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Circle of Cat Love: A Foster Cat Mom’s Regret

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Quote by Kahlil Gibran

Updated 2020

Sometimes, no matter how much love to we have to give, it’s not enough or we run out of time. That’s what happened with our foster girl Ling Ling. She came to us very ill and traumatized in July. I nursed her back to health and she made big behavioral strides, but fate stepped in and someone wanted to adopt her. A single, older cat man who loves Siamese cats just lost his meezer to cancer and wanted to adopt Ling Ling. It’s always the goal of every foster parent to see cats find a forever home.

Dear Ling Ling went to her forever home yesterday. Merlin and Gris Gris can breath easier now that the aggressive Dragon Lady is gone, but she stole my heart and I miss her. Sometimes the right decision is a painful one, but when someone’s door closes, it opens for someone else. The circle of love lives on. I’m blindsided by my emotions and Kahlil Gibran said it best, “…love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”

Update: In hindsight, nine years later, I think I made a mistake. “We could have objected. We could have adopted Ling Ling. She could have been a failed foster, but we felt pressure from Sara, the rescue organization owner because the man was a friend. I felt it was too soon. His cat had just died and it wasn’t his first cat that died of cancer. I felt a creepy sense of unease when he refused the carrier with her familiar scent to his old one. A very old one with a curved plastic top that must have housed all his cats of the past 40 years. He also wasn’t keen on any follow-up call or relationship. I did call once to a cool reception. I mentioned it to Sara but she brushed it off. What else could I do?

On the surface it was a successful foster to adoption.

My intuition ( I really hope I’m wrong) is that Ling Ling would have been happier with us. I also feel she’s probably dead by now, of cancer.

Red flags popped up about the way the rescue organization was run. The rescue with 30+ cats (contained in two rooms of her home) was over crowded and reeked of urine. It was understaffed and I eventually couldn’t in good conscious support them. There were several cats that had lived there for years. Eventually they moved to parts unknown. I can only pray the cats are in a better place.

I don’t remember Ling Ling’s new owner’s name or I’d track him down or only to be proven wrong. And maybe the saddest part? I’ve never fostered another cat.


  • Oui Oui

    Our Mica Moo was so defensive she was aggressive (does that make sense)? Swatting, hissing growling but her body said “frightened”. She is part Meezer too. We’re sorry you lost your Ling Ling, but something great will happen, we’re sure.

  • Deb Barnes - Zee and Zoey

    Oh… I’m going to miss the dear Dragon Lady – I’ve grown quite fond of her myself. But, truly it is a success story with a happy ending – you were a wonderful foster-fur home, but now she is on to someone who will give her all the undivided attention she craves and Sir Merlin can return to his top stature… xoxox

  • Anonymous

    As they say in the Jewish religion, you did a “Mitzvah” You performed a blessing for both Ling-Ling and your friend and you can rest assured it will be returned.

    It doesn’t make your pain easier, I wish it could. You gave them both an incredible gift ((((hugs)))))

  • Ingrid King

    What a bittersweet post. This sounds like the perfect home for Ling Ling, but my heart aches for you. I wish for you that in time, knowing that you saved Ling Ling’s life and made it possible for her to live out her remaining years being the sole center of attention and love of this older gentleman will replace the pain of missing her.

    The price we pay for opening our hearts to these wonderful cats, whether it’s to foster, or whether they’re our own, is inevitably a painful good bye in the end. But I think all of us would agree that we wouldn’t want to miss the love we receive for opening our hearts.

  • Milo and Alfie

    We understand how hard it must have been to let LingLing go to her new forever home ~ but we know in our hearts you did the right thing. We wish her love and luck.

    The quote by Kahlil Gibran, “…love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation” touched me deeply.

    Jan (and Milo & Alfie)

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