Some might call me a crazy cat lady. I wouldn't disagree with them because I'm crazy about cats. I had adopted two cats, both black kittens, from a local no-kill animal rescue, and a couple years ago joined their foster program.
When I brought home our first cats in 1997, I'd intended to get one, but came home with two flea-ridden kittens that they were trying to get rid of at a garage sale. I still have one, Spirit, who is sleeping against me while I write this blog. So when I asked my husband if I could foster a cat for my 2012 Valentine's present, he wasn't totally surprised that I came home with not one senior foster cat, but two!
One, a gray sweetheart named Crystal, was more ill than anyone realized and crossed the Rainbow Bridge in my arms a month later, but the other Miss Mousie walked into our house, didn't want to be in her two-week quarantine location and made herself at home as if she'd always lived there. The other cats didn't bother her. The dog didn't faze her. The kids were okay, too. Boy, I thought, fostering is easy.
Then summer arrived, and Miss Mousie stopped being interested in food. She had an ear infection, but thevet also said he felt an ear condition she had was worsening. Without an expensive surgery called a TECA (Total Ear Canal Ablation), he felt her pain warranted humane euthanasia. I'd already lost Crystal. I didn't want to lose Miss Mousie.
I received an estimate of $5000 (later reduced to $4000 thanks to someone who recommended a different specialty vet. I'd never done any type of fundraising before, but some writer-friends brainstormed ideas with me. We had a ticking-clock deadline with life and death stakes. One friend suggested a website with stories about authors and their cats. Help Miss Mousie was born. Twenty-four authors (romance and mystery genres) donated posts about their cats. Many I didn't know personally, but they had heard about Miss Mousie and wanted to help.
The support we received from them as well as other authors who didn't have time to write a post, but promoted our efforts on their social media was incredible. We raised $4000 in a little over a month. Miss Mousie had her surgery, and a few months later we officially adopted her. Some would call us foster failures, but I prefer to think of us as foster winners. Two years later, she's doing wonderful! She can't hear due to her surgery, but she's no longer in pain and acts younger than her age (16).
As I wrote my August Special Edition, The Billionaire's Nanny, I was fostering a fifteen-year-old senior cat with medical issues. Fostering cats worked perfectly with my heroine Emma's backstory, so I created Blossom, an orange diva kitty who melts the heart of a non-cat liking billionaire hero. That's what I wish for every foster animal out there—someone to fall in love with them so they can get the forever homes they deserve!
Have you ever fostered or thought about fostering an animal? Answer in the comment section, and one person will be chosen to receive a Kindle version of Melissa's July release from Holiday Books The Honeymoon Prize.