Volunteer Spotlight: Terri

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.

Terri has been a part of Ten Lives from the very beginning! She wears many hats as a volunteer—among them, she is a founding Board member on the Board of Directors, a foster, our DEM administrator, and a crafter. If you’ve ever purchased one of our catnip mats from an event, it’s very likely Terri made it! Ten Lives wouldn’t be where it is today without Terri’s support and guidance.

Terri has three resident cats—Slugger (the inspiration behind Ten Lives Cat Rescue!), Chloe, and Sage, and currently fosters Rowdy, who is working on his catfidence and will be up for adoption in the future.

1. How did you originally hear about us, and what made you decide to become a volunteer?

I was volunteering with another organization and met Melissa (Ten Lives’ Executive Director). She was fostering my Slugger and Sage that I adopted through this organization. When Melissa, inspired by her experience fostering Slugger, decided that she wanted to start a foster-based rescue, she invited me to be on the board. I was moved by the vision and couldn’t say no!

2. What is your favorite story or memory while volunteering with us?
Slugger, one of Terri's resident cats and the inspiration behind Ten Lives Cat Rescue

Because my home address is the rescue address, my postman knows my involvement in cat rescue. One day in the summer of 2019, I was working at home in my upstairs office and the doorbell rang. “Hmmm, I’m not expecting anyone,” I thought, and peeked out the window and saw the mail truck. I thought, “Oh, must be leaving a package.” Then the bell rings again. Downstairs I go and open the door and there stands my postman with a 4-month-old kitten. “Oh my, is this your new kitty?” I say to him. “Uh no,” he replied. “I have seen her on my route for days and found out that her owner tossed her out because she couldn’t deal with her.” I reached out to take her from him, and she peed all the way down his uniform! Well, the good news is she became my foster cat and is now in the MOST wonderful home.

Chloe, one of Terri's resident cats
3. What have you learned during your time as a volunteer?

That each foster is unique. There is such a range of personalities. I have discovered that with each foster (especially the very shy ones), I have to find a unique strategy to bring them out of their shell. I have also learned more medical things about cats than I know about myself!

4. What do you wish other people knew about us?

What a great community we are. We have such an amazing group of volunteers that not only care for cats, but for each other. I am always amazed by the support I see given between volunteers. I would also like people to understand the compassion we have, often taking on under-socialized cats that other organizations pass by. We also have a heart for seniors.

5. What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?

I work a lot… but in my spare time, I love to sew and craft, and I enjoy yard work and home renovation projects (I am kind of handy). Over the years I have done a fair bit of hiking (not quite as much in the last couple years). I have taken some great hiking trips around the world and domestically over the years. Two spotlight adventures were summiting Mount Kilimanjaro and climbing to Mount Everest North base camp. 

6. How do you think Ten Lives Cat Rescue will change over the next five years?

I believe we will continue to grow in service to our community of cats.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?
Sage, one of Terri's resident cats
Rowdy, Terri's current foster cat

Ten Lives is such a great cat rescue. We strive to conduct ourselves in a professional and respectful manner both internally to our volunteers and externally to the community.

8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

Weight (Bahahaha. Wait, that is a COVID thing), seriously pride, I am so proud to be part of this organization. Although we have been through some difficult times that made us all sad, I mostly find the experience to be joyful. There is no better feeling than taking in a shy, sick, unloved, or neglected cat and then seeing them blossom to gain a loving forever home!

9. How much of an impact do you feel your volunteer work has had with Ten Lives Cat Rescue?

I like to think I have made important contributions, at least I try. I support financially as best I can and pitch in for events both as a volunteer when able and a craft donator for all of them. I also foster and have socialized some rather shy fur-kids.

Are you interested in volunteering with Ten Lives Cat Rescue? Fill out a Volunteer Application, become a foster, sponsor a Forgotten Feline, and purchase needed supplies through our Amazon Wishlist!

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