Foster kitties live comfortably in a loving household for some time, before becoming available for adoption into their forever home.
Oscar’s circumstances were slightly different. He needed some extra love and a place to call his own for the last chapter of his life.
Oscar was 22 years old when he was surrendered to the shelter because his owner had to go to a nursing home.
As part of the foster hospice (fospice) system offered by the animal rescue center, he would spend the last of his nine lives with Jenny, right up until his last day.
“I have a bit of a thing for taking elderly cats home,” she admits. “It’s the best thing that I have ever done.”
Jenny felt compelled to open up her house to fospice, after noticing how much longer it was taking to find older cats a forever home.
“It’s unfair that any animal has to spend its life at a shelter, especially an older animal,” she said.
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Jenny was happy to see Oscar fit in so quickly.
The elderly feline soon found himself a favourite spot in the house to nap, and wasn’t afraid to call out when he was hungry.
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Jenny described his lion’s roar for food as the loudest cat cry she had ever heard.
“He’d wake me up about six every morning with his extremely loud meow for food and he generally wouldn’t stop until I’d fed him,” Jenny recalled.
“He usually had a ravenous appetite, and I’d generally feed him a few times throughout the day.”
Of course, the greatest challenge for our fospice carers is saying that final goodbye.
“Honestly it breaks my heart every time, but I’m happy to go through it if it means I’m able to be there with them at the end,” said Jenny.
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“You can make the end of their life as special as possible. As much as it breaks your heart, you are giving them the best possible end to their life as you can.”
Oscar passed away on September 30th, 2020. Jenny says he was loved until the very end.
The heartbreaking conclusion can be mentally and spiritually taxing – and yet the reward of making an animal’s last days on Earth their most special can be truly life-changing.
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