Volunteer Spotlight: Rachel

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Volunteer

Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 100 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.

Rachel has been volunteering with Ten Lives since 2020, and she has played a crucial role with our rescue since then! She is our Petco Coordinator, an events volunteer, and the occasional cat trapper as part of our Community Cats efforts. We truly appreciate everything Rachel does, and we are grateful she chose to volunteer with our rescue!

Rachel has one resident cat – a six-year-old male tabby named Toby.

1. How did you originally hear about us, and what made you decide to become a volunteer?
Rachel's cat, Toby

I knew Melissa (Ten Lives’ Executive Director) prior to her Ten Lives days, and loved following her journey as she created and grew the rescue. I decided to finally become a volunteer during the pandemic, when I had more time on my hands after my full-time job switched to a remote role. The hardships of the pandemic also made me realize I wanted to do more with my life and give back to a community I care about.

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

Learning to trap cats for our Community Cats program has been quite the adventure!

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

That cat-people are the best!

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

That we’re a part of Amazon Smile!

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

I keep busy with my office job (I’m a financial writer). I also make wreaths and felt goods, selling products at local craft fairs and online as RAC Felt and Flowers.

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

I believe Ten Lives will continue to grow its amazing base of volunteers. I hope we can expand our partnerships with local business and expand our reach into Massachusetts and other areas of New England.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

You can join an amazing group of people with the same interests, and to help care for cats.

Crafts Rachel created for a Ten Lives event!
One of the first cats Rachel helped trap as part of our Community Cats efforts
8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

I’ve gained countless friendships since volunteering with Ten Lives, as well as organization skills and increased cat-care knowledge. I’ve also gained a wonderful feeling of purpose and fulfillment.

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

My volunteering with Ten Lives has helped us raise money for the rescue, gain new volunteers, and aid in the adoption of several cats.

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!

August 2022 Adoptions

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Adoption

Last month, 30 cats and kittens found their forever homes! The month’s group ranged from approximately 14 weeks to 12 years old – several of these cats and kittens arrived to our rescue due to unfortunate circumstances that were no fault of their own, while others were humanely trapped as strays thanks to our community cats efforts. 18 of our adopted cats this month were found or trapped as kittens in May, two older cats were humanely trapped and socialized with the help of their foster families, four cats were adopted by their foster families, and two kittens were adopted as a bonded pair.

Our rescue relies heavily on donations from our amazing supporters to help us give the cats in our care the best possible chance at long, healthy lives where they are cherished by their forever families. In response to the cats in our program’s needs, we have created our Forgotten Feline program to help scared and under-socialized cats regain trust and confidence. We have also created The Lazzy Fund, which gives a second chance to those cats who have been neglected and forgotten, including cats in need of critical and lifesaving medical care. The Forgotten Feline program and The Lazzy Fund help many of our cats during their time in our rescue, and this month, one of our Forgotten Feline graduates was adopted!

If you follow our Facebook and Instagram accounts and have read previous posts in our blog, you may recognize Ishmael (formerly known as Ingrid). Estimated to be 10-12 years old, this sweet senior came to Ten Lives when his family moved, leaving him behind. He spent at least two years trying to survive outside living under a deck, and during that time developed serious dental disease and was in extremely rough shape. Ishmael joined our Forgotten Feline program, and thanks to the generous donors of The Lazzy Fund, Ishmael received the dental and medical care he needed. Ishmael has since graduated from our program, and now enjoys spending his days cuddled up with snuggly, warm blankets and showing off his superb biscuit making skills. With the support of his foster families in our rescue, his spirit was restored, and after eight months in foster care, he’s now living his best adopted life filled with love and spends his time with his new canine siblings!

Six of our adopted kittens found in May had similar beginnings. The “Job Lot kittens,” Havana, Jovi, and Rozelia, were found, all with eye issues, in a box in a Job Lot parking lot. A Good Samaritan, who has helped us with a few cats in the past, contacted us for help. One of our fosters, Elizabeth, agreed to take them in, and our Intake Coordinator, Kim, went to pick up the kittens with the intention to drop them off with Elizabeth that day. However, when Kim opened up the box, she describes it as “pretty much a done deal,” as the kittens were mini versions of one of her cats, Ten Lives alumnus, Javier. Elizabeth was gracious enough to let Kim foster them herself, and Elizabeth joked that she knew there would be another litter for her soon. She was right. On Mother’s Day, another litter of kittens were left in a box at Ocean State Veterinary Services, and they called us for help. Even though Elizabeth had plans for Mother’s Day, she made time to welcome the Mother’s Day kittens into her home. She named each one “Mother” in various languages – Mummy, Madre, and Mumuska. All three of the Mother’s Day kittens thrived under Elizabeth’s care, and they each found a loving forever home this month.

The Job Lot kittens spent the last few months overcoming their eye issues. Rozelia’s eyes were in the best condition of the three, and they cleared up very quickly with medication. Both of Jovi’s eyes were in bad condition, but because we caught it early, we were able to treat them with medication, as well. One of her eyes does still have scar tissue over it, but it’s not very noticeable. Havana’s eyes, however, were noticeably the worst upon arrival. Her left eye was swollen with lots of discharge covering the eye, and her right eye was also in bad shape. After several rounds of eye drops, eye ointments, oral antibiotics, and oral anti-virals, the hard determination was made to remove one of her eyes as the pressure was too high and could cause her pain later in life. Kim shares that Havana was such a trooper before and after her surgery. “Nothing slows her down, and if you didn’t know she has only very minimal vision in her remaining eye, you wouldn’t know. She has adapted better than I could have hoped and she gets around the house without any issues.” Rozelia and Jovi were adopted by their forever families in July, and Kim adopted Havana after her eye surgery this month.

Congratulations to Amaretto, Bongo, Flora, Fox, Grey Ghost, Halley, Havana, Hopper, Ima, Ishmael, Jovi, Kallen, Leonardo, Lou, Lulu, Madre, Mama Cosine, Mama Figg, Mamuska, Mummy, Orri, Peanut L, Prince Alex, Prince Peter, Quesadilla, Serenity, Shirelle, Splash, Sunnie, and Teenie Queenie for finding their forever homes!

Are you interested in adopting a cat from Ten Lives Cat Rescue? Take a look at our adoptable cats!

How can you help the cats currently in Ten Lives’ care? Sponsor a Forgotten Feline, become a foster, apply for one of our volunteer opportunities, donate to The Lazzy Fund, or purchase a needed item on our Wishlist.

Volunteer Spotlight: Ali

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Volunteer

Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 80 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.

Ali has been volunteering with Ten Lives since May 2018—only a few months after our rescue was founded. Ali started as a foster, and over the last few years, she has become our Post Adoption Follow Up Coordinator, our Ten Lives Alumni Facebook page manager, and a mentor for our fosters and volunteers who are new to working with under socialized cats.

Ali has two resident cats, who are both Ten Lives alumni: Lily, a one-eyed domestic long hair cat who she adopted in 2018 after fostering her for less than two weeks, and Furnando, a former ringworm kitten she fostered in 2021. She is currently fostering Emma, a three-year-old under socialized cat.

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

I originally heard of Ten Lives through my hairdresser, Rebecca (who founded the non-profit, RI Kitten Kits!) Prior to this, I honestly had no idea that fostering cats was even a thing! After seeing so many cats, especially seniors, needing help, I applied to foster around May of 2018. At the same time, I saw on Ten Lives’ Facebook page that a senior cat named Marmalade needed a foster. Seniors always have tugged at my heartstrings! Unfortunately, when our co-founder, Melissa, went to pick him up, he was very ill and passed away very soon after. Melissa then asked if I would be able to help foster another cat, Lily, from that same location. I soon fell in love with Lily, and in less than two weeks, I foster failed her.

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

This is hard to narrow down! One of my favorite memories will always be the story of my first under socialized foster, Oreo, whose owner was homeless. The shelter told his owner that he was too aggressive/unadoptable and had he stayed, they likely would have euthanized him. Oreo was 14-years-old when he came to us, and was dirty and matted and had a deformed ear and horrible ear infections (one ear ultimately had to be surgically removed). Oreo was terrified, full of hisses and growls, was unable to be pet, and did not like toys. Initially, I was a little afraid of what I had gotten myself into! However, over the next six months, thanks to the close guidance and support from Ten Lives, Oreo had an amazing transformation. He blossomed into a cat who played like a kitten, loved being pet, immediately greeted you at the door, and ultimately even became a lap cat who constantly followed his adoptive family around like a puppy!

Another favorite story is when I fostered a senior cat named Merlin, whose family abandoned him and left him outside to fend for himself despite winter temperatures being right around the corner. Merlin was in rough shape and very ill –  he was riddled with tumors, among other medical issues – and given a prognosis of only days by the vet. However, by a miracle (and maybe the power of love?!), he got the chance to enjoy three months of high-quality life. He even started playing with toys! Although it broke my heart when it was time to say our final goodbyes, I felt honored and grateful for having had the chance to help such a sweet and deserving boy like Merlin get off the streets and be able to experience what it’s like to be LOVED.

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

So much! Prior to joining Ten Lives, I had always heard from people who never had fostered cats that “you can’t teach an old cat new tricks,” and how skittish cats, especially older cats, “are stuck in their ways” and “can’t change.” If one does, those are labeled as a “rare exception,” which “can only be successful for people with a lot of experience.” I never questioned these assumptions until I began witnessing these amazing transformations firsthand and from other fosters in our rescue.

I have learned that the truth is with patience, consistency, and willingness to follow the step-by-step guidance the rescue provides, progress will happen. I was also shocked to learn, but can personally attest to it now, under socialized cats require significantly LESS physical space to foster and is a lot LESS of a daily time commitment compared friendly cats.

Ali's former foster, Oliver
4. What do you wish other people knew about us?

I wish people understood how expensive it is for rescues to provide care. Rescues often spend more than the cost of adoption on cats. In our rescue, a fully vetted, healthy cat at requires a minimum of three vet visits for vaccines, exams, spay/neuter, blood and fecal tests, deworming treatments, and flea/tick treatments. This isn’t counting cats who are ill or injured, who can often have additional medical expenses. Ten Lives is constantly going above and beyond to provide the best care to our cats, including emergency care, specialist visits, dental surgeries, medical surgeries, etc. when necessary. At the end of the day, medical expenses often far exceed adoption fees. I wish people also understood they can make a significant difference even by just doing little things like sharing our posts or making purchases via Amazon Smile and choosing Ten Lives as the recipient charity.

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

Working (I have two jobs), self-care, such as acupuncture, being on the water, listening to audio books, and binge watching Netflix and crime shows.

6. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

Our rescue won the prestigious Best of Rhode Island award again in 2022 for a reason – Ten Lives Cat Rescue truly is the best! Ten Lives steps up to care for the cats who need the most care, and who are the most overlooked, such as the injured, sick, under-socialized, seniors, or neonatal kittens. Fostering with our rescue means you will be joining the most incredible team of human beings who will elevate you and provide with you with endless support, inspiration, and help.

7. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

I can sum it up best by saying everything I have received by volunteering with Ten Lives Cat Rescue has always far exceeded anything I have ever given. Volunteering with Ten Lives has been a life-changing, extremely rewarding experience for me and has really helped me find my passion.

Furnando and Lily
Ali's former foster, Ishmael
8. How much of an impact do you feel your volunteer work has had with Ten Lives Cat Rescue?

I think the impact that all volunteers make is truly immeasurable. For acutely ill cats like Ingrid/Ishmael (a senior cat who was recently adopted by one of our volunteers), the impact of volunteering can quite literally be life-saving. Knowing that the bonds between the cats we save and their adopters can also be life-changing for adopters as well as equally as rewarding.

 

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!

Volunteer Spotlight: Hope

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Volunteer

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

May 2022 Adoptions

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Adoption

Last month, 13 cats and kittens found their forever homes! The month’s group ranged from approximately six months to six years old – several of these cats and kittens arrived to our rescue due to unfortunate circumstances that were no fault of their own, while others were humanely trapped as strays thanks to our community cats efforts.

Our rescue relies heavily on donations from our amazing supporters to help us give the cats in our care the best possible chance at long, healthy lives where they are cherished by their forever families. In response to the cats in our program’s needs, we have created our Forgotten Feline program to help scared and under-socialized cats regain trust and confidence. We have also created The Lazzy Fund, which gives a second chance to those cats who have been neglected and forgotten, including cats in need of critical and lifesaving medical care. The Forgotten Feline program and The Lazzy Fund help many of our cats during their time in our rescue, and this month, three cats benefited from The Lazzy Fund, and one of our Forgotten Feline graduates was adopted!

If you follow our Facebook and Instagram accounts, you may recognize Mowgli. Originally known as Pumpkin, we received a request in April to help a five-month-old kitten who had been attacked by a dog and was in need of urgent medical care. Mowgli was suffering from significant injuries on both of his rear legs and needed extensive surgery to repair his mobility. Specialty care like this can be incredibly costly—in Mowgli’s case, his vet bill was estimated to be over $5,000. However, the alternative option simply wasn’t a choice for an otherwise healthy kitten with a great prognosis. The Lazzy Fund helped Mowgli get the urgent care he needed, and through the help of our supporters, we were able to raise the necessary funds for Mowgli’s surgery and rehab. Despite his significant injuries, Mowgli recovered and thrived, and resilience and personality captured the hearts of the vet staff caring for him. This month, Mowgli was adopted by one of the vet techs who assisted with his recovery!

Jo was previously featured as another recipient of The Lazzy Fund, and is a Forgotten Feline program graduate. Jo lived his whole life on the streets and was in bad shape when Ten Lives rescued him in early 2021. During his time in our rescue, he was diagnosed with FIV, feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), and had severe dental issues. All of his teeth required extraction, and he was prescribed a urinary friendly prescription diet. During his first vet visit in early 2021, Jo was so feral, the vet couldn’t get within three feet of him. For months, Jo hid in his litter box and under beds. Thanks to the patience of both of his foster families, Jo began to trust humans, and his catfidence increased by the day. Today, Jo loves to be pet and has begun to purr, and began to sleep on his foster mom’s feet every night. After fostering Jo for over eight months, his foster mom officially adopted him, and has renamed him Jonah. To follow Jonah’s adventures in his forever home, check out his Instagram!

This month, one of the cats in our Foster to Adopt program also found her forever home! At two-years-old, Cayenne was rescued from a burned-out house in Marks, Mississippi, where abandoned and homeless cats congregate to try and find shelter. She joined an incredible rescue in Tennessee and was later transferred to our rescue in Rhode Island to find her forever home. Cayenne is a fun, playful, feisty cat who prefers the company of humans to that of other cats. True to her calico roots, Cayenne can be both sassy and sweet, and is an adventurer who wants to check everything out before settling down on her human’s lap. Cayenne also loves wand toys, and she loves to show off her hunting skills by jumping, leaping, and catching whatever is at the end of the wand. Cayenne joined our foster-to-adopt program and began her trial adoption in mid-May. Within a week, Cayenne’s adopters had fallen in love with her sassy and sweet personality, decided they couldn’t say goodbye, and chose to finalize her adoption!

Congratulations to Alex, Amherst, Binx, Cayenne, Daisy, Gillespie, Gus, Jo, Lakelyn, Lucy, Mowgli, Phantom, and Thelma for finding their forever homes!

Are you interested in adopting a cat from Ten Lives Cat Rescue? Take a look at our adoptable cats!

How can you help the cats currently in Ten Lives’ care? Sponsor a Forgotten Feline, become a foster, apply for one of our volunteer opportunities, donate to The Lazzy Fund, or purchase a needed item on our Wishlist.