Volunteer Spotlight: Melissa

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Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 70 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.

Melissa has played a crucial role as a Ten Lives volunteer for over two years as a foster, and as our Warwick PetSmart Coordinator. Thanks to her dedication, 125 cats have found their forever homes through being cared for and through events at PetSmart. Melissa has one resident cat—a Ten Lives alumnus named Happy Go Lucky—and she currently has one foster cat named Papaya.

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

My husband and I had been thinking of adding a kitty member to our family, but were unsure how our son with special needs would do. I saw a friend’s social media post about fostering dogs through a rescue. I had never heard of fostering, so I searched it on Google and came across Ten Lives Cat Rescue. We reached out and found out how easy it was to foster and started from there.

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

One of my favorite stories is about a kitten named Eve. Eve came to Ten Lives Cat Rescue after she was found in the woods by a family out on a hike on December 31st. She was all alone, less than 4 weeks old, and cold, weak, and dirty. We bottle fed/syringe fed her and gave her fluids to keep her alive. She was amazing and a fighter, and she made it through. Today, she is living her best life with her furever family.

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

One thing I have learned is that you do fall for each cat and find love for each of them in their own ways (and yes, you do feel like you want to “adopt them all”). At the same time, I have learned that sending a cat to a furever home is bittersweet. You will miss them, but it is so rewarding to know you were there when they needed it most and were a part of their journey to their forever home.

Melissa's resident cat, Happy Go Lucky
4. What do you wish other people knew about us?

I wish other people would see that you can make a difference and it doesn’t take a lot to do so. This rescue has so many small, intricate parts that help make it run so well, and it’s all done by an amazing team of volunteers. You can help by doing administrative tasks, event planning, trapping for our TNR projects, fostering, etc. You can volunteer for an hour a week to as much as you would like, and it really does make a difference.  

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

I am a wife and mom of three (a kindergartener and two high schoolers). I am also a third grade teacher and a grad student.

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

I think Ten Lives Cat Rescue will continue to become bigger and more known in the community. I have personally seen so much growth in the last two years I have been with Ten Lives. The rescue is doing a lot of great things and has a lot of great initiatives that really benefit the Rhode Island community. I am excited to see what is to come and to help in any way I can.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

The reason others should consider volunteering with us is because we have a great network of support available in our rescue. We share stories, questions, resources, and support. I have laughed and shed some tears with this rescue. When you volunteer with Ten Lives, you are not only helping the cats; you are a part of a great community. I have made several meaningful friends throughout this journey.

8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

I have gained so much experience with working with all sorts of kitties. I have also gained great friendships through my time volunteering.

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

My volunteer time with Ten Lives mainly focuses on the partnership with PetSmart in Warwick and overseeing the temporary residents we have there. I coordinate the amazing team of volunteers that are there twice a day, every day, I communicate with the rescue and the staff at PetSmart, and I help plan and attend our monthly events. 

Melissa and her former foster, Eve

Since February 2021 alone, we have had over 50 adoptions at PetSmart. Because our rescue operates as a foster-based organization, we do not have a shelter in place, so this is one way for us to be out in the community. The impact of my volunteer work at PetSmart allows me (and our amazing PetSmart team) to meet so many people in our community and let them know about our rescue and our kitties. It also allows others to learn more about ways they can get involved, and about all of the great things that we are working on. I hope that my role is making a positive impact on Ten Lives Cat Rescue and its mission. 

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!

Volunteer Spotlight: Run

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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.

Run has played an extremely important role as a Ten Lives volunteer since February 2020, and is both a foster and a trapper for our rescue. She has three of her own cats, all of whom were rescued by her from the streets. Currently, she is fostering three 10-week-old kittens and an undersocialized adult cat.

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

A friend of mine, Kim, is a volunteer and one of the coordinators with Ten Lives. I reached out to her for help with a cat hanging out around my house. Kim was very persuasive about fostering for Ten Lives. I couldn’t say no, and I’m glad I didn’t, because I love it!

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

I don’t think I have a favorite story because every story has its own happy ending, and almost all of the stories end with helping to find these felines a forever home! That would be my favorite part—finding homes for these fur babies!

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

Although it was tough, I’ve learned that I cannot save every cat, and that not every cat wants to be inside. I’ve had to learn to be okay with that.

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

I hope people to know that Ten Lives is a non-profit rescue, where the people are taking time out of their lives and are dedicated to helping these helpless felines! We truly care about the well-being of all cats.

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

When I’m not trapping cats, I’m spending time with my own resident cats and my fosters! If it’s summertime, I am also tending to my garden. I am also always on call for rescuing or trapping when needed.

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

In the next five years, I hope we gain more volunteers with the rescue—more great people to help save cats!

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

Volunteering with us is a great experience because you’re helping save cats. If you’re someone who wants a cat, but is unsure, fostering is a great way to get to know and understand of what owning a cat is like. Everyone in the rescue is also very helpful!

8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

I’ve gained more experience in taking care of cats, and I have gained some great new friends with Ten Lives!

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

I didn’t realize I had that much of an impact until I was told I was nominated as April’s Volunteer Spotlight! Which is so amazing! Thank you!

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!

Raise Your Paws for a Cause: Ten Lives Cat Rescue’s Online Auction

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It’s hard to believe that Ten Lives Cat Rescue’s first online auction starts in just five days! Over the last two months, we have worked hard to make our auction the best it can be, and we are thrilled that it’s time to start the bidding process. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our donors, volunteers, and supporters.

Join us from 9:00AM on Sunday, April 11th through 11:00PM on Sunday, April 18th and bid to win one of our amazing items up for grabs! Our auction items include handmade and crafted items, gift cards, products from small businesses, and certificates for experiences. We have everything from handcrafted wreaths and door signs, one-of-a-kind paintings and photographs, unique jewelry, and gift baskets, to tickets and VIP experiences at museums, zoos, and a chocolate factory, to signed sports memorabilia, brewery swag, and bar crawls—and much more! We have over 70 items available to win—check them out by visiting our auction site!

Don’t forget to create your online auction account today! Once you have an account, you can add items to your watch list and stay up-to-date on newly added items. Remember, you can’t win if you don’t bid!

All of the proceeds from Ten Lives Cat Rescue’s online auction go directly towards the cats and kittens in our care. With higher bids, we are able to purchase much-needed supplies, fund necessary surgeries, and provide lifesaving care to our foster cats and the cats in our community. Please remember to bid high and bid often to help support a fantastic cause!

Volunteer Spotlight: Tracy

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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!

Volunteer Spotlight: Maggie

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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.

Maggie has been a volunteer with Ten Lives Cat Rescue for almost three years, and is currently our Adoption Manager. This means she gets to work with our awesome crew of adoption coordinators who work hard and are dedicated to matching each of our rescue cats with their purrfect furever home. Maggie originally had three resident black cats: Perrin, Peter Parker, and Poe. All were taken in from outside. Recently, she adopted a fourth cat from a local shelter. It seemed he was likely not going to get adopted because of his health problems and other factors, so she decided to bring him to his new, potentially temporary home. Fortunately, her resident cats (even her most stand-offish!) accepted him into the pack! His name is Paxton, and he is also a mini house panther.

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

I originally heard about the organization through my cats’ Instagram account. We are friends with Melissa’s (the co-founder) cats on Instagram, and there was a post about looking for volunteers. I decided to join out of a strong desire to contribute to the mission of the rescue, which I found to match with my core beliefs of cat adoptions and care.

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

I must say that I have a soft spot for our forgotten felines. Those that come to us with severe health problems, injuries, and potentially more. Those that may be turned away elsewhere. Each of these cats have touched my heart, and I just love to watch them heal and blossom.

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

I have learned that there are so many wonderful people out there, from the fosters to the volunteers to the adopters, who care with all their heart for the health and wellbeing of cats in need of homes, love, and, at times, patience and understanding. It’s amazing to see what kind of impact a group of dedicated volunteers can have on a community.

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

How dedicated all of our volunteers are to the wellbeing of cats in the community, how hard we strive to match each cat to their purrfect home, and also that volunteers don’t have to be local—I actually live a few states away!

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

I work mainly as a research scientist, specializing in biogeochemistry, hydrology, and immunology. I also love to get outside with my partner, and, of course, I spend a good amount of time trying to entertain our cats.

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

I think that the organization will continue to grow and touch even more hearts in the greater Rhode Island area and beyond! I have been so impressed with the capacity of TLCR to grow and all of the amazing ideas our volunteers and founders have to expand the positive impact TLCR has on the community’s cats and people.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

Others should consider volunteering because TLCR was born out of the belief that every cat is adoptable and should be given a chance to find a loving home. This is an admirable approach that is unfortunately not universal.

8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?
Perrin and Poe

I have gained a great appreciation for the process of matching cats with their forever homes. It is incredibly rewarding to see our rescue cats blossom in their homes. I also have had the chance to talk with wonderful people, who share stories about their lives and the animals who have touched their hearts.

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

I’m not sure how much of an impact I have had individually, but Ten Lives Cat Rescue depends greatly on its volunteers, and as a team of adoption coordinators, we have helped find so many cats their forever homes. And that feels fantastic.

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.