Bud says: I am not a cat person. I am however married to a cat person. When we married in my youth, I wasn’t astute enough to read the marriage contract close enough. It turns out that when married to a cat person, the non-cat person finds him or herself at the very bottom of a fairly long pecking order. All pets rate higher!

For the last several years, my wife has moved me even further down the pecking order by fostering cats from the Fairbanks North Star Borough animal shelter and a local cat rescue organization called Pet Pride. Both shelters frequently find themselves with pregnant cats but need to isolate the kittens from their general population to keep the kittens from the various diseases carried by the many adult cats. The solution is to find someone like my wife who will foster the kittens in their own home until they are large enough to be adopted, which in our area requires that they are two pounds so they can be fixed before they create new kittens. First the shelter will send someone out to inspect your house to ensure you have sufficient space for the kittens. In our case that means a separate room to keep the mother cat and the kittens away from our other pets which include three cats and two Siberian huskies. Then you are granted the pregnant cat to feed and care for.

While I’ve not noted any nesting behavior on the any of the cats we fostered’s part, my wife immediately works out a birthing box. Carefully prepared and considered, it contains several cat toys, is lined with old blankets, and is carefully selected to be the right size and located conveniently near the litter box and feeding station. Of course when the big day arrives, the mom cat ignores the carefully prepared birthing box and has the kittens behind the dryer. So I wake up to go to work and my morning preparations are interrupted by screams from my wife that kittens are coming and I need to immediately move the dryer. So there I am, in my BVD’s, wrestling the dryer out of the way so my wife can join in the miracle of new life while I go back to preparing for my work day.

Now we have kittens! At this point I note a change in our neighborhood status. I know parents have online lists of child predators to keep their children protected. However, after we managed to populate our neighborhood with the first batch of kittens (it seems an eight-week-old kitten and an eight-year-old child will bond in a time span of between four and five milliseconds!) we are now on the “has kittens” watch list. Children seem to be instructed to stay at least 300 yards from our house and when we are walking the dogs, concerned mothers come racing out to cover their child’s ears, in case we tell the child that we have kittens and they are welcome to come play with the kittens.

At roughly eight weeks the kittens hit the magic two pounds. Now my real danger point arrives. My wife doesn’t seem to have problems parting with the kittens as the shelter and the pound have no problem giving away the kittens. However, the mom cat is a whole new story, as they do have problem adopting out adult cats. While I’ve never given permission to get new cats, my wife found a loophole in the instruction. Last year I got a cat for Christmas and the year before I got a cat for my birthday! So we are now reaching that eight-week limit and I fear I’ll get a late Christmas present.

Maybe when they come out from the shelter, they need to check for the most important component of a household considered for fostering… an understanding spouse.

All Photos Courtesy of and ©: Bud Marschner
Bud Marschner is an Alaskan wildlife and landscape photographer; please visit his Web site to see his spectacular photos and to order his new 2010 calendar

Comments and LOLs:
Cerirose -
Cerirose
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6 points
Very droll!
mma -
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mma
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1072 points
An adorable pic and a funny post, Mr. Bud, BVDs? Only someone 'mature' could know what they are and I do! Going to look for your pics. Hope I can find the site as I see your post is from 2010.
Natthecat -
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Natthecat
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2000 points
Bud, you ARE an understanding spouse! And very funny. These are prime kitties.
Natthecat -
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Natthecat
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2000 points
And your wife has to accept your hobby, too. Those calendar shots for 2017 are very tempting, though I usually choose Cats in Hats.
crashnandicoot -
crashnandicoot
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99 points
Hilarious! And lovely. Very sweet reading! And the kittens! Breathtaking!!!
Duffy -
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Love the flame coloring on this baby - and your comments are great.
Blessings on you and your spouse for creating safe entry into the world for these little ones!
Golfergirl55 -
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Golfergirl55
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403 points
Thank you to you and your wife for helping these precious babies!!!
ILoveKittyCats -
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ILoveKittyCats
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172 points
Thank you for being such a great husband!
My husband used to refer to my cats as "YOUR cats"! But now he plays with them...AND even cleans the litter boxes too!
ln -
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ln
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154 points
Love the background story. I too have a family of ferals that were rescued about 8 weeks ago. The mom looks just like this one. The kittens are just about ready for adoption and will go to only loving homes. I will keep mom. Is there anything better than the cattie?????
Ariana -
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The most interesting kitty in the world! ;)
MissyRosler -
MissyRosler
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62 points
Great story! You should do a blog on the life of a forced cat foster dad. Really cute kitties, too!
TigerPJ -
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TigerPJ
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357 points
Nicely written and funny. You are a good soul and loving husband for helping save mama and her babies.
Blessings to you and your wife. The mama and kittens are very cute and special. ;)
judymack812 -
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judymack812
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986 points
3 tiny treasures! I remember the first time I read this...I laughed. I laughed this time too. You sir are a faker! They have crept into your heart...how could you resist. But it is okay to protest...kittens aren't "manly" pets. My late husband had the same problem yet ended up feeding and adopting a stray after we had bought a farm and had not moved there yet. He went first to get the house started and a well dug for water. The pure white kitten came with the farm and it was hungry and he fed it. Tough guy had a kitten of his own! What fun!
kittysmama -
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kittysmama
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290 points
adorable baby
MomcatSooma -
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MomcatSooma
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810 points
What darling kitties! Cat people rock!



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