My time with Fred & George

Fostering kittens from the Kingston Humane Society

George had always been bigger than Fred, and he knew it too, strutting around like the superior older brother. 

I once came home to them in a scuffle that finally ended when Fred literally pulled the blanket out from under George, sending him off the bed and onto the ground. George sulked to the corner to eat some tuna. 

I should explain. Fred and George are the ginger tabby kittens I fostered from The Kingston Human Society with my housemates this October. The kittens both needed to gain a little weight before they could be sprayed and adopted, and a loving home is the best place to do that. 

I got involved in fostering because I missed my pets at home. Missing my pets led me to sense a change in my mental health in general — I missed home more and more and with midterms approaching, I didn’t have time to shift my focus. 

Maybe it was taking care of someone else, or the unconditional love they give in return, but fostering Fred and George improved my mood more than I could’ve imagined. I had a distraction from midterms and bait for friends to come visit me. 

As we know from the Internet, kittens are endlessly entertaining. I don’t think I need to convince you that Fred and George were fun to hang out with. 

But if you haven’t taken some time away from your studies to relax — by doing something other than binge watching television — you should. 

Kittens are perfect for that. They serve as a healthy distraction, and making me forget my worries was the main way they improved my mental health. 

When it came time to say goodbye to my kittens after two weeks, I found myself weeping in the middle of the Humane Society. People left the room. It was awkward. 

Nevertheless, I’ll have to be satisfied that, while I didn’t adopt them myself, I helped prepare Fred and George for a permanent home with a loving family. 

Fostering kittens has many benefits beyond how adorable they are. It’s easy to get involved, low cost, and has a positive impact on the Kingston community. 

If you’re interested in the process, it begins with visiting the Kingston Humane Society website and filling out a foster application form. 

Fostering is ideal for student houses as someone is usually home during the day to watch the kittens. You also get the love of a pet without the cost or long-term commitment. 

The Kingston Human Society provides food, litter, toys and travel cages for all the pets they sponsor, so that all you give is your time and love. 

I’m fostering again as soon as I can. There are always kittens that need a place to stay and with the cold Kingston winter approaching, I can’t think of a better way to lift my spirits. 

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