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Welcome to Adventures in Three Legged Fostering

The beginning of my three-legged fostering story starts with the end of another story. For 12 years, Tripod and I were inseparable. Born with three-legs, she brought me hope and joy during the worst times of my life, and I brought her food and happiness. She’s my best friend and the reason that I’m even alive today. On January 11th, the unthinkable happened. She died suddenly, unexpectedly, as she had been in mostly great health before that. I had to make the call to save her from her suffering. A big piece of me was destroyed by that. That day was the end of my world.

You never learn what you’re supposed to do when your world ends but you have to keep on living. I went through the motions for a few days. Our other cat, Tetrapod, was devastated. He and Tripod had a rather tsundere like relationship, and she very much loved him in her own salty way. I also discovered that the house was far, far too quiet without the pitter patter thump of a three-legged cat.

I went on Petfinder. The first cat I inquired about, my application was rejected because of being outside of their service area, despite what it said on their website. This was the beginning of the weirdest set of coincidences that leads me to fully believe that Tripod has her paw in what happened next.

I sent emails out to the closest local shelters, asking if they had any three-legged kitties. Most of them did not currently have any cats falling under that category, then I received an email from the foster coordinator at BARCS. She normally doesn’t tackle this type of email, but she went to see if there were any in foster. That’s when I learned about Jake. He had just gotten amputated a few days before the email, due to a bone infection. I asked whether he was a black cat. The foster coordinator said yes.

I knew I had to meet him. I didn’t know whether I could really handle going to the shelter, but I had to see him. I brought a little Christmas toy that I had gotten from Meowbox. When my partner and I saw him, we saw the Tripod in him. All black fur, other than where he was shaved. The face shape was eerily similar.

I asked when he came in. The 12th. That hit me like a truck. I couldn’t hold back the tears and it was right about then that I knew we needed to help Jake. He loved getting his face pet, welcoming the attention. I gave him the toy that I brought. Despite his pain, despite being in a stressful environment, despite being down a leg suddenly, he picked it up and started playing with it. That sealed the deal.

The foster coordinator put us on a foster to adopt program, in order to avoid interruption to Jake’s treatment plan. He came home with us two days later. It all happened incredibly fast, but in hindsight that was definitely a good thing. While the plan was to get him into foster to avoid secondary infections. He started showing the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection (kitty cold) as we got him out of there, but he avoided any other potential infections.

We fashioned our upstairs bathroom into a post-surgery recovery room. Tetrapod was very interested in what was going on, and he took it as a personal affront that we weren’t allowing him into the bathroom. The entire two-week mandatory separation period + extra time when Tetra shoved his nose under the bathroom door to the point where HE caught a URI too, was obviously just something we came up with to vex him.

We kept saying Jake From State Farm so many times that we wanted to keep the Jake part of his name, but I also wanted to add something of our own. So, RR for Robin Reliant got appended to it. Plus, phoenitically, his name ends up sounding like Our Jake. He had a pretty rough time in recovery. The URI had him down and out for almost two weeks, and at one point I was up for another sleepless night, syringe feeding him so he would have something in his system while I was waiting for his fever to break. It was an ordeal for that sweet little boy and myself, and it was the type of healing that we both needed.

The first face-to-face meeting of Tetrapod and RR Jake was nothing short of magical. Jake charged right out, his tail held high, so happy that he could finally meet his friend from the other side of the door. He went right in for a kitty kiss. Tetra was used to a more tumultuous relationship, and wasn’t quite sure what to do.

It didn’t take him long to figure things out. They are best friends now and bring so much joy to this house. Even with their insistance that 3 am playtime is the best playtime. Once we finalized the adoption of RR Jake, I knew that Tripod would want me to continue helping other kitties, especially the three-legged ones. So once we got Jake settled into the routine, it was time to help another kitty, this time as foster parents rather than adopters.

This is the next tripod cat that we’re helping out. The shelter named him Roosevelt, but we’ve taken to calling him Link. He is an utter sweetheart with a very sad story, and I’m glad that he is getting the help he deserves. So that’s the start of my story. I plan on posting about our resident kitties and the fosters, and anything useful that I’ve run into along the way. Thanks for reading this far, and I hope to see you again!



  • #   Super Stu! on 03.07.18 at 2:39 pm     Reply

    Wow! What an amazing Kitty Pawrent you are!!!
    I am sorry for the great loss of your Tripod! It sounds like you gave him an incredible life!
    RR Jake… you have found your furever home and how lucky you are! You now have a best mate, Tetrapod! (Cool names!
    And bless your heart for opening your home to foster Tripawd Kitty’s! Amazing!
    All the very best from
    Petra, Stewie and his very special Pride of Kittens

    • #   ilovetripods on 03.14.18 at 6:11 am     Reply

      Thank you for your kind words. I think Tripod and I gave each other the gift of incredible lives. 🙂 I think naming trikitties and their four legged friends is one of the best parts of being a tripawds parent. 😀 Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  • #   Purrkins on 03.07.18 at 5:05 pm     Reply

    Yaay for you getting your first post going!! (Thanks for the heads up;)

    I am very sorry to hear of your loss of Tripod! I am sure Tripod had her 3 paws all over everything that has transpired, she is looking out for you and now RR Jake and whoever else you foster and find furever homes!

    Tetrapod and Jake hitting it right off is fantastic & another sign! You know how lucky you are when that happens MEANT to BE! Thanks, Tripod;)

    You did a great job on the onesies so glad to know Purrkins has helped other trikitties & their humans foster Moms or furever Moms.

    We look forward to following along, thanks for helping these very special kitties, as you know three just makes them extra special!
    Holly & Purrkins❤️

    • #   ilovetripods on 03.14.18 at 6:09 am     Reply

      Thank you for the encouragement! 🙂

      She really is, she’s such a wonderful soul like that. Feeling her three paws in things has really made life bearable.

      I still can’t believe RR Jake came bursting right out of the bathroom and went straight for the kitty kiss. He certainly shocked Tetra! Hahhaa. I don’t know what I would have done without the onesies for Jake and Link. It just makes SUCH a big difference to them adjusting to their three legs. So thank you and Purrkins both. 🙂

      I’m working on a post to introduce my current trikitty foster, so look for that soon. 😀

  • #   jerry on 03.12.18 at 5:33 pm     Reply

    Oooooh we are so thrilled you joined us and started a blog to share your Trikitty fostering adventures! Bless you for adopting Tripod, RR Jake and fostering Link. We have no doubt you will teach all of us so much about the life of cats on three legs!

    P.S. Remember you can always post your TriKitty fosters here in our Tripawds Rescue Forum listings:

    • #   ilovetripods on 03.14.18 at 3:36 am     Reply

      Thank you for the kind words! Trikitties are so incredible, I’m always in awe of how quick they adapt. I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned! 🙂

      And thank you for the invitation to share my fosters on the forum! Once they get medically cleared for adoption, I’ll definitely be doing this. 🙂

  • #   karin on 03.14.18 at 8:12 pm     Reply

    you’re a saint❣️
    thank you for loving these kitties 😻

    my heart too belongs to the challenged ones, the tripawds, the seniors, the diabetic…

    and I want to believe, that when we lose them, maybe after a life of being sooo loved, they’re making room for another animal that needs us even more…❤️

    • #   ilovetripods on 03.15.18 at 3:08 am     Reply

      I love the special needs kitties so much. 😀

      I hope that’s the case. I know Tripod has her paws all over bringing RR Jake and our family together. It’s really wonderful. I miss her so much every day, and I’m happy that I can keep on going with helping the trikitties.

  • #   Colleen on 03.15.18 at 2:29 am     Reply

    Thank you for this post. One of my fosters is getting a leg amputated next week, and this is a first for me. Mr. Bengal has a warm, outgoing personality, and I have no doubt he will take becoming a tripod in stride.
    Welcome to the wonderful world of fostering!

    • #   ilovetripods on 03.15.18 at 3:05 am     Reply

      Please let me know if you have any questions during the healing process! 🙂 I’m happy to share info. It’s really amazing to see how quickly they adapt. 😀 Good luck with his amputation!

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