Kids and Cats
I’m an IT Professional with 3 kids, 4 cats, and sometimes I have many more little feet running around!
I’m a foster carer for Maneki Neko Cat Rescue. I love this organisation. Its dedication to save a cats life at all costs, and to support their volunteers in education, wellbeing, and advice at every turn. I’m proud to be a MNCR volunteer and foster carer to the many cats and kittens around Melbourne who may have otherwise been euthanised had we not put up our hands to help.
My kids are both primary and secondary school aged. They are not asked to help with the fosters, but they do. From day one (4 years ago), my kids have been feeding and topping up water bowls, administering medication, brushing cats and trimming claws.
They have eagerly watched the birth of several litters, supporting a labouring mumma throughout the night. They’ve bottle-fed orphaned kittens who haven’t had the privilege of mothers milk to grow and thrive. They even clean litter for me when I’m way too busy, or away interstate for work.
Caring for animals teaches kids empathy. It teaches them kindness, and gentleness. It also teaches them responsibility for another life. Though it can expose them to the sadness of illness, of death, of loss once a loved kitten or cat is adopted, it helps them to understand these feelings. We talk about this, and we deal with the emotions they experience. It opens up discussions and brings us closer, emotionally, as a family.
I’ve taken kittens into our childcare centre when my daughter was young, to run a session on gentleness. I’ve taught all of my kids friends how to hold cats, how to understand a cats signals so they don’t over stimulate the cats environment. Our house is a bit of a haven for kids who don’t have pets, and the questions they ask are so insightful and amazing!
My high schooler is interested now in working in the Neko HQ shop. He likes volunteering in the Neko HQ cat lounge. And he also assists with the meditation sessions I run weekly at the Neko HQ cat lounge. The work experience he is gaining by being part of MNCR is invaluable. It will put him in good stead for when he’s old enough to apply for a job.
Foster caring is a great option for those who are either not able to keep animals full time, or would like to see what life is like with an animal before they commit to having a forever feline.
Because, having an animal is forever – you are their world.
Article Credit : Karen Harvey