I am not a fan of Facebook. On some, fundamental level, I don’t “get it”. I understand parts of it; like my sister being able to keep in touch and see photos of her grandchildren who are spread out across the country. But the bandwagon/shaming part of it, the focus on the minutiae of someone’s day? Just not my thing. I don’t give a sh*t that you’re standing in line at Starbucks or what you’re having for dinner. I signed up under duress and didn’t visit for years — literally.
Then I started visiting the Foster Parents Facebook page. I haven’t written about it much because it’s a closed group and “what happens on the FPFbP, stays on the FPFbP” as they say. But it’s got me hooked now. THAT’S what Facebook is good for. A group of people, spread out across a large city (or country or the world) with a common interest, who can share stories, laugh, cry, commiserate, whine, and comfort each other in times of distress or sadness. Toronto Cat Rescue doesn’t have a shelter. We don’t have an office. We rarely see anyone in the organization, even those we email with everyday! We have a network of people, doing their best to help a lot of cats. The Facebook page helps us connect with each other.
When I posted about going on a “vomit hunt” one morning, after hearing one of the cats be sick during the night, not only did I get lots of sympathetic “likes”, but there were dozens of similar (or worse!) tales posted in reply.
The other night someone posted about going to the vet to pick up their three recently spayed foster kittens and coming home with a fourth. That launched a whole bunch of “I went to ____ and came home with a foster” stories. Like me with Joe.
And then there are the grief posts; someone’s lost the battle for a sick foster or someone’s had to make the decision to euthanize their own cat/dog. The outpouring of sympathy and support makes me tear up every time.
As fosters, we work alone. Even though some fosters have partners and/or families, the responsibility is ours. Am I doing the right thing for this cat? Am I doing enough? Have I missed something? At times like those, “You are not alone” is a powerful message to receive!