Smartphone Ethnography: My Fosters

I’m doing a smartphone ethnography for one of the assignments in the class. What that basically means is taking photos with my phone while being “in the field.” My being in the field will include talking with fosters, going to shelters, and attending events.

I decided that I might as well start somewhere easy: my own home.

Mealtime is a spectator sport in our home. In addition to my four cats, I currently have 4 fosters, and I’m cat sitting for a friend. With 9 cats currently in the condo ranging from kitten to senior, there has to be an order of operations.

The kittens eat first, then Sarah, then my senior cat Patches. Afterwards are Scrabble, Rook, Bitey, Josephine (my friend’s cat), and Squirrel, my other foster cat. If done out of order, chaos ensues. Patches won’t eat her prescription food, or Rook will eat her food after gobbling his own down. Josephine and Squirrel eat in their very own rooms, because they don’t like my cats.

This kind of zoo at mealtime is typical for foster families. Most people who foster have their own pets, which means juggling how the foster animals will behave alongside your own. Not everyone will foster as many cats at one time as we do, but it happens when the need is high.

This admittedly might not look the most attractive when trying to convince someone else to foster, but someone with less animals than us might want to consider maybe one pet, or a pair of siblings to start off with before reaching our level of operations.

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