Last week (or was it the week before?) Jean asked: How many years have you fostered, and how many cats have you rescued/adopted/fostered? And if you feel up to doing the math, how many unwanted kittens have you prevented from being brought into this world due to your selfless fostering? A grateful nation awaits.
I know. It calls for some higher maths, which you probably swore you’d never use when you got out of high school! 😀
I found this an interesting question because I had no idea exactly how many cats we’ve fostered over the years, though from time to time I’ve wondered. So I sat down and figured it out. I even made a spreadsheet so I could get a total number as well as how many were males and how many were females.
The year we started fostering: 2005 (May 19, to be exact).
The total number of cats we’ve fostered: 125
How many females: 60
How many males: 65
The number of our fosters we’ve adopted: 5 – Tom Cullen, Sugarbutt, Joe Bob, Stinkerbelle, and Kara.
The largest litter we’ve had: 7 (The Seven)
The litter size we’ve had most often: 4. We’ve had 9 litters of 4. Followed closely by 5, of which we’ve had 8 litters.
The most fosters we’ve had at one time (which is different from the largest litter!): 9. We had 4 Wonkas and 5 Cookies last Fall, and we have 4 Bookworms and 5 Rescuees right now.
I was really, really surprised to find that we’ve had more males than females – I honestly thought we’d had more females over the years!
The total number of fosters would be higher except that after we adopted Tom Cullen and Sugarbutt in the Fall of 2005, Fred made me promise to take at least 6 months off from fostering so that Tommy and Sugs would be older and thus less able to fight off any illnesses fosters might bring into the house. We ended up going almost a year before I decided it was time to start fostering again, and I brought that she-devil Maddy (our first bottle baby!) into the house in September 2006.
It’s impossible, of course, to figure out how many unwanted kittens we’ve helped prevent from being brought into the world. The number of litters a fertile female can have in a year (3), and the average number of kittens in a litter is 4-6. Fertile female felines can have kittens through their entire lives, so let’s say the average female cat lives 10 years (though they often live longer – sometimes much, much longer). 3 litters per year times 5 kittens per litter, times 10 years is… drumroll…150. And then let’s say that of that 150, half are females, who each go on to have their own 150 kittens, so that’s… 11,250. And we’re not even talking about the males, who can impregnate myriad females. I wouldn’t even know how to come up with totals for the males.
Let’s just say we’ve prevented at least 11,250 unwanted kittens from being born. And that’s just MY fosters. I’m not the only foster parent for Challenger’s House cats, and Challenger’s House isn’t the only cat shelter in this area, let alone the state. When you think about it, it’s kind of amazing that when we walk out of our houses, we aren’t seeing a flood of cats as far as the eye can see.
Because I know you’re totally fascinated by this topic (heh), here are all my fosters, in order of fostering, and pictures of each litter! (If you consider Maddy and Maura – who were the only two cats we had who were “onlies” – to each be their own litter, that means that the Rescuees are our 31st litter!)
The links are to the “about” pages about each litter if one exists for them at Love & Hisses – if one doesn’t yet (on my very long list of stuff to do is cutting and pasting all those entries about the early litters over to Love & Hisses), I linked to their album on Flickr for the time being.
(At some point, I’ll likely go through and find better pictures – I kind of tossed this together last night, and it took a lonnnnng time to weed through the pictures – thank god I have them at least organized by litter name. Did you know I take a LOT of pictures of my fosters? I know you’re surprised!)
Smitty, Barrett, Little Cal, Sad Eyes.
(“Barrett” became Tom Cullen, and “Sad Eyes” became Sugarbutt – the first fosters we adopted!)
(Our first bottle baby!)
Fezzik, Inigo, Westley, Princess Buttercup.
(Maxi’s babies! When we bought this house and had met Maxi, she showed up one day with her litter – and Newt.)
Moondance and Moonman
(Moonman later became Joe Bob!)
Tina Louise, Spanky, Gilligan, and Maryanne.
(Maryanne later became Stinkerbelle!)
Hamilton J. Porks, Jefferson, and their two brothers.
(I never wrote about this litter at Love & Hisses because it was too sad. In short, it was a litter of four kittens who were taken from their mother too soon. I got them when they were only a few days old, and one by one they died. Coming so soon after Mister Boogers died, it was especially hard.)
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: What a difference five weeks makes.