By Glen David Gold

I don’t mean to brag, but as I’m writing this, there are five-week-old kittens on me. Specifically one kitten, Peanut, who is the runt of the litter, and who needs a little extra time and space to eat, so she does it in my lap. Her three siblings — Cashew, Almond, and Wally (short for Walnut) — are running around my home office, which my girlfriend and I converted into a temporary kitten den.  We feed them three cans of wet food a day, we scoop their boxes, and because they’re still figuring out what this whole “indoor life” thing is about, we are teaching them about things like string and feathers and belly rubs.

Author Glen David Gold's foster kittens
Peanut, Almond, Cashew, and Wally (a.k.a. Walnut) were discovered in downtown L.A. without their mother. Now, they’re getting used to “indoor life.”

I’ve always been impressed — and a little shy of — people who actually volunteer for things. I like the idea of it, but it comes with stage fright, and I often fall short of managing to do it myself. I think I heard the phrase “fostering kittens” as one of those great but overwhelming commitments like trekking to Nepal. If instead someone had said, “Hey, you can play with kittens for a few days and then help them find forever homes?” I might have lit up a little faster.  But also I thought I might get too attached for that to be easy.

Like pretty much everywhere else, Los Angeles is having an especially intense kitten season.  I’d been seeing social media accounts of shelters packed to bursting. I was particularly moved by the story I saw of a family who’d been feeding outdoor cats and who rapidly ended up with nineteen pregnant kitties! Luxe Paws, the local organization who was dealing with this, put out an SOS for temporary homes over the Fourth of July week so that all those kittens would be indoors during that whole fireworks nightmare. All they needed was a week of being looked after before they were old enough to be adopted.

I couldn’t stand the idea of kittens getting so freaked out. So my girlfriend and I filled out the application with Luxe Paws and about four hours later, I was picking up some food, some worm medication, and a playpen filled with kittens, one of the litters from the feral colony. The kittens were dubious, never having dealt with people before, but they were hungry and playful and curious enough to start licking food off our fingertips after day three in our care.

It’s really not hard to do this. A lot of places will let you foster for a week or less. If you don’t want the rambunctious energy of a litter of kittens there are plenty of older single cats who need a place to hang out until they find their furever home. You do need a room you can dedicate to it, and a familiarity with cats and kittens is pretty important. If you’re more skilled at bottle feeding or otherwise handling younger kittens, good for you — your skills are going to be very satisfying to use. Your area, wherever you live, has some kind of municipal or private organization that needs help right now. And it’s been really interesting loving on these little nuts and knowing that we’re doing it not just for them but for their future guardians.  We’re noting their little personalities coming out. Cashew is the best hunter, Almond is very protective of the rest, Wally is the bravest, and Peanut is the most fragile. She of course has our hearts, and every time she eats it feels like a little triumph. When they’re ready to be adopted, we’ll have some good information about them for their forever homes.

If you are on the fence about fostering, let me run two scenarios by you: the first is that the next two weeks pass in which the world continues to be a baffling, often saddening place; the second is exactly the same, except you also have kittens in your house. Which do you choose? Exactly.

About the Author: Glen David Gold is the author of the bestselling novels Sunnyside and Carter Beats the Devil. His three-part memoir I Will Be Complete is available now. Learn more at


Comments (6)

😂That made me giggle! Thanks! Oh how I wish that you could do that when you’re in the hospital! Lol! It would definitely help! Instant cure for whatever ails you! Lol! 😻🥰👼🏻😺🙏🏻💞


Bless u! 🙏🏻😻🥰💞


I really enjoyed reading this article. Thank you for fostering these babies. I think there is little in life more joyful than being covered in kittens or puppies Reminds me of that scene in Scrubs: “Nurse! Bring me a box of kittens! Stat!”

Leslie Kitchin

beautifully and very well written. I would love to foster – however, I am that one who would never let them go. I had a couple of cats, one we knew was not fixed with plans to take her in soon, the other was a rescue and we had no idea he was not fixed . . . . until the time we realized we were going to have kittens. :O} And, yes, we kept all 4 kittens as I could not bear to give them up. Six cats is a lot in one home and then watching them leave one by one at ages 18, and 20 and 21. They lived long, happy, healthy lives and we were (or rather, I was) the better for them.
I am so glad to hear such beautiful stories of those who can love and help and encourage little ones to grow and play and then share those little furbabies with their furever homes. ~:O} =^.^=


Awwww, bless you sir for being an angel for these babies! They are adorable! Especially the picture where they’re looking out of the window! Lol! Sooo cute! Something is terribly wrong with the persons that doesn’t love kittens! They’re little emotion picker uppers! I don’t know the exact name for that but they do WONDERS for people with depression! One being myself! Im a paraplegic and had depression, and I had a cat, (Spike), that helped keep me from crossing that line into severe depression. Every time I would get upset or crying, he was there! He knew it, and would jump up in my lap and just nuzzle and cuddle me! He would instantly take my mind off from whatever it was that was bothering me! They are REALLY little guardian angels of emotions! He literally was my BEST friend! Sadly he passed away 2 1/2 years ago and I’ve been missing him sooo much! I want another cat but I’m still, I don’t know how to explain it, but I dont think that any other cat can replace him! I can’t make up my mind to go ahead and get another cat! I have asked God to send me a little friend when he thinks I’m ready. So until then, I get pleasure by reading stories like yours. So keep posting them, because you may not know it but you are helping people in a special little way! So thank you for that! From the bottom of my heart! Keep it up! And God will have a special place for you in heaven! God bless you again, and thanks for making me feel a little bit better today! 👼🏻🙏🏻🥰😻😺💞

Desiree Fontanille

Great little story, and how can you go wrong with pictures of kitties? I have fostered kittens, too. Yes, a few tears leaked out when the last two went to a good home, but I will treasure the memories of those furry little innocents.