Meet the Fosters LA!


The wonderful world of social media allows us to “meet” people that we never would in person – across countries and continents. Recently, one Instagram account caught my eye, and that was Meet_the_FostersLA. I followed the account because of 1) fostering, of course, and 2) the beautiful photography!

I reached out to the human behind the account and asked which organization she fosters for. And what a small world it is…Christina G. fosters kittens for Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles –  the same rescue that I foster for!

gray kitten
Foster kitten Quasi

Christina and I have never met, but we certainly share a passion for cats and fostering. We both just got started with fostering last year, so we’re relative newbies compared to some foster parents out there. But in addition to that, we also share an interest in taking photos of our cats! (Seriously, her photos are gorgeous!)

Now, let’s meet Christina and the kittens she has fostered so far!

A Conversation with Christina

How did you get into fostering?
The power of Instagram! After starting an Instagram account for my cat a few years ago, I started following cats, rescues and fosters. At first, it was just to see cute cat pictures! Then I started to realize the importance of what places like Best Friends LA, Kitten Rescue and NKLA are doing for our city. I currently live in Los Angeles and their goal is to become 100% no-kill.

To do this, Best Friends is taking in cats and kittens from all of the high-risk shelters to be sure that these lives are saved. To keep taking in animals, they need our help! By fostering even just one kitten or cat, you open up space at their shelter for them to be able to save more lives. So you literally are saving lives by helping. Being in a home environment is also very beneficial for the animal as they learn how to socialize and get some extra one-on-one time.

Do you have any cats of your own? 
I have one resident cat named Joey who I adopted in 2012. She was three years old and had raised a litter of kittens in the shelter before I met her. While she may look grumpy with her death stares and piercing green eyes, she is the sweetest (and cuddliest!) cat I’ve ever met. She’s definitely a super meowdel!

What surprised you the most about fostering kittens?
I think it surprised me how much I bonded with each one. It does feel like you had a part in raising them. I’ve had kittens at different ages for different reasons. All of them have gone through so much to get to me. Each one has a story and you really do feel like you’re a chapter in their book. Oh, and it also surprised me how sharp their teeth and nails are!!!

What is the hardest part about fostering?
So far, the hardest part about fostering has been bringing them back. My first foster was a singleton. When I got Quasi, she was seven weeks old, underweight and had a cold. She wouldn’t touch her wet food and didn’t eat enough of the kibble to gain weight. After some online research and some trickery, I was able to get her to eat wet food and she started gaining that weight.

After all we went through together and being a first-time foster parent, taking her back to the shelter felt awful! Part of it was a feeling of guilt and the other part was not knowing how long she would be there before getting adopted. While she was waiting for her spay surgery in the lobby of BFLA, someone fell in love with her and she got to go to her forever home right after the surgery!

Once she was adopted, it felt like my job with her was complete. I felt better about the process. All in all, it was the fear of the unknown. It’s still not easy to give them back, but it’s with a purpose to raise them and get them on their way to a forever home that keeps you going back for more!

What advice would you give to someone thinking about fostering?
You can do it! Tailor your foster experience to your lifestyle. For example: I have a full-time job, so I ask for weaned kittens that do not need to be bottle-fed. I live in an apartment with a cat who is not fond of other animals, therefore, I wanted to start off with just 1-2 kittens at a time so I could easily keep them separated in my small apartment. I also take time between sets of fosters to be sure my resident cat gets a break and some special one-on-one time. The Best Friends LA foster team is really great about setting you up with kitten(s) that suit your needs and abilities and being there for any questions or concerns you may have. Additionally, there are so many resources online for fostering. I binge watched a lot of Kitten Lady’s videos before I got my first foster!

Do you have a favorite or funny foster story to share?
I loved fostering a set of sisters that I had. At first, I thought they were not bonded because they rarely cuddled unless they were fighting for space on my lap. Neda, the bigger of the two, could get anywhere she wanted and used that to her advantage, while Naseem was tiny and liked to be cozy in their bed with blankets and a rice heating pad to keep her warm. Neda being larger, bullied Naseem a bit but as soon as Naseem got a little older, she definitely fought back! I think it surprised Neda and she would have the cutest little whining meow. Like “save me”! It was so fun to watch these girls grow and change. In the end, I realized they were actually bonded. Just like sisters. They fought, then cuddled, then fought some more. I was so happy when they ended up getting adopted together!

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I’m actually VERY allergic to cats! The first 6-9 months of adopting Joey were tough on my asthma and allergies, but I finally figured out what medicine combo worked best for me to control both. While I do have to take medicine every day, it is quite under control. In the midst of figuring out how not to die from living with a cat, I became a certified cat lady obsessed with her cat!

What’s your 9 to 5 job?
I am a Revenue Manager for a large hotel company. I work 50+ hours a week. Kitten (and cat!) therapy is essential to my work/life balance!

You take such beautiful photos of your fosters. Do you have an interest in photography?
I have always loved taking pictures. Nothing professional but it is the reason I started the Instagram account for my resident cat, Joey. It was just a fun way to get out some creative energy by taking and editing pictures of my very sassy and photogenic cat.

Once I started fostering, it was an obvious choice to start taking pictures of the fosters in hopes that someone may come across my Instagram feed and decide that they would like to adopt one of them. It also allows me to create hashtags for each foster to provide to Best Friends LA in hopes of passing them on to the adopters. Adopters would then be able to see pictures of their newly adopted cat as a wee little kitten!

Thank you to Christina for sharing her fostering experience with us as well as her beautiful photos! You can follow Christina’s foster account on Instagram at Meet_the_FostersLA and her resident cat’s account at Joey_the_Tabby.

And if you’d like to help spoil her foster kittens, you can visit the Meet the Fosters LA Amazon Wish List.


gray kitten
Quasi

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40 thoughts on “Meet the Fosters LA!

  1. Loved this interview! I’ve never fostered before because we already have 7 cats and don’t currently have a space to keep foster cats, but also because I would be afraid I wouldn’t be able to give them back. I know that’s an excuse that so many people use, but I’m glad to hear that it’s hard for even the experienced fosters like Christina (and I’m sure for you too.) It gives me hope that one day when we have the space for fostering, that I would be able to handle it!

  2. The story is great and the photos are wonderful! Makes me want to go out and get more cats lol. I was horribly allergic to cats for years, then we rescued one on the street and after being miserable for 6 months I seem to have built up an immunity to it. I’m so glad I gave it a try!

  3. You and Miss Christine both take beautiful photos of kitties! And it is a wonderful thing you both do – being foster moms. You two sound like kindred spirits & so glad that you got to connect with each other! Great post! Purr purr purr!

  4. This is such a great post it had me smiling ALL the time. I SO am going to follow this fabulous lady and her kitten fosters.

    50+ hours a week!?!?!?!?! THAT’s ten a DAY!!! Holy smoke no wonder she needs kitten therapy!!

  5. What a good story and interview! I admire people like you and Christina who open their hearts and homes to fosters. I’m one for two – one failed foster ( our Mickey Mouser ) and one that I managed to bring back to the shelter (weeping).

  6. I’m happy your interviews are back! Gosh, her photos are amazing. I think dogs are much easier to photograph than cats – so I always appreciate amazing cat photos!

    I agree with Christina that fostering more kittens sometimes makes it easier when you have to bring them back to the shelter. When you only have one (especially if you fostered them as tiny kittens, bottle-fed them, etc.) is a foster failure waiting to happen – at least for me. I’m impressed that she only has one cat and hasn’t adopted any of them. More power to her!

  7. What a wonderful interview and story to share. I too have “met” and made so many friends through social media, you just never know! The photos of these kitties are marvelous. I’m going over to follow this instagram account to get my daily does of cuteness :)

  8. Love this post. We have fostered for a lot of rescues over the years and thought about doing so with the local shelter here in Charlotte. My biggest concern is the same, to have to return them to the shelter. It’s one thing when you know they’re going to an awesome family, but that sounds so hard. It’s super important though and so needed, especially for the young, sick ones. Love the pics too. Maybe I will look into fostering for them again. Thanks!

  9. Those kitties are ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL and how wonderful to see them bein’ taken care of so well, and loved so much, and then to be told of their goin’ to lovin’ forever homes. Readin’ this post has made my heart purr, for sure. PURRS.

  10. Great interview and I so admire those that foster which is my dream but unfortunately at the moment cannot. The photographs are amazing and I chuckled about the allergy as I am allergic to cats and had 3 cats at one time, one for nearly 14 years, suffered but it was worth it.

  11. Great interview and reading a different perspective on fostering. I know I’d feel the same having to give them back. I feel like I’d be a foster fail! I’ll have to follow her IG page. Thanks for sharing.

  12. What a wonderful interview! We are so grateful for people like you and Christina who help these kitties get ready for their forever homes.

  13. I love this! Social media and technology have forever changed the way animal lovers help and support homeless animals- and the organizations that are caring for them. To think an Instagram account helps homeless cats- and that you also had the very serendipitous connection -is awe inspiring

  14. LOVE this interview! Each kitty has a personality and is unique – I imagine fostering brings that to the fore. What a gift watch them explore the world and figure out the cat they want to be. Thank you for sharing Christina’s story … we’ll be following her on Instagram

  15. Hiya guys, awwww we loved today’s story/intermew and the photo’s are just exquisite, like really stunning!

    Brightened our day no end! :D

    Big hugs

    Basil & Co xo

  16. What a brilliant coincidence! I love a bit of serendipity. Beautiful photographs and wonderful interview. As a fellow shelter photographer, I realise the power they hold. I take my hat off to anyone who can devote their time and sacrifice their heart to fostering. It would brake me so I don’t…

  17. Thanks for this interview! I am fostering a cat with feline leukemia and he is my first foster cat (we have 8 indoor cats, so fostering wasn’t something we were looking to do, until this cat from the yard needed help). I think it’s going to be hard when I find a home for him or a space opens up at the sanctuary only for Felv positive cats.

    are healthy foster cats always kept separate for the owner’s cats?

    1. Hi Heidi! That’s great that you’re fostering a cat, it sounds like a full house! Regarding separating fosters and resident cats, it really depends on each situation. With my fosters, they start separate for their own comfort and then our cats can get used to their scent as well. But all of them have ended up coming out of the foster room in their own time. Some foster parents may prefer to keep them separate the whole time, though, especially if their resident cat isn’t fond of other cats.

    2. Hello Heidi! I agree with Rachel. It’s completely up to your discretion. They do suggest keeping them isolated from your own pets for about 2 weeks to be sure the foster is healthy. Especially kittens since they may not be old enough for all of the vaccinations. You want to be sure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations as well. After that, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for your resident pets and the fosters. In my case, my resident cat is not fond of the fosters so I keep them separated for the most part so she doesn’t stress out. What a great thing you are doing fostering this special cat! It will definitely be hard to let him go but just know that you had a part in saving his life and finding him a good forever home!

  18. If I had less cats, fostering would definitely be something I would do in a heartbeat. Only thing is, I would probably end up with a few foster fails. I can see why Christina does well with fostering – imagine all that welcomed purr therapy with 50 hours per week!

  19. Thank you for sharing this interview with us. Our mom says if we move to a bigger place she may foster. I’m still not sure how I feel about that – Lexy is enough to deal with! MOL Our favorite photo is the one where one kitten is giving the other a little smooch.

  20. I was allergic to cats also but a friend told me to try a spoonful of fresh crushed onion with honey when I got an attack of asthma and it was instantly gone! I have never had an asthma attack since then. she could try this remedy. lovely photos.

Any thoughts to share?