Today we have a very special rescue to feature! This rescue is near and dear to my heart because they are the ones I adopted our dearest Kalista from! The Forgotten Ones Cat Rescue has been the rescue I’ve had the best experience with and they have some of the sweetest and most helpful volunteers I have ever met. I got in touch with the volunteer who helped set everything up to adopt Kalista and I’m so happy to introduce you to her!
Hey Michelle, first off, thank you again for being such a great help to us these past few weeks and I can’t wait for you to share your rescue with all of our readers! Can you tell them a little bit about yourself?
I would like to start by saying thank-you to you and your family for working with Forgotten Ones Cat Rescue and choosing Kalista, maybe she chose you, we are so thrilled you found your purrfect love connection. Thank you for joining our family of adopters! Your blog is my daily must read – kind of an obsession.
I’d like to say I’m a senior volunteer with the rescue. I started volunteering with Forgotten Ones at 18 years old, and have been with the rescue for about 4 years. Everything I’ve learned is thanks to the rest of the team – a great team dynamic, lots of shared knowledge, experience and encouragement has helped me immensely beyond rescue to everyday life. Outside of cat rescue, I’m an environmentalist, a student, and a big sister to my two younger sisters – I try to set a good example for them.
Are you a pet parent yourself?
I am a long term foster parent for the rescue, so yes! Fostering is an amazing experience. Being able to provide a safe and nurturing environment for a cat to recover from whatever situation it has faced, and watching the cat regain confidence and trust, is truly rewarding. I have the full support of my family and everyone is involved in making the foster cat welcome.
What animals do you have and what are their names?
I have one special needs polydactyl cat named Mozart, who we lovingly refer to as Mochi. A pet name for a pet – cute, right? Mozart is Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) positive, which means he has virus infection, ultimately leading to immunosupression. FeLV+ cats require good diets, exercise, and low stress environments, just as any other cat, to enable them to live to their full potential.
Forgotten Ones rescued Mozart from an animal control facility – he had after been surrendered by his previous owners. I think destiny grabbed me, or maybe it was the rescue directors, and when a foster home was urgently needed for him, our household took him in. I fell completely in love and couldn’t let him go. He’d made his connection with us permanent. He’s my first cat, and he has changed me completely. I have his portrait tattooed on my foot, so he’ll be with me forever.
Have you always been a cat person?
Surprisingly, no. I used to think I was a dog person, but I think that’s because I’d never really met a cat. My family wasn’t necessarily a pet oriented family, so I hadn’t been exposed to cats and knew almost nothing about them. Within the first month of volunteering for the rescue, I was completely flipped and am now a devout cat person.
What got you interested in the Forgotten Ones?
I moved to Richmond Hill 4 years ago and found myself needing something to do. I wanted to do volunteer work with animals, so I researched a few rescues. I reached out to Forgotten Ones to see if they needed volunteers, and that’s where my cat rescue journey started.
Can you tell me a little bit about the rescue, how it started and what the mandate is?
The rescue was founded in 2000, by one woman all on her own! Our founder, Debbie, saw the need to rescue homeless cats, and she took it upon herself to do what she could to save as many lives as was possible. A short time later, Laura, our current head director, joined Debbie on her mission, and the rescue has since then grown and inspired hundreds of people.
Forgotten Ones is a grass roots not-for-profit registered charity, 100% volunteer run and foster home based. Our team has no paid employees and every single volunteer generously donates their time to help run the rescue. The rescue is also totally reliant on donations, since we have no government funding. We’re relatively small, based mainly in York Region, although we have foster homes throughout the GTA. Foster homes are the bread and butter of this rescue, and we rely on them to help us save cats and kittens, since we have no physical shelter space. All cats in our care receive the very best vet care and treatment, and we provide full disclosure of medical concerns to adopters. The goal is to have our cats and their adopters build a strong relationship and a lifetime bond. Since its inauguration, Forgotten Ones has adopted over 2800 cats into loving homes. Simply said, our mission is to save lives.
What does a day look like working at the rescue?
Every day is a little different. My rescue “office” is a corner of the kitchen table where I set up my laptop. I help with responding to public inquiries about adoptions, help manage our social media accounts, keep cat biographies and photos updated, and communicate with foster parents and volunteers. On the ground, I like to help with Trap Neuter Release (TNR) of feral cats, transporting cats to and from vet appointments, picking up donations, volunteer at fundraising events, train other volunteers, and help out at our temporary and permanent adoption centres. These tasks are shared by volunteers, so many of us do some or all of these things, and more!
What is your favourite part of working with the Forgotten Ones Cat Rescue?
Adoptions! It is so rewarding to see a cat who may not have the best beginning be adopted into a loving home. The best is when the adopters send us updates on the cats. I just love seeing happy people and happy cats, and knowing that the rescue had a part in making that happen.
I know rescues always need helping hands, what would you say the biggest priority is for help at the moment?
Foster homes, most definitely. As I mentioned prior, Forgotten Ones is foster home based, so the more fosters we have, the more cats we can rescue. Whether it’s kittens or adult cats, rescues are always trying to help as many cats as possible, so if you’ve ever thought about fostering, now is the time! It’s a great way to introduce yourself to cat care, and the rescue provides guidance throughout (like they did for me!). It’s a life changing experience – not only for the people involved, but for the cats also.
Is your team working on any events or fundraisers our readers can come attend or support?
We’ll be hosting a few events this summer! Come see us on July 20-22, 2018 at the Times Square Richmond Hill Summer Carnival. It’s an annual multi-cultural event of non-stop fun and exotic food. On September 15-16, 2018, we’ll be part of PetSmart’s National Adoption Weekend Adopt-a-thon. We’ll have some cats and kittens featured and available for adoption that weekend. Last but not least, on July 21, 2018, Forgotten Ones will be at the Artist, Crafters and Small Business Show. Various art pieces and crafts made by local artisans will be on display. The times and locations of all of these events will be found on our Facebook page, and I’d be happy to pass the details on to you. I highly recommend keeping updated on our events by checking our website and social media accounts!
Where can our readers find more about you?
You can find out more about us on our website: http://www.forgottenones.ca/index.html. We also have a few social media accounts, which we upload to pretty regularly! We’re on Instagram and Facebook. Our handle is @ForgottenOnesCatRescue.
I want to thank Michelle again for taking the time to get interviewed by us at Supawcute! You’re such an amazing soul and I hope our readers enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed asking you the questions! Remember Supawcute is hoping to feature shelters & rescues all over the world as well as pet parents of all kinds. If you are interested please feel free to contact us through our submit page.