Annex Cat Rescue is currently looking for new people to provide socialization homes for cats coming in off the street. This is a hugely important role. If you’re an experienced cat-person, please consider fostering a frightened cat or kitten who needs to be socialized, or re-socialized, after a rough time. We also have “special needs” cats requiring short-term medication because of accidents or medical conditions.
What have you found to be the most rewarding aspect of providing a socialization home?
The most rewarding part of being a socialization home is that one moment where this beautiful kitty you’ve been spending so much time with, finally starts to trust you. It finally starts to see that you’re not going to hurt them, you’re not going to scare them and everything is going to be okay. It’s that moment they have 2 choices – hide under something or sit out and interact with you – and they choose interaction. It’s the moment you get to see a kitty – who once was living out on the streets, living a rough and hard life – finally play with a toy for the very first time. It makes my heart melt.
It’s all of these little moments, where you see the barriers start to come down and the trust begin to form. That’s when you know you’ve done your job. That’s when you know just how important it is to stick to it, to never give up on them and stay hopeful. It might take a month, 3 months or 6 months – but the moment you see that look in their eye when they’re starting to trust humans – when they don’t cower when you start to pet them – that is SO rewarding. It is so worth it. It’s your chance to change this kitty’s life and get them ready for a forever home. It makes me shed a happy tear almost every time!
What would you tell someone who is “on the fence” about becoming a socialization home?
I would tell anyone who is becoming a socialization home that it is one of the most rewarding (and yes – I’ll be honest it’s challenging) things you’ll ever do in your life. Most people who talk to me about socializing and fostering are worried about getting attached and having to let go. Lots of people want to help out and do it, but they’re worried. And I totally get it. That’s why it took me a while to open up to socializing myself. Yes, that is the hard part. Letting go is always hard – but it gets easier every time. And every time you do it, you realize just how important it is to do. You’re saving so many kitty lives! And if you post about your experience on social media, you get to positively affect the lives of so many people – and possibly encourage even more people to volunteer their time. It becomes a ripple affect when people get to watch kitties go from being so scared to so happy and open. It’s such a beautiful thing to see.
Another thing people say is they don’t have time. Even if you can just spare 30 minutes per day, that’s better than 0 minutes – than 0 chance at a new life. Carve out 30 minutes of time before bed to sit with the kitty, talk to it, feed it and bond. An hour would be great, but even if you have just 30 minutes per day – that’s something. So many kitties who are out on the street getting hit by cars, getting hurt by anything or anyone – this is your opportunity to change a life. Try it out! Annex Cat Rescue has the most incredible support I’ve ever encountered. I have never felt like I didn’t have someone to talk to or turn to, when I needed advice with one of my kitties. There is always an encouraging, helping hand a phone call or text away. You have endless resources. Go for it.