Written by Sucheta Sachdeva
Edited by Kaitlin Becraft
We lost our first pet (a Siamese cat) in August 2020. We were heartbroken and desperately wanted to have another animal in the house. After completing some trainings at SICSA Pet Adoption and Wellness Center, we were able to begin fostering in October 2020. We fell in love with fostering. We enjoyed every animal, and I had a temporary companion while working from home. With no other pets and no children, foster pets in our home enjoyed a quiet, comfortable, and spoiled life. We even played soothing music! I joked that the animals come to our home for a spa getaway. We were completely set on fostering long term for SICSA.
Then, in December 2021, all our plans were overturned when we decided to foster Felicia. We were told she was captured by a Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) group, completely emaciated at about four pounds. Due to her condition, and her being found declawed, SICSA decided she should be fostered back to health and put up for adoption.
As we began our fostering journey, we quickly realized Felicia was a picky eater, despite being in a starvation state. We learned her favorite food was Fancy Feast chicken. Very slowly, she started gaining weight and her fur began looking healthier. We learned she was a 12-year-old lady with a lot of spunk. She reminded us of our Siamese cat with many of the same mannerisms but with bonus personality and affection. She quickly captured our hearts by being a loud lap cat and seeking our affection. Her silly squawking made us laugh and smile daily.
Later in December, when she broke five pounds on the scale, we learned that Felicia had stage 3 kidney disease and she would be a hospice adoption. We were heartbroken. No one knew how long she had left. Due to her age and disease, we knew she would have a tough time getting adopted. All this while she was full of energy, bounding all around our home with chirps, meows, and purrs.
We decided we would give her a comfortable, happy life in our home for whatever time she had left. She sealed the deal when she showed us how much she enjoyed living her life with us. It was a tough decision with endless pros and cons discussions. We might have to give up fostering for SICSA, a true passion for both of us. We would also eventually face the tremendous loss of another pet. We knew we were signing up for a tough future that will tear at our hearts. However, these feelings of loss and grief are a normal part of life.
I write this adoption story as Felicia naps contently on my lap. Nearly a year after being found, she is doing well. She is still a picky eater and full of energy. SICSA made this life possible through their incredible veterinary care and adoption program, and with their help we hope that other cats, like Felicia, can find their forever home
If you would like to get involved with SICSA as a foster volunteer like Sucheta, click here to learn more. You can also support pets with unique medical needs like Felicia’s kidney disease by donating to SICSA’s Guardian Angel Fund. Donations to the Guardian Angel Fund go directly to the medical and behavioral care of animals facing health complications or behavioral challenges. This fund makes an incredible, often life-saving impact for dogs and cats in need.