably, his adoption was bittersweet. Though I was depressed, I couldn’t have asked for better adopters; A couple raising a family of pets rather than children. My jovial and self-soothing thoughts were quickly halted by his cry for the only mother he knew to console him. Visions of his tiny black paws fluttering under the door and the feel of his soft coat against my face as I squeezed him tight came to fruition. The sounds of him chatting with his toys as he pounced them, replayed in my mind like a broken record. I was devastated that this chapter of my life had come to an end.

A week later walking into the shelter, again to my surprise, I saw two defensively hissing kittens scared and shaking. I wrapped them in a towel and whispered gently to them as the smaller of the two began to purr. They had no comprehension that their prior defensive disposition was the determining factor of whether they were deemed “worth saving” or “humanely discarded”. Through all the emotions, at that moment I realized the prize for this pain. I had then seen that fostering would be my labor of love. I knew that I would continue this labor until every helpless animal I encountered would be saved. Selflessly donating their time, emotions, and expertise to continue to save animals that would otherwise have had no chance, is the life of a foster. To me fostering is the most challenging, influential, important, and most rewarding job there is in rescue.

Faron was the galvanizing influence that had motivated me to start my own rescue organization which is now called Pawsitive Karma Rescue. The group concentrates on “special needs” animals that are deemed “unadoptable” by the city shelter and other groups. I am driven by the belief in “live outcomes” for all animals including those of unpopular breed, color, behavioral issues, feral and under-socialized. Just like my beautiful Faron.

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