Our lives are cyclical. We know that reaching the peak means that we will soon be down in the valley with a new foster, starting the climb all over again. It's easy to crash and burn, to feel crushed, disappointed, and wonder about all the whys and wherefores of how an animal came to be in the condition that you now see them in.
My foster life in the past few months has been a metaphorical amusement park ride. An exciting adoption followed by a significant illness or surgeries. A rock star kitten lights up my life and then leaves us much too soon. A thrilling forever match on the heels of a crushing diagnosis, which is in turn followed by four blissfully negative test results. I knew the crash was coming. I just never knew it would be here so soon.
Before I continue, it's important to know that no one here is in danger. All fosters and permanent residents are happy and (mostly) healthy. We've had the return of an old foe... ringworm. And when I finished screaming and began to assess the situation, it was all too easy to play a round of "The Blame Game".
It's a game that all parents play. Human parents play it while worrying about their children. Pet parents play it while worrying about their fur babies. Foster parents play it while worrying about every last one that has fallen through the cracks to us. It's a wonderful cross of "How in the H#&%?" combined with every imaginable "What if?" And playing it will make you crazy.
It's natural to want to know where it came from, extrapolating the typical incubation period with where the kittens were on what day; To examine the equipment that came with them or the fosters who were still here; To analyze the high numbers of transient fosters in the past two months, the ones that were here for less time than it took to break out, and wonder if they were a carrier; To wrack my brain back and forth until it breaks under the weight of blame and I begin to realize something: It just doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter where the spores originated. They're on a kitten in my foster room. It doesn't matter how they got there. They're there now. And it's my job to make life better for these kittens, to get them to the mountaintop. After all... if I don't do it, who will?
We're almost there, really we are. We've flown over the high hurdles of FIV. The ringworm one is tiny in comparison. Two to three weeks of medication and cleaning before our babies are good to go. With this particular group, the extra snuggle time is a welcome pleasure.
But you better believe my foster room is closing for a much needed break after these four move out.
Important Post Script #1: Only one kitten is affected so far. Please pray it stays that way.
Important Post Script #2: I'm fine, really I am. Truthfully, this is preferable to fleas.
Important Post Script #3: Two of the Madison Midgets are already spoken for. Anyone interested in a lovely pair?? You know where to find me.
Important Post Script #4: You guys are going to FLIP when you hear one of these adoption stories.
Important Post Script #5: Yeah, yeah, yeah... I'll get you pictures tomorrow.