Today we’ve got another very special guest on the blog. We have Katherine the director of the Forgotten Ones Cat Rescue here to share a bit about what makes this particular rescue special, a little bit about her family, and what a rescue needs to survive! Please give a warm welcome to Katherine!
What makes the Forgotten Ones Cat Rescue different than other rescues?
I think there are a few reasons that Forgotten Ones is different from other rescues. The first is that the team’s priority is to find the right family for each cat in their care, and they want each family to find the right cat for them. The goal is not to adopt out as many cats as we can, the goal is to make each adoption as ideal a match as possible. In order to do that, volunteers spend time getting to know the personalities of every cat that come into our rescue. We want the pet and family relationship to be a happy and loving one.
The second reason is that volunteers use every opportunity to promote responsible pet ownership and compassionate treatment of homeless cats. Forgotten Ones participates in many community events and uses these venues to educate people about such things as: declawing is not a humane act; obesity in pets is a health risk, the importance of regular veterinary visits, or that feral cats can be helped through Trap, Neuter and Release programs. The more knowledge people have about cat-related issues can be of benefit to homed and homeless cats.
Thirdly, I think the positive attitude Forgotten One volunteers try to maintain also makes it unique. By its nature, rescuing abused and abandoned cats deals with the disheartening unfairness of life for homeless animals. Focusing on the number of cats we cannot rescue is detrimental. We accept that we are a small group with limitations and we focus on celebrating each adoption that takes place. That doesn’t mean that the organization hasn’t had difficult times, but we have managed to weather them and continue to make a positive difference to our community. I think because of our outlook, we continue to have like-minded, enthusiastic and optimistic people join our team as volunteers.
The last reason is that volunteers are encouraged to maintain balance in their lives. We are 100 percent volunteer based and we are very appreciative that people choose to spend their time with our organization, but we don’t want them to forgo having personal lives. Burnout is a great risk to animal rescue organizations and the reason many have had to fold. It is very easy to get caught up in the desire to rescue as many abandoned cats as possible – and that an unattainable goal. I think the fact that Forgotten Ones has been operating for over 18 years is evidence that maintaining life-volunteer balance is critical.
In your opinion what does your rescue need most right now?
Donations and foster homes are the two things that are needed and always seem to be in short supply. The adoption fee we receive often doesn’t even cover the veterinary costs for the cat. When we have a few sick cats in our program, our veterinary bills can very quickly skyrocket. Many of the cats we rescue—young and old—need dental treatments and that is also an costly procedure.
Foster homes are needed as we do not have a shelter and all our rescued cats are housed in private homes. The number of cats we can rescue is dependent upon the number of foster homes available.
Are all volunteers foster parents?
Some people enjoy fostering, others like to volunteer and some do both. Regardless of how people choose to support Forgotten Ones, everyone’s effort is very much appreciated. Our team includes people from all walks of life, including: an accountant, a police officer, a flight attendant, a project manager, senior citizens and university students. The common bond is that that they are all animal advocates and want to come to the aid of abandoned cats and kittens.
Let’s get a bit more personal, how many animals do you have and what are their names?
I currently have my own cat Jersey Jewel (JJ) and my mother’s cat Biscuit. My mother is now 100 years-old and has dementia, so I am the designated cat caregiver for Biscuit
JJ was one of my Forgotten Ones fosters and, when she first came to me, she was a very sick, tiny kitten. In fact, the vet was uncertain if she would live. I nursed her back to health and she became quite dependant on me. My own cat had passed away a few months prior to me looking after JJ and it just seemed JJ was meant to be with me. She was called Jersey when I first got her, but I added the name Jewel because her veterinary bills cost the rescue as much money as an expensive gem.
Biscuit is 15 years old and has shared his home with dozens of foster cats over the years—sometimes somewhat grudgingly. Biscuit and JJ are complete opposites: he is a big cat, she is a runt; he is friendly, she is skittish; he is old and she is young. And, surprisingly, they are best friends!
What is some advice you can give some of our readers who may be interested in fostering?
I have fostered more than 30 cats for Forgotten Ones. Some have been with me for only a week, some for a month, and some were with me for years. I also fostered two older cats that spent the end of their lives with me. I often cry when my foster cat goes to their new family, but it really is not from sadness, it is just that I miss having the sweet little soul in my home. My sadness is always short-lived because I know the cat is going to a loving home where it will bring joy to its new family. I am grateful that I was part of a team that saved the now-adopted cat from a life of homelessness and suffering. Being a foster parent has truly been a rewarding and enriching experience.
Thank you again to Katherine for taking the time to join us on Supawcute! We loved having you on to share about such a wonderful rescue! Thank you for all the work you’ve done and continue to do!