Tawna Taylor has only ever been a ‘foster-fail’. Meaning, she can’t seem to not adopt all of the cute, cuddly animals that show up on her doorstep.
Tawna started out with just one fluffy kitty, Chief Wiggum. He was her best friend and first roommate, and the reason Tawna now has a mini-farm of unadoptable floofers. Wiggum’s also acts as a therapy-cat for Tawna, helping her manage anxiety and senses when she’s close to a panic attack.
A few years after loving the heck out of Wiggum, Tawna decided to get him his own fluffy companion. She realized that she wanted to get a cat who needed a bit more help than the average feline. Browing through the “special cats” section of VOKRA (Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue) she stumbled upon a little white kitty, named Tayo (full name: No Tayo – get it?! Manx cats don’t have tails) He was born on the mean streets of Christina Lake, BC and was up for adoption because his original owners didn’t like his ‘crooked face’.
Having no idea what a Siamese Manx was until she met Tayo, Tawna thought they had mistakenly given her a purring bunny when she picked him up. The two bonded immediately and fell in love on the spot, to this day the little bunny-cat still follows her around the house.
Tawna decided to change Tayo’s name to Zombie Cat. It was time for a fresh start for the furbaby, a chance to reinvent himself and begin life anew with his fur-ever family. He could also finally start taking the time to heal, Zombie was born as a cryptorchid kitty and has some pretty poopy issues. He had trouble in the litter box, and the vet bills started to add up. Eventually, Tawna opted for a colon removal surgery and while Zombie still has some tummy trouble, he’s much more comfortable now. Plus, his mom has less of a mess to clean up. She states that Zombie taught her “patience, and that love trumps any negatives” going on to say, “I will happily live a poop covered life if it means I can spend it with him!” Aww!
Tawna took on every animal lovers dream job and started working in a pet store as the caretaker for all of the creatures. She was saving tiny lives, making sure all of the fur babies got proper vet care and round-the-clock cuddles. She was also the source of pet care information for customers, ensuring that the animals had a good life ahead of them. During her time at the pet store, she ended up adopting a couple of sick guinea pigs who needed some very dedicated TLC. Eventually, the store took a toll on Tawna’s heart; she tells us that breeding and selling animals is hard on the creatures, and hopes that “one day, stores showcase only rescues and ban the small animal/reptile breeders.”
She also has three bunny rescues, one who was left outside trapped in a dirty cage, one who was dumped in the streets cage-less and one who had been patiently biding his time at the SPCA for almost an entire year. Tawna literally cannot leave the animals who need her behind.
Her most recent furbaby is a Himalayan rescue named Princess Consuela Banana Hammock. She came from a cattery (which is like a puppy mill, but for cats) that was closing down. Actions for Animals, a non-profit no-kill shelter, took in all of the cattery cats that had behavior and medical issues who couldn’t be ‘sold’. Out of 8 cats rescued, only 3 were healthy enough to be adopted immediately. A 14-year-old male who had never been let out of his kennel was among the rescues, he had aggression issues (but is working on it) and is currently living with the woman who runs the rescue. Another female had to be euthanized immediately because she was too sick from the breeding. While the cats that come out of catteries are adorable and healthy, a lot of what goes on behind closed doors is not.
Princess Consuela was 2-years-old when Tawna rescued her and weighed only 3 pounds. She was terrified of human contact, wincing when anyone got too close. Two and a half years later she’s doubled her weight, figured out how to use a litter box and now even allows cuddles (sometimes). Tawna’s given Princess C a new chance at life, she trusts again and knows that she’s in a safe place. Except for maybe at bathtime.
Tawna knows the value of animals and people isn’t on the outside, she’s found love with her crooked-faced kitty cats and silly bunnies. She reminds us to adopt the less-adoptable, and that there is value in helping an animal that needs a bit of extra love. She says that if you can, fostering is incredibly rewarding. Although, if you’re anything like her you might end up with a mini-farm of foster-fails!