Volunteer Spotlight: Hope

Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 90 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.

Hope has been volunteering with us since our rescue was founded in 2018! Hope is one of our incredible fosters—she mainly fosters under socialized cats. While under socialized cats require time and patience, Hope helps these cats learn to trust humans, and is fortunate enough to watch amazing transformations as these cats begin to blossom under her care. She is also our Microchip Coordinator. Hope has three resident cats: Merlot, Miel, and Colette. Merlot and Miel are brothers, and Colette is their mother—Hope went looking for kittens, and she couldn’t leave Colette behind!

Hope and one of her foster cats, Sable
Stella on her first day with Hope
1. How did you originally hear about us, and what made you decide to become a volunteer?

I met Melissa (Ten Lives’ Executive Director) through Instagram and started fostering through the organization where she previously fostered. Melissa mentioned to me that she was starting a rescue, and I decided to support her and foster with Ten Lives. 

2. What is your favorite story or memory while volunteering with us?

I had a foster cat named Stella, who was 6 or 7-years-old when she joined Ten Lives. She had spent her whole life outdoors, having lots of kittens. When she was humanely trapped, she was terrified. It took some time for her to acclimate to indoor life. She was a part of our “Forgotten Felines” program, and there were some days where I thought she might not be adoptable.

Eventually, though, she started to relax and interact with the other cats in my household and with me. It took a lot of time and patience to gain her trust, but when you gain the trust of a cat like Stella, it is so special. Stella went to her furever home after spending 459 days with me, and is living the life with wonderful parents and a fursister who is black and white, just like her.

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

Patience! Cat time and human time are not the same! I have also learned so much about cat care and cat behavior!

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

We take in any cat that is in need, as long as we have a foster for them. It’s not just about cute little kittens! Our commitment to our cats continues through adoption or their return to a colony.  Once a Ten Lives kitty, always a Ten Lives kitty. Ten Lives also supports their fosters like no other rescue that I know of – both with supplies and having a network of people to help out.

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

I am a high school teacher. In my spare time, I love to play games, enjoy my backyard, watch birds, and entertain.

Stella with one of Hope's resident cats
Hope's first foster, Latte
6. How do you think Ten Lives Cat Rescue will change over the next five years?

I think Ten Lives will continue to grow and find ways on a bigger scale to positively impact cat overpopulation.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

The volunteers at Ten Lives really are a team that you become a part of – no one has to feel isolated. If you have never fostered before, there are so many people who want to help you be successful. Before I started fostering, I had lots of questions…some of the basic ones dealt with medical care and supplies, and others included the fear of fostering a cat for forever if no one wanted to adopt him or her. With Ten Lives, supplies and medical care are covered by the rescue. We also have a great resource with PetSmart in Warwick, so kitties can go there to be adopted once they are fully vetted and deemed ready by their foster families.

8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

I have gained a sense of purpose in helping to better the lives of cats.

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

For the under socialized cats that may not have been helped by other rescues, I think my work with Ten Lives makes a big impact. We can only help cats if we have enough volunteers to do so, and not everyone wants to work with a hissy, scared cat. Those cats are my favorite type because while they take time, when you see progress, you know all of the hard work is paying off.

Are you interested in volunteering with Ten Lives Cat Rescue? Read about our open volunteer roles and fill out a Volunteer Application, become a foster, sponsor a Forgotten Feline, and purchase needed supplies through our Wishlist!

Hope's resident cats

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