Frank and Henry pigeon-spotting in Brooklyn, before the big move to Pittsburgh.
When thinking about cats that need permanent homes, what comes to mind is usually a shelter -- a big building with lots of cages. Approximately 3.4 million cats enter animal shelters annually nationwide, and sadly, about 1.4 million of those cats are euthanized. Sometimes they are put down simply because there isn't enough space. That's where foster homes come in.
Both big shelters and smaller rescue groups often rely on foster homes -- individuals who care for cats in their own homes while they await adoption -- to manage the space issue.
When I lived in Manhattan, I volunteered for an independent, non-profit rescue organization: shuttling animals to and from vet appointments, helping out at adoption events, and lots of kitty litter scooping. When my ex moved out (and took his cats with him), I took the next step and became a foster home.
After a year and a half of getting emotionally attached to my foster kitties before sending them on to their forever homes, I decided that the next cat that needed a home was going to stay with me, permanently.
What I got was not one, but two cats, brothers who were rescued from a litter born in a parking lot in Astoria, Queens. Scared and unsocialized, these basically feral 10-week-old kittens howled loudly at night and wanted nothing to do with me. I was in love.
That was over 11 years ago. I've known them longer than I've known my husband. They kept me centered when I lost my mom, then my dad. Though I cringe at the term, they are my furbabies.
The Cat Loft at Colony Cafe will serve as a big foster home, housing about 12 cats or so depending on our space and location. We'll provide a fun, comfortable, safe place for the kitties until they find forever homes, whether it takes a week or a year. We. Can't. Wait.