One hot, dry, summer afternoon my housemate and I were enjoying a chilled drink on the back verandah when we started a conversation about our backyard.
It was one of those conversations that escalates quickly and you find yourself asking ‘how did we get here?’
It started with a chat about the vast amount of very thirsty-looking grass.
We chatted about how much a dog would love the space, which quickly turned into a chat about cats versus dogs.
After establishing a firm preference of feline company, we joked about how great it would be to get a pet.
There had been some brief conversation about a fish before we moved in, but the idea of getting a cat was more responsibility than either of us could imagine at that point.
As both of us became more interested in the idea of having a pet, we turned our attention to fostering.
I had always been a big fan of the idea and adoption in general.
Days later we had signed up and showed our interest in fostering some little cats of our own.
The whole process happened so quickly and, within two weeks, we had two little kittens delivered to our door.
As the doorbell rang we could barely contain our excitement, greeting another foster carer with a bunch of high-pitched squeals, jumps and claps.
Two tiny babies, just five weeks old, stared up from inside the carrier, also making little squeals, much cuter than those of us humans.
Although we had both looked after cats for our families in the past, this was definitely an adjustment and our first taste of parenthood.
We were very excited after completing our first step of giving them names.
Lola, our little champagne-coloured kitten, is full of energy and confidence. She often the one testing her limits and attempting to jump off the kitchen chairs.
Her sister Stella is a lot more timid, hiding behind objects and insistently meowing.
Since becoming a kitten foster mum, I’ve learnt a few things:
●Cleaning is key — things go downhill very quickly if you leave it.
●Small animals crave a lot of attention — unless you close the door on them, they will be hanging off you.
●Eating is a big part of their day — they will just keep eating and eating if you let them.
As I clean litter and try to keep them out of the fridge, I find myself wondering if this is the same for all mammal mothers in some capacity?
Although definitely a big learning curve, I have found fostering to be a hugely rewarding experience.
For anyone who might not be in a position to commit to a pet wholeheartedly, this is a great way to share your love and give an animal a home.
Ash Witoslawski is a journalist at The News.