Two RHS students foster furry friends

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Two RHS students foster furry friends

(NICOLE KHUDYAKOV / EYE OF THE TIGER)

(NICOLE KHUDYAKOV / EYE OF THE TIGER)

(NICOLE KHUDYAKOV / EYE OF THE TIGER)

JULIE NGUYEN

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RHS students Caroline Mason and Abby Edmondson have fostered a bond with some furry friends. The pair’s shared love of cats manifested in the foster kittens they began looking after.

For junior Abby Edmonson, this was an entirely new experience, as she had been yearning for a cat for a long time.

Mason, who been participating in the SPCA Foster Care Program for years, has found the experience exceedingly rewarding.

“I feel like I’ve learned a little more about responsibility, since I have to care for kittens that are eventually going to get adopted.,” Mason said. “So I have to make sure that I give them a lot of love and attention so that they can be better for their owners that will take them for the rest of their life.”

(NICOLE KHUDYAKOV / EYE OF THE TIGER)
Above, junior Abby Edmonson plays with her most recent foster kitten, Wallace. She began fostering kittens earlier this year and has enjoyed the experience thus far.

Nevertheless, even with her years of experience and the thirty kittens she has cared for, Mason has still run into a variety of difficult situations.

“I’ve shed a lot of tears bringing back the kittens to the SPCA, but I know that they’re going to a better long term home,” Mason said. “Sometimes, they’re not always in the best condition. One time I had a cat that was anemic and we had to end up going to the vet and put her down, before I could give her back to the SPCA which was heartbreaking.”

Edmondson chose to begin fostering from the local FieldHaven Feline Center, according to the recommendation of her mother’s friend, Keely Heinzen. She believes that fostering is ultimately for a greater, more noble, cause.

“A lot of these cats come from really bad places our last two kittens came from a hoarding situation and it’s just not good,” Edmonson said. “It’s really nice to be able to help them grow up and be healthy and live their lives to the fullest. They’re just thriving.”

According to Edmondson’s father, Rob Edmondson, he thinks that the introduction of kittens in his home has brought the Edmondsons closer together and brought the family a lot of unexpected surprises.

“It’s given us something to do as a family, so it’s been fun,” Rob said. “I’ve been surprised by how active and playful they are, they each have individual personalities that are easy to [distinguish] from a young age.”

Abby’s mother, Jamie Edmondson, believes that the secret to being a successful foster family is understanding the end goal and not losing sight of what foster families are meant to do.

“We went in with the mindset that to keep a cat is at least a fifteen to eighteen year commitment,” Jamie said. “What I say, with a foster, is that my job is to get them ready to find their own forever home.”

Despite having mostly owned dogs her whole life, Jamie was charmed by the unique experience of having kittens around the house.

“They’re more playful I think. They’re very playful, they’re very energetic. I find, with cats, they’re pretty much ‘go go go!’,”Jamie said.

Keely Heinzen, a fellow foster parent of FieldHaven, thinks that fostering helps appease cat addiction.

“What’s great about fostering is that you can always have kittens in your house. Especially during kitten season,” Heinzen said. “During the spring, summer, there are kittens that aren’t big enough to be adopted and it’s kind of cool to always have kittens in your house, it keeps you from collecting more cats.”