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Fostering Redz, the first client of 2013

The following post is by Mary Kury, who has fostered several Red Paw animals and adopted DeeDee.

The hidden benefits of fostering animals…you just neverredz know who you will meet, and really who benefits in the end.

My previous Red Paw foster, Dee Dee, ended up a permanent resident in my home, and I knew that after that, there was NO WAY she or my five cats were going to welcome another foster dog! I wasn’t sure about fostering a cat since cat #4 is an FIV+ former stray and I did not want to jeopardize the health of a feline victim of fire. Then on January 11, 2013, Red Paw’s Facebook posts of displaced felines started to grow exponentially. Jen and Lori had their hands full – maxed out on cats in residence, and the newest arrival was expecting an ‘arrival’ of her own! Once again, in a 30 second decision, I left a voice mail, saying I’d take Redz, a little orange boy who was struggling with respiratory issues or Tabitha, who was v-e-r-y pregnant!

I got the call back, could I come the next day for Redz? It was January 12th, always a tough day for me: it’s the anniversary of one of my most beloved pets ever, an orange tabby named Animal who my ex-fiancé found along a roadside. He and his twin brother Hawk were only about 3-4 weeks old and vets said not to expect them to make it. Hawk died under anesthesia while being neutered, while Animal lived to be 16 1/2 years old. His death broke my heart…we’d been together through so much, seven moves in 4 states, battling a thyroid tumor, and heart issues and cancer in the end. I vowed I would never own another orange tabby. But, enough about him – I had a new orange boy coming home with me that day and there was no way I would let Jen, Red Paw and Redz’ owners down. This little boy would be spoiled andred rounded 3 he would live! A pleasant surprise awaited me that day I went to South Philly to get Redz – Melee “Second Chance Chains” Jameson was picking up a Red Paw foster as well! I was so excited to meet her. In the Fall I’d purchased a pair of her “Mary” earrings and they are stunning! She makes amazing creations from dog chains benefiting several wonderful charitable causes! Bless her, she even named a necklace after my dog DeeDee – I hope the owner of that necklace knows what a fantastic, brave dog her lovely jewelry represents!

Back to Redz. Quiet as a mouse the whole ride home, affectionate, eating like a champ and playful as can be – the perfect foster kitten – for 36 hours. On Monday, I was getting ready for work and decided to pop in his room (I keep my fosters separate from other cats in the house to protect all involved) to kiss him goodbye for the day, when I noticed he was sneezing blood – not good. I am a certified Veterinary Technician and cat owner for over 20 years, and I’d never seen this before. I freaked out, maybe a little extra because I knew I had to be calm when I told Jen! Off to work we went (with a major hind end blow out on the way in…eeewww!) and one of the great vets at my practice saw him. Calm as could be, the vet told me it’s the same as humans getting bloody noses from dry air, no worries. Well, as the exam progressed, they found he was running a fever in addition to the GI issues and ended up with fluids, fever reducers, new antibiotics and additional dewormer! Over the next redz reunion18 days we shared so many cuddles, if I’d owned a baby Bjorn, he would’ve been carried around the house even MORE than I already did. He’d sit on my lap for hours without even trying to get up – so much of a love bug. DeeDee adored him and I think in his own way Redz loved her too…as long as he got 90% of the attention!

January 30th was a sad, sad day. I picked up Jen and we took him to PAWS to be neutered and vaccinated. It was so emotional – I could not stop crying all day, this little orange boy had gotten me through a sad time and as hard as I tried to be happy for his upcoming reunion with his people who loved him too, it was of little consolation. My co-workers tried to comfort me saying things like “maybe fostering isn’t for you,” and I agreed! That is…until I read about a cat named Patches…

To be continued…

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