I Thought I Was a Dog Person Until...
This article was written by Pet Community Center Board of Directors Young Leaders Intern and Marketing Committee Volunteer, Elizabeth Madsen. You can learn more about the author at the end of the post.
I never wanted a cat. I’d been a dog person since childhood. I grew up with a Labrador retriever, a dachshund, and some quality mutts. That’s why I signed up to foster puppies through Metro Animal Care and Control (MACC).
On the morning I was supposed to pick up my charges, I called the volunteer manager and offered to pick up anything extra that would be helpful at PetSmart.
The answer I got was, “Don’t worry about that. We’ll give you everything you need! We’ll send you home with food, a carrier, and litter.”
Turns out the volunteer manager put me on the kitten list, knowing that I work full-time and couldn’t bottle-feed a puppy. So, I took home some kittens. How could I say no?!
My friends said, “You’re going to keep one.”
“No, I’m not,” I replied. “I’m a dog person.”
And I was right. Off and on for a year, I had kittens in and out of my home. Some were fluffy, some were feisty, and one even became my nemesis. (Stella!) And one by one, they went back to the shelter to get spayed/neutered and placed in their forever homes.
That is until I met one tiny, feral kitten named Toby. He was a mere ¼ of a pound, and instead of crashing at my place for 2-3 weeks like the others, he hung around for 2 months, gradually growing larger and more comfortable around me.
And then the day came when I put Toby in the bowl of my kitchen scale to weigh him, and we’d done it! He was a whopping 2 pounds and now eligible for his surgery. I took him in to get neutered and brought him back home to think about things. But, when it was time to leave town for my annual beach trip the following week, I turned Toby back into MACC to find his forever home.
After all, I was a dog person.
I signed up to be a foster because I needed a distraction and to feel like I was helping in some way. And, I accomplished both of those things.
What I didn’t realize was that along the way, I was practicing owning a cat. I got to try it out and see how low maintenance a kitten is compared to a puppy. Magic! I got used to not being needed all the time, which it turns out I kind of liked. And, unlike my 100-pound Labrador growing up, or even my 30-pound dachshund, I could just pick up a kitten and move them if I needed to.
You can probably guess how this story ended. And you’re right. In July 2016, I came home from my trip to the beach and adopted Toby.
If you’re on the fence about fostering, try it. And if you don’t love your first foster, try again! Your kindness and attention to an animal in need will help them on their journey.
And we can all use a little help from time to time, just ask Toby. He’ll tell you about how he helps me get up on time in the morning.
To learn more about how to become a foster for MACC, click here.
About the Author: Elizabeth Madsen
Elizabeth Madsen is a dog person who owns a cat. She's spent her career working to increase community impact with a focus on recruiting, training, and supporting the people nonprofits need to meet their missions.
In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, hiking, and catching the latest independent films at The Belcourt.