February 4, 2016
Michelle has been with KD for going on 3 years and she’s absolutely vital to our team. Not only is Michelle an excellent foster with extensive experience and success with tough medical cases, but she networks tirelessly, heads to the shelter at the drop of a hat to pull, drives all over SoCal transporting kitties to their foster and forever homes and also regularly attends our adoption events.
Michelle is the true definition of a team player and she has the biggest, sweetest heart you could ever imagine. We’re extraordinarily lucky that she extends her loving nature to KD!
Thank you, Michelle!
Q: Where do you live? What’s your “day job” like?
I live in San Bernardino, work as a Public Information Officer at Caltrans, and am originally from Ohio.
Q: What led you to volunteer/foster? How did you find KD?
I found out about KD in 2013. When I saw a FB post about a cat in LA shelter who was so terrified he had been trembling for three days straight. I was down to only two cats and a dog at that time and offered to take him. He had already been pulled (pulled being a new term for me). I then received a few posts from different rescues asking if I wanted to foster. I don’t know how that happened because I’m technically-challenged and I thought my profile was on private. It was meant to be because I received one from KD. It was the middle of kitten season and there were so many needing a foster. I signed up to foster and kept bugging the KD Application Officer every 30 minutes or so until I was approved. I picked a black kitten (Kasen) because I knew they were the last adopted. Then I was told he also had a brother, Kalen and I would take him too. I said sure and the rest is history. I was told there would be a home check and not knowing what that meant, I gave the KD representative an entire tour of my house when she brought the boys here. I probably would have given her the blueprints if I’d have had them.
I originally fostered on a whim as I had actually signed up to drive kitties on the Underground Kitty … something … Railroad Network and FB algorithms must have sent rescue pages to me. I originally planned only to foster as my perms were only two older cats and one older dog down from 11 cats and 3 dogs. I figured with eventually no animals I could travel. I live in an extremely high hazard wildfire area so I figured with eventually no animals I wouldn’t stress all the time during Santa Ana winds worrying about my house burning down.
Instead I have a houseful of cats and no money at all to travel. I added up food, litter, and vet bills plus gas and realized I could have seen the world. Instead I have cat carriers all over my house and practice evacuating strategies. (I’m not paranoid – much. My house did burn down once. And the Old Fire started just over the hill on a windy day in 2003. I think because of practicing, Mike and I got three dogs and 11 cats out of the house in 15 minutes).
Q: Can you tell us about your experience with fostering and what it means to you?
Fostering is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. There’s not a day that goes by without tears during kitten season. Sometimes I don’t think I can do this anymore. Then I look at my list of cats (and a few dogs) whose rescues I’ve been personally involved with, and I know I can.
Q: We hear you’ve found a couple new furry family members during your foster experience as well?
Yes! Kalen and Kasen became Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid aka Butchie and Sunny. They met my sweet old Golden Retriever Kobe. Butchie loved him until the day Kobe died. My cat Mimi Kenneth accepted, and Crabby Abby hissed and spit at them. They just laid down and stared at her in fascination.
Next came all grey Bertie (Burdock) whose brother was being rescued, but not him. He was all legs like a colt, with the fun plus of having giardia and coccidia. (The things I’ve learned since joining KD).
Next is tiny Bombay Sophia Maria who was adopted and returned to Devore. I foster failed with all four of them. Add Lana, the tiny tabby who LOVES flour tortillas and Hutch who looks like a Turkish Angora to that foster fail list.
Q: What kind of things do you like to do in your free time?
Asking me what my past times are is a joke, right???
I guess I’d have to say cleaning litter boxes, brushing cats, playing with cats, feeding cats, medicating cats and sometimes I get to watch Netflix (with at least one cat). And someday soon I plan to start practicing yoga daily (probably with cats also).
Proud to be a CCL!