Thursday, January 31, 2013

Interview with a Fosterer - The Critter Room

Today's interview comes from John, of  The Critter Room.  I first became aware of The Critter Room though his totally awesome web cam.  With nearly 18,000 facebook fans and 24,000 followers to his Livestream webcam, you know he's doing something amazingly adorable!  I want to thank John for taking the time to participate!  (and I admire and am amazed at the fact you kept your word on not adopting!!)

Introduce yourself and where do you hail from?
My name is John and you could say I'm from the Army. Grew up an Army Brat and then joined the Air Force. When asked, I say that I hail from the Pacific Northwest mainly because it's where I've lived the most (4x) and the longest (currently 12 years).
What rescue group, shelter or sanctuary do you foster for?
I foster for Purrfect Pals, a no-kill cat only sanctuary north of Seattle, WA.
What kinds of animals do you normally foster?
I foster only cats and kittens.  
How did your adventure being a fosterer begin?
An old friend of mine's cat had kittens and since she lived in an apartment with a pet limitation, she asked me if I could foster them for her. I agreed. That got fostering in my blood and I never could shake it. Five years later in 2008, I contacted Purrfect Pals.
How do you keep yourself from becoming too attached to the fosters you help?
There's no way you don't get attached. They always manage to worm their way into your heart and even more so for the ones that were especially sick. I made a promise to myself never to adopt a foster and 35 litters later, I've kept that word - though it wasn't easy to do so more than once.
What is most frustrating for you as a foster?
When they're sick. You want them to get better but sometimes that's just not in the cards.
What is most rewarding?
Getting updates on cats & kittens I've fostered. It's a special treat to see them grown up.
Do you have pets of your own? How do they respond to the foster animals?
I do have cats of my own - and they pretty much ignore the door. Sometimes there will be a paw that slides under the door and that tends to lead to either a hiss & a swat (from either side) or a game of whack-a-paw.

What advice can you give to someone who might be wanting to become a foster?
Fostering isn't easy. It's hard to give them back to the shelter to be adopted. If you have pets of your own, I'd highly recommend dedicating a room just to the fosters. As newborn kittens aren't born litterbox trained, a room without a carpet is best but you can use scrap carpet, rugs, or floor tiles to protect the carpet. Wal-Mart also sells really cheap towels which are good for protecting the floor and helping to litter train. Buy their entire stock.
When you are not saving animals what do you like to do? Inside, I'm a big computer geek - I like building, fixing, and upgrading PC's. Then there's playing games on the PC or PS3/XBox, reading books (fantasy/sci-fi), and writing computer programs.
Outside, I like going for walks on sunny days, photography, sight-seeing, and riding my 2009 Harley-Davidson XL1200C Sportster

And now the questions from Inside the Actors Studio:
 What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on? PC mods, new discoveries about outer space (I can get lost for hours on Wikipedia on gravity & black holes)
What turns you off?
What sound or noise do you love? A cat's chirp/murr. Hearing the sound of a train horn off in the distance can instantly relax me, reminds me of when I stayed at my Grandparents house as a kid.
What sound or noise do you hate? Cat fights!
What is your favorite curse word? 
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I haven't really thought about it, I've been at my dream job my entire adult life - programming computers. I like being presented with a problem and figuring out a solution and that's exactly what programming is like.
What profession would you not like to do?
Just about anything on Dirty Jobs. :)
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Greetings! There's x,xxx former fosters waiting to see you.


  1. What a geat guy John is!

  2. Aw, what a great interview! I love the high five photo--so adorable. Great work and kudos to you both!

  3. we love meeting new fosterers (is that a word?). and a cat guy no less!!! keep up the good work John!!

  4. Great interview! We love John and visit him way too many times each day. In fact, his webcam is the subject of our post today. How ironic!

  5. What a great interview, I enjoyed a lot!
    It must be really great to get updates of cats and kittens after fostering them.

  6. VERY cool. We agree - the very best thing we like to hear is news from adopters on how our kitties are doing! Thanks for introducing us to this great guy!

  7. Foster humans are very special - I am so glad you are giving them the attention they deserve!

  8. Great interview! And I love the video!

  9. you are an angel on earth John

  10. John is awesome and the kitten cam is utterly addictive.

  11. John,
    I am a happily married lady but I still want to say you are quite the catch! You should take someone up on one of their proposals!
    Thank you for helping so many cats and their babies!
    We love your kitten cam, that was brilliant!

  12. Great interview - I'm a kittencam addict so it's nice to hear more about John.

  13. Thanks for the interview and for all what you do.

  14. John,
    Hello from Italy. I'm teaching the children of the US Military (as you probably know/remember we have schools on bases/posts) and my job has taken me to many different locations around the world.

    I found your live-stream webcam about 2 weeks ago and I've really enjoyed watching "Ripley's Kittens"... I can't have pets where I live so it's been so much fun to watch the kitties play and grow. Ripley is not only a good mama cat... but, she seems like she would make such a great pet. Of course, I might also be biased because I love tuxedo cats the best. Ripley looks like a black and white Picasso painting to me. *I'm an art teacher. :D

    I had thought about knitting/felting some wool mice for your kitties to play with (they can't be destroyed) but, I noticed your message (in the critter room) that you didn't want any 'gifts' sent. So, I will honor that... but, if you change your mind- go to my blog and leave me a comment and I'll be happy to send some your way.

    Give all of the special kitties a hug for me... and a kiss on their little fuzzy tummies!

    Thanks again for what you and all the other fosters of the world do for animals.

  15. I took a tease from your blog and put the link up to your interview on my blog, I wanted my readers to know about your blog. I love this post, I've always wondered what it was like to foster kittens.

  16. Just saw this interview. I knew you were in the military but didn't realize it was AF (for which I worked a good number of years, as a civilian). Thank you for your service (to your country and to the kittens!)

  17. Great interview John


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