Volunteer Spotlight: Tracy

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.

Tracy has played an important role with Ten Lives Cat Rescue as a foster since February 2019. If you’ve gone to our PetSmart open houses, there is a chance you have met Tracy, as she also attends and helps us during those essential events. Tracy has two resident cats—Ryder, who is a handsome, four-year-old boy, and Cuddles, a 19-year-old senior cat, who she adopted from Ten Lives. Her current foster cats include Seidita, a three-month-old boy full of energy and sweetness, Mama Mella, who is about one and a half years old, and Mella’s three-week-old kittens, Sugar, Glazed, and Sprinkles.

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

I learned about Ten Lives Cat Rescue on Facebook. I was going through a bit of an empty nest syndrome with my twin daughters both being off at college, and one of my daughters thought maybe I would like to foster cats. To date, I have had 38 cats come and go in my home. Now that my daughters are done with college, one is off on her own, but the other still lives with me and is a huge help with fostering. She has also become a volunteer herself as an adoption coordinator.

2. What is your favorite story or memory while volunteering with us?
Tracy and her daughters
Tracy's resident cat, Ryder

I don’t think I could pick a favorite memory, but some of the most exciting times have been certainly witnessing the birth of Mama Mella’s kittens a few weeks ago. I have also fostered many scared cats, such as Moon Pie and Boo, and that moment when you make a connection for the first time—first purrs, or they make eye contact with you and you can tell that they finally trust you and feel safe, is also one of my favorite moments. The most rewarding experience was when Moon Pie, who I had for over 350 days, was actually going to find her forever family. I think I cried all day when I knew it was really going to happen (mostly happy tears!).

3. What have you learned during your time as a volunteer?

I have learned so much while fostering, including how important it is to be patient and to have the support of all the other volunteers – that has been huge!

One of Tracy's current foster cats, Seidita
4. What do you wish other people knew about us?

I wish that other people knew that although you fall a little bit in love with all of your fosters, it’s so great to see them go off to their own new homes. When you get updates from their adopters, you really see the difference you’ve made in their lives. Then, you can look forward to your next foster experience!

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

In my “real life,” I am an RN. I’ve been a nurse for nearly 30 years, and I currently work full time as a school nurse in my hometown, as well as part time doing Hospice and Palliative Care nursing. In my free time, I like to cook, garden, go to the beach, and spend time doing anything with my girls.

Mama Mella and her kittens
Tracy's resident cat, Cuddles
6. How do you think Ten Lives Cat Rescue will change over the next five years?

Seeing the growth that Ten Lives has had over the past two years, I can only imagine that we will continue to have a huge positive impact on the community. I’d love to see us be able to expand more into Southeastern Massachusetts.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

I think people should volunteer because it is so rewarding, and it is also a lot of fun.

8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

I have gained mostly a lot of cat stuff in my house… in every room!! Truly, my heart has grown for my fosters and all the others that I follow in the group. I feel proud to volunteer doing this type of work.

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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