Happy Tail: Pinto and Attila (formerly Apple and Blueberry)

Fostering is a family affair for Laura and Jeff, who have been fostering independently and together for about seven years. Jeff found the Annex Cat Rescue online years ago when he was looking for a pet but couldn’t yet commit to adopting. “I travelled a lot at the time and the fostering option was great because I could take care of cats who needed a home,” he explains.

Last summer, the couple decided to open their home to a litter of six-week-old kittens who needed a safe space to adjust to life with humans and heal from illness they’d picked up while living outside. Two of the litter, named Apple and Blueberry, were nearly identical. With black and white markings so similar, Jeff and Laura had to guess which was which. “We actually put two coloured ribbons around their necks so we could tell them apart,” laughs Laura.

Happy Tail: Attila and Pinto

With Jeff and Laura’s help, the feral kittens quickly became comfortable enough to sit on their laps. “They changed their attitudes pretty quickly,” says Jeff. Apple and Blueberry stayed with them for a few weeks. “During that time they made huge progress. They went from not being able to be touched to sitting in your lap happily and purring.”

Meanwhile, Julia and her partner Andre had been thinking about adopting a cat for some time, and after finding ACR online decided to meet Apple and Blueberry. It was a done deal. Sold on their personalities, Julia and Andre adopted them the next day.

Happy Tail: Attila and Pinto

“I probably knew what I was doing when I subtly said, ‘Let’s just go take a look and see what happens,’” she laughs. “It’s hard to look at kittens and then say no afterward.” They were small kittens at the time. Energetic but friendly. “I held Attila and Andre held Pinto and we instantly connected,” she says. “It only took a few minutes and we knew they’d be a good match for us.”

Of the two black and white cats, one had more spots so Julia and Andre named him Pinto—after spotty pinto beans. While Pinto is relaxed and easy going, Attila is definitely the leader of the two. “She was the first one to come out and explore and be brave,” Julia says. They both adjusted to their new home quickly. “Now they have free reign over everything,” she chuckles. “They are totally part of our family.”

Happy Tail: Attila and Pinto

Julia says adopting through organizations like ACR is helpful because you can meet the foster parents, ask them questions, and get a bit of background on the cats before making a decision. She says, “Adoption has been awesome for us. The fostering program is also amazing if you aren’t sure or if you have a shorter time commitment.”

“Fostering is a great alternative for those who aren’t sure about making a full time commitment to owning a cat,” adds Laura. For her and Jeff, it’s all about creating a comfortable, safe space for cats as they transition from life outdoors—and ACR experts are always around to help.

-Jessica Pellerin

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