In October 2013, we moved to Dunedin for a new job. Prior to that, I traveled every other week so I didn't have much free time. After being here a few months, I discovered I was bored and needed something to fill my time. I reached out to a few rescues and the first person to contact me was Deb Guzzetta. At the time, she was the Cat Coordinator for Suncoast Animal League. She asked if I wanted to come in on Saturdays for a few hours to answer the phone while another volunteer was on vacation. I quickly jumped on the opportunity. I didn't know anyone in the area and my significant other worked on Saturdays so it was perfect. That was at the end of March 2014.
The first day I was there, a man brought in two little kittens whose mommy had been killed on his street. He was a long haul truck driver and wanted to make sure they were safe before he left the next day. Deb gladly
took them in and after the man left she said, "Now I just have to find a foster for them." I'm quite certain she was able to see "S-U-C-K-E-R" written clearly across my forehead. I called my significant other to get his thoughts and he was fine with it. My famous last words to him were, "I don't really like cats so I won't be tempted to keep one." Before you have a fit about Deb letting sweet little baby kittens go home with someone who didn't like cats, what I meant by that was that I liked cats as long as they lived somewhere else. I just did not want to have a litter box in my home on a permanent basis.
We named the kittens Gabby and Stella until we realized they were Gabriel and Sterling. Gabriel was spoken for quickly, but no one was choosing Sterling. We were quickly becoming attached to him too. As Memorial Day approached and our impending vacation, we had to make a decision. Luckily a foster home opened their doors to him so that we could think about it while we were away. Needless to say, as soon as we got home we adopted him. That was almost 7 years and hundreds of fosters ago.
In June of this year, we bought a house in Clermont with a screened in area for Sterling, who wants to be outside all the time, and for lots of foster kittens. Before we moved, our "high water mark" was around 20. Since we moved, we converted two side by side bedrooms into a big cat room and had as many as 30 fosters.
My soul is devoted to animal welfare, but most accurately to kitties. Unfortunately I have to work, but in my free time you can be assured it's all about the kitties.