To Foster: to promote the growth of, to nurture and/or to help develop

I believe that my animal fostering started with my turtle, and my second cat, Maurice. I adopted him when he was 1-year-old and it always saddens me to not know where he was for that first year of his life. (Vinnie the Turtle is a Gulf Coast turtle and she is in her 60s.)
Vinnie (female) and Maurice the Cat hanging out together last winter.

Macavity, the eldest of our 3 black cats,  is geriatric now, but don’t tell her that. She is loyal and sweet, but fiercely independent. Odd though that she is the cat who adores the foster kids. I appreciate that since Maurice is terrified by them. In a sense, I think that Macavity fosters some of the kids too by being there with them when they visit. Some cats just have hearts I guess.

Due to territorial disputes, Macavity’s natural outdoor range is currently the front porch.
After the cats, I started to foster plants. Growing them from seed became a great passion of mine. I ordered them from anywhere I could, and I guess I still do now, but I have mellowed that passion a little bit. I also got starts from any plant I could, and I took in freebies. Plant cultivation was a skill I’d learned as a child from my Grandma Virginia’s neighbor, Mr. Palm. He was a trained engineer, but plants were his passion too.
New England Aster growing in the gutter from seeds that spread from three houses up the street. I planted those plants for my neighbor after I’d grown them from seed. This kind of makes me this plant’s grandma. At least that’s what one of the foster children said.
And now I foster children. The little white arm in the photo below belongs to one of my part-time foster children. This child loves flowers, and was laughing when she discovered that these lovely garden weeds had spread from my garden.
This same foster child loves spiders and when we last visited together, the garden was full of them.

She even wanted to pose with this spider, and I took the picture, but she wanted to foster the spider herself in her bug box. Children desiring to foster insects is something that fascinates me. But what they often think of as fostering, is not. I think that weekend we had a few insect funerals.

11 thoughts on “To Foster: to promote the growth of, to nurture and/or to help develop

  1. I think fostering is a wonderful expression of what is in your soul. How much our world needs more people like you!

    One of my favorite things is to have children visit my garden. They are always fascinated by nature, especially the little creatures. When my boys were young we had many 'pets for the day', with the understanding they had to go back to their home at night!


  2. I just want to thank all of you for you kind comments. Part of me feels as though I do not deserve them since I only foster part-time, but I cannot lie, it is hard work and encouragement in the form of compliments is more than welcome. I do need some support. We all do sometimes.

    Due to life's circumstances (and consequences), I am currently estranged from most of my family but it is for the best. Creating this boundary only proved to me the importance of providing the safely needed for both myself, my husband, and for the children. If I could not tend to my own problems, how I could I expect them to try? Sometimes it is really hard to set a good example and I never understood what sacrifice truly meant.

    If you have any reason to sever ties in order to retain your own personal integrity, I encourage you to take that difficult step. If you don't have this problem, support those in your life who do and encourage them to find the help and resources they need.

    Again, thank you so much! Words cannot express how much kind words can help to promote healthy and loving behavior.


  3. You sound lovely. Your foster children, be they part-time, are immensely lucky to have you. I used to take care of insects and animals as a child. Not a lot of funerals for me, though, so I think it drove my mother (more plant than animal lover) crazy having a zoo at the back.


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