100 cats and counting: Franklin woman opens home to foster animals

·3 min read
Todd is a kitten that has been fostered by Megan Berg.
Todd is a kitten that has been fostered by Megan Berg.

Megan Berg has fostered over 100 cats, so don’t ask her to pick a favorite. There’s Todd, the kitten that is mesmerized by the jingle bell on the stick toy; Bertha, the snow white cat who likes dressing like Santa; Gloria, an aspiring songwriter; and many other kittens.

"I've fostered older cats that need a break from the shelter. I have foster cat moms and babies, that's my favorite placement. You get to take care of the mom and see her take care of her babies while enjoying them, too, which is fun," Berg said.

Berg moved to Franklin in 2014 with her husband and children, but it wasn't until 2018 that she decided to open her home to foster animals to give her family's cat a play partner.

She saw a post by Williamson County Animal Center on social media asking people who would be interested in becoming foster parents to come forward.

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Today, Berg has two cats: Nelson and Pearl. Nelson is 3 and is from her first foster litter. Pearl is 2, and Berg decided to keep her after her other cat, Zoe, died sleeping.

"Both of them are what people refer to as 'foster fails' and they were also both bottle babies so I've had them since they were each about 2 weeks old. Nelson weighed 7 ounces when he came to me — and now he's 15 pounds," Berg said.

Bertha is thankful she’s just a holiday foster with Megan Berg because she would like to go back to the shelter now, please.
Bertha is thankful she’s just a holiday foster with Megan Berg because she would like to go back to the shelter now, please.

She found a sense of fulfillment and joy in helping kittens grow to become comfortable with adults, children and other animals.

"I thought it would be a great way for me to get my kitten fix, but for us to socialize them and get them to the right weight so they can be spayed and neutered, and then they can go to their forever homes," Berg said.

'Responsibility, compassion, empathy'

Berg has since developed a reputation for taking care of not only kittens but feral kittens, ones who live outdoors and avoid human contact.

"They may hide, hiss and fit, or run, but it is rewarding when you earn their trust," she said.

Guinea pigs Megan Berg has fostered.
Guinea pigs Megan Berg has fostered.

Along the way, Berg has cared for other animals as well, including guinea pigs and dogs. Creating a home for the animals has played a significant role in the lives of her and her children.

"It has given me a lot of patience. It's been amazing to watch my kids help me. They have learned so much responsibility, compassion and empathy. It brings me so much. I joke that it's my therapy," Berg said.

As she takes care of her foster kittens, she continues to work as a freelance graphic designer and photographer. She has combined her love for animals and photography by documenting her life fostering kittens on social media.

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Encouraging words for future foster parents

Berg tells potential foster parents to consider whether they have the time and resources to properly care for a pet.

"I'm spending chunks of my day with kittens, especially if they need socialization," she said.

She encourages those who do have the time to spend with an animal to get involved.

"I think it is one of the most fulfilling things you can do with your life, just to see how happy an animal can be, to just be loved and given a family."

Chesslyn, a cat Megan Berg has fostered.
Chesslyn, a cat Megan Berg has fostered.

She has recently received third place in the Feline Foster Heroes contest sponsored by Greater Good Charities and Royal Canin. If interested in reading. visit https://felinefoster.org/feline-foster-heroes/.

If interested in keeping up with Megan Berg's fostering journey, visit https://www.instagram.com/closetfullofkittens/?hl=en.

If interested in fostering a animal in the Williamson county area, visit https://www.adoptwcac.org/.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Franklin, TN woman opens home to foster animals, over 100 cats

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