Ready to open your home for a small friend in need? Willing to take over responsibility for a cat in need of a home? Peter Vinthagen Simpson did just that this Christmas.
The reaction of a nine-year-old animal-lover when told that the homeless cat home had finally got in touch to say that they had a litter of four kittens and their nursing mum in need of a home.
We had signed up as a prospective foster home earlier in the year after having been resisting increasingly persistent requests from the kids for a pet, due to our somewhat transient lifestyles. The idea of looking after some feline friends for a few months seemed to suit us.
As the holiday season approaches one is typically reminded, to resist the temptation to buy pets as presents. The phrase “a pet is for life, not just for Christmas” is a mantra which is familiar to many people, and understood by most.
That our first period as cat foster parents happened to coincide with Christmas is just that, a coincidence, but for those looking to have a little furry animal company but who are unable to make the lifetime commitment, Christmas can come but more than once a year.
Our pending arrivals furthermore gave us the chance to visit that neighbourhood pet shop which we had walked past all these years and around 1,000 SEK later we were equipped to feed (and collect the waste) of our little brood.
The idea is that the foster family falls in love with one or more of the cats and elects to keep them. With 11 weeks remaining of our little cat Christmas, the jury remains out on that. Failing that, the foster family’s job is to try to find suitable homes. Failing THAT the cats are returned.
The home pays for veterinary expenses and all cats are delivered vaccinated, chipped, wormed and adult cats are neutered. Foster families are able to keep the cats after their “trial period” at no charge, others pay an adoption fee of 1,100 SEK for one, 1,800 for two.
Peter Vinthagen Simpson
Peter is an independent writer based in Stockholm.