This is Ace (short for AC Slater), and he’s my foster fail.
As a volunteer for Rescue Me Ohio, I regularly see posts about animals that are up for adoption or need a foster home. One day I saw a post about a cat found in the Cleveland area that needed a foster home – he wasn’t in great condition and not yet ready to be put up for adoption. So, I volunteered to take him in.
I had to wait a couple of days for him to be fully evaluated by the vet at the Cleveland APL, and on the day that I was supposed to pick him up they let me know that he was having more issues. There was something wrong with his skin – he had wounds all over his neck and front – and so they had to shave off the fur in the area to treat the wounds. When I went to pick him up, he looked terrible – he was about 6 pounds, had scabs and wounds all over his front and was scared to death. My heart broke immediately.
As soon as we got home and brought him to his room, he ran and hid under the bed. I tried setting out food and water for him, but he refused to come out. The next morning, when I went in to give him more food, I found him sitting on top of the bed ready to meet me. He came right up to be and wanted some pets. I couldn’t believe how loving this poor guy was! From then on we became fast friends. I spent time in his room every day with him (I had to split my time between him and my other fur baby, who couldn’t be around him just yet) and he would cuddle up to me the moment I sat down.
It took him a long time to heal due to the extent of his injuries, and so I had been fostering him for about 3 months when the APL finally cleared him to be put up for adoption. He had put on a healthy amount of weight and his wounds had healed, but his fur hadn’t completely grown back yet. I thought about him all day the next day – thinking about the number of cats that were available for adoption and worrying that he wouldn’t be chosen because he still looked a little scraggly and could be scared at times.
So, I went to go see how he was doing at the APL. I walked around the cat room and looked in all of the crates but I couldn’t find him. Finally, I went to ask someone where he was. They assured me that he was in the room, and walked back with me to his crate. When we got there, it looked like there wasn’t a cat in there at all. But, when the woman picked up the bed that was in the crate, there he was. Curled up into a little ball and shaking with fear. In that moment I knew there was no way I would leave without him.
I brought him home (to no one’s surprise) and officially made him part of our little family. His sister Bean wasn’t so crazy about her new sibling at first, but she eventually grew to love him. Today they are best friends and even though he tends to be a little trouble-maker at times, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
To learn more about fostering and how it makes such a big difference visit https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/23/foster-shelter-pet_n_6720804.html