This week’s Happy Tail comes from former ASPCA foster parent Pauline Ma:
I've loved animals all my life but resisted adopting a cat for the very silly reason of perception. I was a 37-year-old single female living in NYC and I didn't want to turn into that old stereotype of a cat lady. It turns out you can't fight yourself forever and that I am a cat lady after all! Embracing that fact has brought me joy and love that I didn't think possible.
I started volunteering at the ASPCA in 2008 as a kitty foster parent. After fostering several adorable kittens, I fostered a friendly, pregnant cat named Asbury.
Soon after, Asbury gave birth to three healthy kittens! Over the next couple of months, Asbury raised her kittens and even helped nurse six additional orphan kittens just as if they were her own. Watching her commitment, love and tenderness with the kittens made me fall in love with her and want to care for her in a way that overcame my superficial qualms about being a cat lady.
I adopted Asbury in November 2008, and my life changed after that. I fell in love, moved to the West Coast, got married, moved again to the South and have continued volunteering with animal rescue groups wherever I go.
Asbury has been with me every step of the way. She is a special kitty who knows how to walk nicely on a harness, sit and shake paws, leap in the air to catch treats, chase her tail, and generally rule the household.
Often I will catch her walking around the house with a stuffed toy in her mouth, mewing plaintively and longingly, searching for something. I don't know what she is looking for, if anything, but it always reminds me of how much she cared for her kittens; that she was a loving mom cat who needed a little of my help and the ASPCA's; that her love for them and my subsequent love for her opened up my own life to all sorts of possibilities and happiness.
For more stories of furry fate, check out our Happy Tails archive. To learn how you could become a foster parent for the ASPCA in NYC, visit our Fostering section.