Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 60 volunteers in various roles helping us achieve our mission—to save homeless, abused, and abandoned cats by providing veterinary care, rehabilitation services, and then placing them into loving adoptive homes.
Sonita has been a Ten Lives Cat Rescue volunteer since July 2018, and she is a fantastic foster mom and our Instagram Admin. She has three resident cats named Kenya, Melanie, and Ash (a Ten Lives foster fail!), and she currently has four foster kittens: Apollo, Calliope, Olympia, and Marley.
1. How did you originally hear about us, and what made you decide to become a volunteer?
I came across a Facebook post about three sickly, tiny kittens who were in immediate need of a foster home. I initially remember thinking, “I hope someone steps up to help.” I thought about the post all night and talked about it with my boyfriend. By morning, I decided to take the initiative and submit a foster application. I was contacted about the kittens within hours and got them the same day.
2. What is your favorite story or memory while volunteering with us?
I’ll always remember my first foster kittens, Charlie, Ghost, and Nimbus, who arrived to me scared and sick with upper respiratory and eye infections. Their transformations were remarkable.
One of my most memorable fosters was a polydactyl tabby cat I named Mochi. I actually first came across Mochi through another rescue’s Facebook post. They had been contacted about a cat who was left behind for nearly two weeks by his previous owner in an abandoned apartment without food or water. The landlord found Mochi when she went to clean it out. We were told that Mochi had endured physical abuse and starvation as punishment. I contacted Ten Lives’ Executive Director and asked if I could foster Mochi on behalf of Ten Lives, and of course, they were happy to help. When Mochi arrived to us, he was terrified and reactive; he’d swipe and lunge at us in fear. Over time, we were able to earn his trust and love and watched him transform into the most affectionate, inquisitive, and silly shoulder cat. Mochi has since found the most amazing forever home and continues to thrive. He even kept his name.
3. What have you learned during your time as a volunteer?
Volunteering has definitely helped me hone my time management skills so that I can balance my volunteer commitments with other aspects of my life.
4. What do you wish other people knew about us?
The rescue really does try our best to help every cat that’s brought to our attention, but our efforts can only extend as far as our resources allow. Some resources are regretfully very limited, such as donations and foster homes. I wish people knew that when we say skip your purchased coffee for the day because any small bit helps—we truly mean it.
5. What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
I’m an ED nurse so I guess one can say that I get a lot of fulfillment from caring for and nurturing others, especially the sick, whether it’s an animal or a person. I love to cook, bake, and weight train. I also digest a lot of true crime in my spare time through books, documentaries, and podcasts.
6. How do you think Ten Lives Cat Rescue will change over the next five years?
I think Ten Lives will only continue to grow in volunteers and foster families so that we can continue to help more cats. It would be incredible if we were able to attain a physical location to expand our rescue work, too!
7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?
Everyone in the rescue has a genuine love and compassion for animal welfare. We’re always willing to help each other out when it comes to transport, caring for one another’s fosters during a trip/vacation, or general guidance on caring for your foster. There are so many roles that you can take on as well even if you are unable to foster.
8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?
I’ve met of wonderful people through the rescue. I’ve also gained an amazing sense of fulfillment that I feel only helping an animal in need can give you. I’ve gotten so much joy out of watching my foster cats go from struggling to survive outside to joining loving forever families and being pampered and spoiled like they deserve to be.
9. How much of an impact do you feel your volunteer work has had with Ten Lives Cat Rescue?
I like to think that I’ve made a positive impact in the lives of all the cats I’ve come across during my time as a volunteer. I also hope my involvement has brought awareness to my friends and family as I don’t think my social circle was too aware of fostering and rescue work previously.