Thursday, February 13, 2014


I originally started fostering Mars around October 2002.  I had only recently started fostering and she was my second or third foster group, sometimes I fostered more than one kitten depending if they came in as a litter or not.  Mars was my first "feral" foster.  I place feral in apostrophes because most of my feral fosters were just under-socialized, not necessarily feral.  She definitely started a trend because I rarely fostered any other type of cat, I had found my niche.  Plus, when you foster ferals like I did, in your only bathroom, then they pretty much stay out of your way until they are ready to go back to the shelter and get adopted.  Unlike other kittens who are all over you while you try to use the bathroom in any capacity.

Mars and another kitten I fostered, about a year after I adopted her.
I learned a lot while fostering Mars.  I had never fostered a kitten so scared and Mars was definitely fearful, although I have since fostered other kittens who were much worse off.  I had some things to learn and even lost her while visiting a friend, she somehow wedged herself under his Kegerator.  I didn't know you needed to keep a scared cat in a smaller, and open, area until they have gotten used to them.  I also learned that it was easier to wait on naming the kittens until they were older, this way you would know their individual personalities, and it helped me stay a bit more detached.  I originally didn't name Mars because another staff member had dibs on her and wanted to name her Madelyn, a name that didn't seem to match her.  I also had always thought that I couldn't ever own a cat with Haley, she has pretty high prey drive.  But Mars is sometimes too smart for her own good and snuck out of the bathroom, meeting Haley.  Luckily Mars isn't a typical cat and just laid down like a submissive dog and Haley treated her as such.

As time went on Mars started to grow on me more and more.  She is a snuggle bug, she doesn't necessarily like being carried around, but the second you sit down she is ready to be on your lap.  Mars is also a bit naughty, I seem to be attracted to animals that are a bit too smart and stubborn for their own good.  Big B says, "like dog/cat, like owner."  But, I am allergic to cats and Mars bothered those allergies more than the average cat.  The original interested party decided they weren't ready for another cat and I had a dilemma.  I asked around trying to find Mars a home with someone I knew and trusted, to no avail.  Then right before it was time to take her back to the shelter my allergies stopped acting up and I decided to adopt her!  In the meantime my roommate had been calling her Mars, he thought she looked like Biere de Mars, and being the smarty that she is, the name stuck.

Mars showing off that big brain of hers.  Check out the awesome carpet in one of the places I have lived.  And it was in the kitchen, who puts carpet in the kitchen?  

Mars has been quite the character since the move.  As I mentioned above she is sometimes too smart, and stubborn.  The two things she has been especially stubborn about over the last two months have been 1) getting into the food in the kitchen and 2) sitting on my lap.  Luckily she hasn't been too naughty about scratching up the carpet.  We put her favorite scratching post next to her bed and I think this has helped immensely.  Scratching up the carpet was one of her naughtiest habits in Seattle, as everyone who came to my Ladies Christmas Party a few years ago can collaborate.

Mars decided there was enough room on my lap between me and the laptop, even if she had to hold on tight.
In the past she would much rather sit on Big B's lap than my own.  Maybe it is because his lap is bigger, or that he tends to move around a little less when we are sitting down (usually in the evening), or that he is usually warmer than me.  But something in Virginia has made my lap much more inviting.

I finally convinced Mars to take a nap beside me so I could get up and down with a bit more ease.

What a silly cat!  Definitely makes me feel loved, but I wish she wasn't so insistent sometimes.  It makes it hard to get motivated to get off the couch when you move your nice warm cat and she crawls right back on before you can even stand up.

I thought this would be a favorite spot for her, but this is the only time I've seen her get up in the window.  Maybe she'll like it more when it isn't so cold next to the glass.

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