Cat lover Alexandra, a PhD student at the time, was unsure if she could commit to adopting a pet of her own. She lived with her boyfriend, who had never had a pet and was hesitant since he did not know what it would involve. At the suggestion of a friend, they decided to open their home to fostering.
Patchy came to the Annex Cat Rescue at three years of age after her previous owner passed away. She was declawed, which made her feel especially vulnerable when she came into a new space. She was brought to her foster parents’ home in a carrier and Alexandra could hear her house guest even before she saw her.
“She made this sound that definitely wasn’t a hiss, it was low and throaty. It could only be described as a growl,” said Alexandra. As a first time foster parent, Alexandra may have wondered what she had got herself into, but volunteers at the Annex Cat Rescue were always willing to answer all of her questions. “I never felt like I was on my own,” she said.
She had set up her house to make her furry friend as comfortable as possible, including setting a pillow out in a quiet corner. However, Patchy rejected her makeshift throne and darted under the furniture to hide. She would growl if anyone so much as looked at her.
All this changed when Alexandra’s cousin came for a visit. Patchy warmed up to her right away by jumping up and plopping herself into her cousin’s lap. “She took to her immediately, even putting her paw on her face and licking her chin,” said Alexandra. This type of friendly behaviour did not extend to anyone else. “She would still growl if anyone else tried to pet her,” said Alexandra.
Alexandra and her boyfriend allowed Patchy to move at her own pace. Eventually, Patchy became comfortable in her surroundings and started to come out of hiding.
Alexandra has fond memories of Patchy during the time that she was writing her dissertation. “I would spend all day on my computer and she would lie in my lap. She would fall asleep and wake up, but stayed in my lap for five or six hours at a time,” she said.
Patchy also had her own computer time. Although Patchy was not writing her dissertation, she became really good at a cat app that Alexandra had downloaded on her tablet.
After two months, Patchy found her forever home. “She deserved to be happy and I’m so glad she found a good home,” said Alexandra.
Alexandra found the fostering process very rewarding. “You’re making a difference in cats’ lives by helping to socialize them,” she said.
Shortly after, Alexandra and her boyfriend welcomed two foster kittens into their home. Because their fostering experience had been pleasant and the couple was ready, they decided to give the bonded pair of kittens a forever home.
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