The adventure of cat fostering

Adopting a cat creates a happy ending at Sante D’or Foundation


The surrounding perimeter was in a chaotic mess. It looked like Hurricane Maria had swept across my room destroying everything in its path. From the chipped paint on the wooden floors to the knocked over White Barn mahogany teakwood scented candle, it was clear that a disastrous event had occurred in my room. But what would have it have been?

Bryan Han
Kittens and cats are left in closed homes.

I scanned my room’s perimeter and analyzed the possible source of this catastrophic phenomenon. I peered down at a compiled collection of demolished objects on the floor, and then a sudden movement from underneath the white blanket on the floor revealed the creature which beneath slowly inching toward me, initially stretching and then uttering a high-pitched sound. Similar to a gopher burrowing its tunnels, the creature dug for an escape route and eventually ran in an anxious pattern.

I knew what was underneath the blanket. Pinching the Crate and Barrel blanket with my index finger and thumb, my speculation was correct. My face flattened with unappealing emotions. It was the kitten I had volunteered to foster for the week from Sante D’or Foundation in Atwater Village.

Sante D’or Foundations prominently insists volunteers to foster cats because of their known work ethic and behavior around animals. “Volunteering offers first insight into how to manage and take care of animals especially cats,” said junior Victoria Bochniak, who is currently a frequent volunteer at the Sante D’or Foundation.

Sante D’or Foundation possesses cats in their animal shelter though the donations of anonymous individuals. People notice abandoned cats on streets and bring them into the shelter. In 2012, The ASPCA estimates that in U.S. animal shelters, including Sante D’or Foundation, 27 percent of sheltered cats are found as strays.

In research from 2012, 6.5 million abandoned animals enter U.S. animal shelters; 3.3 million of them are dogs and 3.2 million of them are cats. Unfortunately, due to limited space in U.S. animal shelters, 1.5 million domesticated animals are euthanized. However, the number decreased to 1.1 million animal euthanized in 2011.

Bryan Han
The overall environment of the animal shelter is gorgeous.

The Pasadena Humane Society, similar to the Sante D’or Foundation, is committed to helping disadvantaged animals. The organization finds homes for the animals away from traumatic experiences they have encountered. Initially the animals temporal homes are in kennel spaces within the organization’s Pasadena facility. However, after a stay over an extended period of time, the animals will receive urgent attention before being euthanized.

In a conversion with Brittany Lee, a volunteer at the Pasadena Humane Society, euthanization has resulted from pet overpopulation. This issue has become a real problem in animal shelters. Typically, animal shelters do not have enough kennel space to care for all available animals.

As an alternative, fostering has become one of the most reliable strategies to shelter these animals. This ultimately preserves their authentic goal, which is to rescue and nurture animals who have been neglected, gotten sick, or have experienced abuse, anxiety, or stress

However, after using all possible alternatives such as fostering, the most difficult decision is to euthanize the animals to further the available space for incoming animals.

After insistence to foster a cat from my supervisor, I filled out the adoption paperwork on Oct. 24 and received my first black kitten from Leslie Arellano, a volunteer veterinarian and one of the managers for Sante D’or Foundation. However, fostering this cat was an exhausting responsibility.

Bryan Han
This is inside the special kitten room.

Given a box of necessities for the cat — cat litter, wet and dry cat food, and FortiFlora (a cat probiotic supplement) — I was ignorant of my impending responsibilities and my mind continued to race with the optimistic perspective that raising a cat would be easy.  

“His name is Sashimi,” Arellano told me. “He is mysterious and aloof. He’d prefer to judge you from afar, but if you have patience, and more importantly treats, he’ll come and meet you in person and let you pet him.”

Arellano stated the obligations I would have while taking care of Sashimi, but my eyes were entranced with the feline’s growing pupils.

Bring him home around 10 p.m., I was fatigued from volunteering at the animal shelter and cooking for my sick mother. Instead being a rational individual and allowing Sashimi to explore the apartment that first day, I kept him in his cage all night. However, through the middle of the night I noticed the cage had been open and the cat was lying next to me on my bed. My fluttered affections for the cat caused a longing endearment for Sashimi until the second day of fostering him.

Bryan Han
These are the cats and kitties that have been adopted.

Day 2 of fostering Sashimi provided an auspice of what fostering a cat meant. Cats require an attentive stream of constant affection, so leaving Sashimi enclosed in a small-confined space over a long period of time resulted in my disastrous room.

Even though fostering cats may seem tedious, it prevents drastic measures taken by animals shelters such as euthanization. More importantly, taking care of pets teaches individuals to learn to make sacrifices.

Possessing a dog currently, junior Eleen Shahmoradian has vast knowledge on the sacrifices she has made such as traveling. “Traveling becomes hard after having a dog,” Shahmoradian said. “Chloe has become an important responsibility…obviously you have to treat her like a baby — tend her and clean her feces.”

However, at the Sante D’or Foundation, volunteers assist the nonprofit organization, sacrificing their hours from their day, through feeding, cleaning and supplying the animals with basic essentials. These tasks help potential foster families to develop skills necessary to care for a cat.

“My experience volunteering at Sante D’or and committing to caretaking cats eventually allowed me to build the confidence to foster cats,” Arellano said.


Sante D’or

3165 Los Feliz Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90039

Atwater Village


Weekdays Closed

Friday-Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm