Please share a bit of information about your background.
I was raised on a small dairy farm in Door County and moved to Madison to attend college. I earned a Masters degree in Counseling and work as a Middle School Counselor at Badger Ridge and CKCS in Verona. I have always been a care-giver and while growing up would search for the litters of kittens on our farm and try to give them the best chance at survival. As an adult, I am continually learning how to best care for kitties and help them to become healthy physically and socially.
I am married to my husband Gregg who helps with fostering although he likes to pretend that he is only doing it to help me; I see him giggle and enjoy the foster kitties as much as me. We live on a five-acre farm-ette in Oregon. We have also planted various fruit trees and enjoy caring for our small crops of cherries, apples, pears, and peaches.
What is the story of how you started fostering for Angel’s Wish 13 years ago?
I started fostering for Angel’s Wish in 2005 when I learned about Angel’s Wish from a flyer at a coffee shop. The Center was located in a warehouse-type of building off of Paoli Street. I had no idea what I was getting into but I wanted to check out a way that I could help care for kitties. I met Lois Lawrence that day and told her that I wanted to foster a pregnant cat and see if it was a good volunteering experience for me.
After bringing home Celine, the pregnant kitty, and caring for her and her four new born kittens, I was hooked and have been fostering ever since! Lois did a good job helping me when I had questions and also was a wonderful support if a took in a sick or injured kitty that needed extra attention. She was very helpful in sharing her experiences and advice about care.
How many animals have you fostered over the years? What stories or experiences especially stand out in your memory?
I have kept a list of names of the 259 kitties that I have fostered. Wow, I cannot believe I have worked with so many amazing kitties!
There are many stories that I have about various situations but one that stands out right now, is in regards to a cat who was born at my house named Hooper. Hooper was born at our house and had two siblings, Hazel and Huey. His siblings were adopted together and he was left on his own. He was a striking kitty, who was back and white and had a distinctive black mask. He was always playful, sweet, and laid back at home but EVERY time I would bring him to the center he would create mischief and become quite ‘selective’ about who he wanted to touch him. He never behaved that way at our house. He had many potential homes and I think four different families saw his picture on the website and wanted to adopt him but he did not want to be adopted by any of them! He was such a selective and picky kitty! In the end he found his perfect match and when she found him he cuddled up to her and knew she was his perfect parent forever,
I still receive updates from her and Hooper has scored big and is happy and spoiled! I love that story (he is the kitty in the black and white picture).
Do you have any pets of your own?
Yes, we have one dog – Teddy (Border Collie mix from a rescue) and four kitties- (Sunny, Cali, Twinkle, and Eden).
What is most satisfying about fostering cats and kittens?
This is an easy question…I LOVE seeing my foster kitties find their perfect forever homes. I know it is a win-win situation when a family and kitty find each other.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experiences fostering?
I have truly enjoyed serving as a foster for Angel’s Wish. I have gained experience, knowledge, and joy from the people who lead as well as fellow volunteers. The foster kitties can take extra time, attention, and emotional investment; but they are worth every bit of it.
I continue to learn how to help kitties and hope EVERYONE understands the importance of spaying and neutering their pets so we have fewer ‘unwanted’ animals.