Thanks for all the points and comments, some food for thought. I won’t bore you, but between the layout of the house, and the logistics dealing with Lucy’s quirks with doors, it would be hard to have them all loose in the house, especially as I can’t touch the girls.
Sue – I really can’t think of any other scenarios for these, nor can I think of any other volunteers who could have them - when we weren’t sure in September if Coco could come round, it was me or put her outside. Liz’s comment is my concern about going to a breed rescue!! I certainly wouldn’t want them to go somewhere I couldn’t vet myself, with the work I’ve done. The girlies (their nickname!) aren’t bothered by other cats, there is a half Siamese on the next street, she was screaming to go in one day last week, and Chanel raced to the window to investigate!! No, a farm life doesn’t feel right. Aww, so glad you are still making progress with your gurlies. As for the other cats you "might foster" but maybe can't in the scenarios you envisage, sometimes we have to commit to those cats who need us the most, whether or not it suits our preferences. Only you can decide whether that's Lucy, Coco and Chanel. We never know how long we have the cats who are with us and in our care. However much we plot, plan and propose, life often throws the unexpected in our path, and it's how we deal with that which counts for the cats in question. that is so very apt, Lucy has to come first in this situation though, although in the past I have put foster cats above my own. I’m not bothered by it being unconventional, it just has to be right for everyone, especially as I can’t guarantee whether Lucy would ever tolerate them enough to have complete access.
Paula - While Lucy seems to just hiss at other cats these days (although I have seen her hit Sooty on the bum recently!!), when they are in the house, she gets that worked up, I get hit, and I can’t touch her, so not sure how she would like ones living with her. Funnily enough the vet did ask if I thought she would like friends last week!! I could get the inside door mesh system my neighbour used to help introduce the rugrats, that wasn’t too expensive. Like I said, I have been testing the waters recently, she hisses at them and then walks away huffing at herself. Unfortunately an outdoor pen isn't an option Paula, I live in a back to back house so don't even have a back door, much less a garden.
Liz – being able to cope after being inside for so long is part of what makes me reluctant to find a farm type home for them, especially Chanel as she would have been dependent on mum before coming into rescue, so not sure if she would have the hunting instinct. Your comment about the breed rescue is why I’m reluctant to go down that avenue. I certainly wouldn’t want to just give it a go with Lucy, between her temperament and the work I’ve put in dealing with her issues, some of which I suspect have been caused by being confined with other cats. Not sure how easy Zylkene would be, all 3 prefer dry, the girls get RC Calm biscuits and calming treats, although Lucy has to have renal biscuits.
Lyn – yes, sadly I’ve been doing it 14 years at the end of this month, and its worse now than it was then!! The only room I haven’t used to foster is my bedroom, and that’s only so my own cats had a room!! I just don’t know if I am ready to give it up, it’s only been 14 years and over 250 cats/kittens. I’ve always held back on keeping cats, so I could continue to help more, although I am more involved in fundraising at the moment, so would still be volunteering, just in a different way, and the rescue I currently volunteer for have a slightly different take on fostering, they prefer me to look after them till they are ready to be homed, then go up to our ‘centre’ (well, the new place is a barn!!), which I don’t like, although I do the cat home visits, so still know where they are going. I might even find that even when Lucy is no longer here, I can’t take the room off them.
Gill – yes, they are stunning, but I can’t keep them just based on their looks. For me its their temperament that makes them hard to home. Yes, Lucy was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and arthritis in October 16, which is why she had an operation last year, they suspected last year she also has luxating patellas, early stage CKD last March, then Idiopathic hypercalcaemia (IHC) last August, and the treatment for CKD and IHC contradict each other, so its all a balancing act. It would be sad to move them on, but that is the whole point of fostering, to give them whatever they need to be able to move on and have a forever home. The problem in this case is what kind of home would take two semi-ferals who have no issue using claws and teeth, and are technically unhomeable.