We usually have at least one animal being fostered at the bookstore. It’s a good place to display cats ready for forever homes, as customers can have a hands-on experience while they shop. Plus we have the world’s greatest cleaning lady and a funny tiled closet under our staircase. The space is unusable for book display–even a small child couldn’t stand upright at the back of its sloping (and tiled) roof–but it’s a perfect kitty cave.
Summer is always high-volume for kittens; right now, we’re fostering nine plus Ma. All but one came from the shelter on their last day. We named this blended family–Ma birthed five, then three were found in a box on the side of a road, too young to eat solids, so got hooked up with Ma at the shelter–from the Little House on the Prairie books: Carrie and Grace, Half-Pint the feisty one, Caroline, Mr. Edwards, Mankato, Almanzo and The Reverend Alden (who wears a black frock coat with a white collar).
The ninth, older kitten came from my friend Anne, who smiled her way up the bookstore’s sidewalk with “Pollyanna” riding on her shoulder. She’d heard mewling from a dumpster and didn’t hesitate; sixty years old, Anne jumped in, sandals, shorts, high blood pressure and heart condition and all, mewing back until she spotted the frightened kitty scrambling up from between plastic sacks.
So I couldn’t say anything when she brought Pollyanna to me, could I? That kitten is only alive because Anne is one of those people the world needs, who believes everything with a heartbeat deserves love and care. And Pollyanna is the most cheerful big sister to the Little House brood one ever saw. She babysits when Ma needs a break.
Really, I just want to say two things. First: spay and neuter. PLEASE spay and neuter. Eight thousand companion animals per DAY are put down in the United States. All preventable. All wasted love. All wasted taxpayers’ money to get that done.
Second: foster and adopt. You have no idea how much fun is waiting for you. We used to have a rare book in our shop, a British 19th century tome of some 500 pages, entitled The Book of Love. Now we have ten fuzzy books of love in our shop, waiting to be written.