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2023 - A Year to Remember

It's customary to take stock at the end of year, but, let's be honest, numbers and statistics can be dull and impersonal, making many people’s eyes glaze over:)

So, we decided to peek behind the numbers and asked our volunteers to share with us some of their personal impressions and anecdotes from 2023.

Be warned, though: there's a barrage of cute cat and dog pictures ahead😉

Sarah looks back at her first year as a cat fosterer with KLAWS:

These 2 little kittens were strays with their Mum and were fed by the locals. Mum went missing during the heatwave and they believed she didn’t survive; so the kittens were taken in by a kind lady and she named them Peter and MJ. Unfortunately, she couldn’t keep them, so these were our very first foster kittens. Peter was friendly but MJ would hiss and spit at us. They both had cat flu that took a lot of trips to the vets before it cleared up.  MJ also had a large wound on her neck.

After caring for Peter and MJ, the children became very attached and we decided to adopt them ourselves.

We kept the name Peter but changed MJ to Mouse

These 2 little kittens were found at 3 weeks old, so they needed bottle feeding. They had been separated from their Mum after a dog chased her and she couldn’t be found. We called them Hiccup and Apricot.

We fell in love with them and adopted these 2 also ❤️

Four happy foster fails😊

After leaving KLAWS due to keeping all the kittens, we then found this little kitten in the car park:

We took her in and asked KLAWS if they would take her as one of theirs if we minded her.  

We called her Pickles.

After a check-up at the vets, we found that she had fleas, lice, ringworm, worms and candida. The vet didn’t think she would survive. We had her isolated for 6 weeks and now she’s gone to her forever home where she is called Lady.

Saying goodbye to Pickles

When Pickles went in for her vaccination, the vet also said that she wouldn’t have survived if we hadn’t taken her in, and that not many people would have taken her in in her condition.

Sometimes, foster animals can teach us valuable lessons for life, as our dog fosterer Bob recalls:

I did not have any fosters this year as our rescue had surgery and was out of action for 6 months. But we did have a funny moment. We went to Coolea to help with a Collie Sam, who was with Sinead.

I told her, ‘Don’t worry, he will settle down after a while’. Before we took Sam out for a walk, Sinead said, ‘Don’t let him off lead as he barks at other dogs and won’t come back when called’. We walked him on long lead for an hour. After which I felt he would be ok to get to know us off lead and he can come back when he’s ready. Let’s say 2 hours later we were still trying to coax him to go home, which was a 2-minute walk from the park. Once a wild farming dog, always a wild farming dog off lead😊. Definitely lesson learned: no wide open spaces for training off lead!

2023 was a bit of a rollercoaster for Ursula, our cat fosterer and craftsperson extraordinaire:

Chrystal came to me when she was about 3 weeks old.

Her mom had been run over by a car. We had tried to smuggle her and her two siblings on to a surrogate mom at another foster home. It worked for the siblings, but Chrystal was too small and got bullied off. She stopped eating and started screaming loudly. So, I took her home and quite a struggle began. She had lost her reflex to suckle. Feeding her was a constant struggle to get the kitten formula into her millilitre by millilitre. Day and night. After a week I was exhausted, but then one day I must have gotten the mixture and the temperature just so and she started to suckle. Hallelujah! 😉 From then on there was no stopping her. She grew and grew.

She made new friends quickly, when new foster kitties came in. And I am especially proud that she provided support to another foster kitty, who was bullied.

Crystal provided support and friendship to little Maya. Crystal could have been an only cat, but Maya needed a companion. And luckily we were able to find a forever home for both together. And her new mom tells us that Crystal and Maya give her emotional support and happy purrs and cuddles whenever she comes home after a long day. This is what it is all about…

For Julia, our social media volunteer and dog fosterer, 2023 was a rather special year:

Bowie was just supposed to be fostered until he recovered.

He was malnourished and his body didn’t develop properly. He was way too small and skinny for his age and needed injections to build up cartilage.

Well, he never made it on our adoption website😉

Everyone in the family fell instantly in love with him and he has a big brother now, another KLAWS Collie.

When they don’t play, they sleep very close together and follow each other around all day long.

What a transformation and such a happy ending for Bowie after such a difficult start in life!

Sometimes, it’s one animal that can define a whole year in a foster home. Here’s Kris’s view of 2023:

Although we welcomed many lovely and fun feline foster family members into our home last year, I guess 2023 for us was the year of Garfield.

He stayed with us for 9 months; so, considering that he’s approximately 3 years old, that’s almost 1/3 of his whole life! With his multiple health issues, living with him was an emotional roller coaster at times, but what I will always remember about Garfield is his innate ability to make anyone in his vicinity feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s almost like making people feel happy is his superpower: when he enters a room, everything suddenly seems better, nicer, brighter. And that’s before he starts purring non-stop!

Finding a home for him took what seemed like forever, but boy, did he hit the jackpot in the end! Garfield was adopted by a lovely local writer who gave him a rather princely name – Orlando (which fit him like a glove).

The phrase ‘couldn’t be happier’ doesn’t even come close to how we felt when saying goodbye to our ginger love of 2023😊

And sometimes, it’s a lovely couple that can make your year, which is what happened with our cat fosterer Lena:

Wow, what a year! More than 50 cats were with us temporarily on their journey of finding their forever home.

From little Hope (10 days old) to Sparky (14 years old), we had all kinds of gorgeous kitties! 

My absolute highlight definitely was finding a home for Leo and his new best friend Rosie.

I rescued Leo myself when he was sick, half-starved, and with a broken leg. We were with him through his surgery and recovery. He found his best friend in Rosie and the two of them became inseparable😊


We almost gave up finding a home for the two of them, as it took a long time, but they got adopted after all. And to the best home we could have wished for!

Even though animal rescue can be tough, these moments make up for every tear and every hard situation we may have to face.

Let’s see what 2024 brings us!

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