Foster Spotlight: Cat Ellis
Cat Ellis is one of our amazing Feline Foster Volunteers. Inspired by the lady who fostered Cat’s cat, (and Instagram celebrity) Winston Purrchill, Cat become a Feline Foster. In 2019 alone, she has fostered around 30 kittens! Recently, Cat fostered a kitten named Myrna who developed ringworm. We sat down with Cat to ask her a few questions about what it means to foster a cat with ringworm and how #MyrnaTheGreyKitty is doing today!
Q. How long have you been a foster volunteer?
A. I’ve been fostering for about one year now!
Q. How many cats and kittens have you fostered?
A. I haven’t done a grand total, but I know in 2019 alone I fostered around 30 kittens.
Q. What made you want to start fostering cats?
A. I was inspired by the lady who fostered my cat, Winston! Miss Cindy (from @foster_kittens) and also the Kitten Lady. They’re both my foster role models.
Q. Tell us about Myrna and how she came to be with you?
A. I took a short break from fostering after I lost a small kitten in one litter I was fostering, and then my own 17-year-old kitty, Aggie. It was a lot all in a short period, and I told myself to “take it easy” when getting back into fostering, so I took a solo kitten looking to make weight. Easy, right? Turns out, she got ringworm! I noticed a small spot on her arm and took her to the shelter’s vet asap. I have my own blacklight at home and the spot glowed under it, but I wanted to ensure she got a definitive diagnosis. After I got that, I had to dip all the cats in the house with the stinky solution just in case! Everyone was socializing together before I found the ringworm on Myrna.
Q. What’s it been like fostering a ringworm kitty?
A. Fostering her has been hard! The hardest part is that she has to be in isolation, away from my resident cats and dog, as well as apart from me. Ringworm is a fungus, and it spreads via spores, so I couldn’t have that all over the house. She gets a bath every 3 days or so, in a very stinky solution, and oral medication. That’s not too bad, once you get into a routine. The shelter gave me plastic gowns to wear and gloves to protect myself. Every time I bath her, I suit up and pet her a bit before bathing her. Then, I dispose of the gown/gloves and wash the clothes I was wearing as soon as possible. Then, I take a shower to make sure any spores I may have gotten are washed away. Thankfully, Myrna has now had one negative test for ringworm, which is great! She needs two in a row to be cleared to be out of isolation (at which time I’ll basically clean the entire kitten room [my office] with bleach), and can be scheduled for her spay and eventual adoption!
Q. Any advice for someone interested in fostering a cat, particularly a cat with ringworm?
A. The best advice I can give for fostering is knowing your limits. Fortunately, I have space for a kitten to hang out alone while getting over ringworm. If you don’t have the time or space to put a ton of time into bathing a kitten a few times a week, then I would suggest against it. But if you have space and welcome the challenge, I say go for it! The hardest part is resisting the urge to cuddle them– especially when you can hear them crying for attention! Humans are easily treated for ringworm with an antifungal cream, but risk spreading it to other pets.
Even if you can’t foster at home, there’s always a way you can help out! Transportation for someone who is fostering, cleaning kennels at the shelter, volunteering at the pet food bank, or even a small monetary donation every month. Every little bit helps.