I didn't grow up with cats or kittens and knew very little about raising them. Years ago, a local shelter asked me to take a box of kittens home for the night, and I was so excited! What could go wrong? It's just a night and they were so tiny! My mother was a little more reluctant, but agreed over the phone. When I came home with them, she was on the phone with someone so I decided to feed them myself. I put a plate of wet food slosh that someone at the shelter showed me how to make. I lined all five little babies up around it and tried to get them to eat. Within minutes, they had walked through the food and were in every direction leaving cat-food footprints on everything. Those tiny furballs were all over the place, and they weren't listening to me! I was starting to panic trying to find and grab each messy little one that hid under furniture, and eventually shouted out for my mom to come help me!
She came to my rescue. She laughed at me for panicking, scooped each one up, put them in the sink basin so we could monitor how much each ate and make sure they were getting enough. I was incredibly lucky to have a calm, caring mom who knew just how to make them feel loved and secure.
I repaid the favor by bringing her home a "singleton" lonely kitten on Mother's Day for a full foster period. His name was Clawd, and I learned everything I know about kitten welfare from this journey of fostering. Sick kittens, different developmental ages, what things to expose them to, how to properly socialize them, what toys to give them, health developments and how give medicine, clean and love them till they find permanent homes. It was an invaluable, and needless to say, ADORABLE lesson I am forever grateful to have had. We ended up fostering 17 kittens for Mt Pleasant Animal Shelter, and many doggy sleepovers despite my mom's begging me not to bring more home. I thought the lady doth protest too much. We exchanged a lot of laughter and fond memories and learned a lot through fostering. We went to many lectures, orientations and read and watched a lot of animal welfare material. Sometimes we just gave a dog a vacation from shelter life, some she raised and healed from illnesses with me. My mother taught me how to stay calm and patient when accidents happen or a kitten plays a really intense game of hide-and-seek, to let go when it's time for them to leave, and when to keep the right one...
In exchange for her compassion and kindness taking in needy animals, she had a rotating stock of adorable animals for her grandkids to meet...pretty much the cutest house ever to visit, and stocked with the best selection of pet toys.
Thank you Mom, for all you have done for your kids, grandkids, animals and the world.
Did I mention she's allergic but let me take in a bunch of dogs that needed a break from the shelter? Including messy little puppies in snow storms that required many baths...(I don't have pics of many of these animals easily available. But there was quite the menagerie over the years).
So many toys in her neat, orderly home...
I am so grateful for the experience I had welcoming shelter pets into her home (and keeping a couple), and am so grateful to know the love and compassion of a wonderful mother. Happy Mother's Day to all kinds of moms out there.
Stay updated with some of my latest images, whether they're from photo shoots or unfinished art projects!