When I first met Robin Reynolds and was informed that she wanted to foster a cat named Sammie, I had no idea that Animal Care Sanctuary (ACS) would be gaining such a dynamic and compassionate friend and foster mom.
Of course, in a sanctuary housing more than 450 cats, an animal with a name like Sammie does not particularly stand out, but after talking with Reynolds for about 5 minutes, I soon knew all of his little antics, his likes and dislikes and his favorite places to be scratched.
My first reaction was to run in the other direction because I was thinking that I finally met the craziest cat lady! But on the contrary, I had not met a crazy cat lady; I had just met a lady who was crazy for Sammie.
Pictured is Sammie, who requires a very specific diet and suffers from kidney disease.
She saw much more than the cauliflower ears worn down by years of untreated ear infections. She looked past his frailty and unhealthy appearance.
What Reynolds divulged was the mutual affection that she and Sammie shared; she thrived on the appreciation and gratitude that she was welcomed with every time she walked in to the room to visit him. She spent countless hours with Sammie on the floor in the cattery.
Surrounded by all of the kidney cats, Reynolds dedicated much of her time to these elders, but Sammie always was front and center. Reynolds was determined to take this boy home and diligently prepared her house for his arrival. Some of us feared that Sammie would not benefit from this change, as taking on such a cat was no easy feat. He requires a very specific diet, subcutaneous fluids, stomach medication, and he suffers from kidney disease. Needless to say, his care is costly.
The foster program at Animal Care Sanctuary was designed for those interested in taking in one or more animals whose stay may be extended due to medical reasons, expenses or behavioral reasons.
To put it in simpler terms, we don't want an animal to stay one extra day for reasons that we can help alleviate.
Therefore, when someone decides to foster an animal, ACS is responsible for all medical expenses. To date, there are 28 dogs and cats living in foster homes! Typically a foster animal remains available for adoption while in foster care, but the foster parent certainly has the option to adopt first.
The bond between Robin and her new (yet very old) cat is undeniable. We receive weekly updates on his progress. His list of homemade preferences for dinner continues to grow and he loves pasta.
Sammie became an ACS resident at four years old. 12 years later he has found a place to call home. Reynolds has promised to give him the best life that she can.
They embrace every day with happy anticipation. I am incredibly thankful for people like Reynolds who have opened their hearts and homes to some of our special needs animals.
If you are interested in fostering an animal or sponsoring one of our special needs pets contact us at Animal Care Sanctuary at 596-2200 or visit www.animalcaresa nctuary.org.
Johnson is the adoption coordinator at Animal Care Sanctuary.