This summer, my kids and I have been occasional volunteers for the North Country SPCA in Westport, NY, which is a couple of blocks from our Westport house. My motivation, other than just our family love of animals, is that I am preparing for the possibility of a dog, so once a week or so, I walk three or four dogs.
The pets we already have include two cats, a tortoise named Flower, a frog, a hermit crab, and a Madagascar hissing cockroach, all of who are up here is Westport for the summer.
The shelter has a sign up calling for volunteers to foster cats. Two weeks ago, on whim, I volunteered to foster my favorite of their cats, a solid black short-hair cat they'd named "Bro." He's about a year old.
He's a very social people-friendly and cat-friendly cat who was left over from a batch of kittens the shelter had, the rest of whom have already been adopted. He had the sniffles in the shelter, seemingly because of allergies, and so didn't get adopted. Usually when one speaks of "cat allergies" the referent is people who are allergic to cats, but in this case it seems that the cat is allergic. His respiratory issues are a lot better since coming to our house, though his occasional heavy breathing has earned him the nickname of "Darth" after a houseguest remarked that she'd dreamed about Darth Vader when he'd sat on her chest while she was sleeping.
Bro is a charismatic cat who gets along with both cats and people (we haven't tried him with dogs), and at times has seemed to be trying really hard to learn the household rules. He has the British short-hair body type; he's heavy-boned and seems likely to grow up to be a very big cat.
We think our current limit is two cats both because of the need to shuttle all the pets between Pleasantville and Westport, and because of my hopes for a dog in the next year or so. I am very much hoping to find a good home for Bro by the end of August. Westport -- which is in the Adirondack park -- is 2 hours south of Montreal and fairly easily accessible from the Burlington, VT area via ferry.
Let me know if you think this cat is for you. Veterinary records should be available via the North Country SPCA. I can give Bro an excellent character reference.
UPDATE, 9/15/08: Bro now has a great new home and has been renamed "Darth." Happy ending!