27 and Counting

Child care workers are used to kids asking for help. Can you tie my shoe? Can you read this to me? Will you take me to the bathroom? But earlier this year, a child care worker at a Lower Mainland school heard a new one. “Can you help my sick kitty?” the child asked her.

The worker, being an animal lover, went to the child’s home to meet the kitty but instead, found many kitties. Dozens of them, in fact. And lots were sick with puffy, runny eyes and colds as well as intestinal parasites. Luckily, she knew about VOKRA and sent us an email.

We’ve all seen animal hoarding situations on TV and, if you’re like me, you wonder to yourself, how the heck did this happen? In this case, the underlying intentions were good. The family rents a house at the end of a dark street where people dump garbage in the treed lot next door. Sometimes people dump unwanted cats there too. These cats aren’t always spayed or neutered and, of course, they breed and create more cats. The family did their best to feed and care for all the cats and kittens but the numbers got too high and they were overwhelmed.

By the time VOKRA got involved, many of the cats and kittens were very ill. We took them to the vet in batches, day after day, and then set them up at our intake centre for monitoring. Those who were healthy enough went to foster homes right away. Sadly, two of the kittens were just too sick and didn’t survive, despite round-the-clock care.

Smith 22 Smith 9 Smith 7

When all was said and done, VOKRA took in 27 cats as part of this rescue.

This has been a very expensive rescue for us. With so many cats and kittens needing vet care and extensive rounds of medicine, the medical costs alone have climbed to over $7,000. Add this to the amount it costs VOKRA to provide food and litter for each cat every month they are in foster care and that number looks more like $10,000.

We try to keep a contingency fund available for emergencies but we weren’t prepared for a rescue this big. (We weren’t prepared for the two big rescues that came along in the following months either but those will be covered in future blog posts.) We are a completely volunteer-run, no-kill rescue organization and it takes continual fundraising just to cover our regular costs. When a huge rescue like this comes along, it really takes its toll. And it means we don’t have the resources for the rescues that will be coming our way in the next few months.

We desperately need help to pay down our vet bills and ensure that we have the funds to keep rescuing cats and kittens. Not everyone is equipped to care for dozens of cats, as the family at the centre of this story found out. Hearts being in the right place isn’t enough. At VOKRA, we have decades of experience saving and caring for cats, relationships with vets who provide excellent medical care for our animals, and over a thousand volunteers who dedicate themselves to helping end the suffering of abandoned cats and kittens. We encourage people to leave rescue work to the professionals but there is something you can do.

Your financial contribution to VOKRA, no matter how small, will make a big difference. If you can make a donation on behalf of these kitties, please do. (Click on the red words to go to the donation page of our website or click on the logo on the upper right where it says “Donate to VOKRA today”.) Thank you for your support.

These cats and kittens have a second chance thanks to one caring child care worker and VOKRA. Some have been adopted already and they went to great homes. Those who are still waiting for forever families are being cared for in our volunteer foster homes. Like Ritchie and Robbie who will be available for adoption in the next week or so.

Ritchie Robbie

Their foster, Stacey, says:

I got Ritchie first and he lived behind my toilet for a couple weeks before I was able to tempt him out with chicken baby food and a “birdie” toy. Now he is the first kitty to greet me when I wake up and he loves to be petted. He is still skittish and isn’t a lap cat (yet!) but purrs when cuddled and likes to be around where the action is.

When his brother, Robbie, came to stay, Ritchie really came out of his shell. Robbie is super confident and moved right in like he owned the place. The two of them play ALL DAY LONG! They love to wrestle and chase the laser dot. Whoever adopts them will get a lovely pair of sweet boys. While they are about a year old, these two act just like kittens and are full of beans.

I know when I look at these photos and read about how sweet these cats are, it breaks my heart to think of them being sick and uncared for. Will you donate to VOKRA and help us make sure the hard times are behind Ritchie, Robbie and the 25+ other cats rescued from this site?

Check out this slideshow featuring some of these rescued cats now, then click to donate and help us care for them!

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6 thoughts on “27 and Counting

  1. Reblogged this on Cantankerous & Curmudgeonly and commented:
    My neighbour Karen is the founder and president of VOKRA, and has given endlessly and selflessly for many years (as have volunteers!) to help be part of the solution. Bless them all for their hard work.XO

    BTW: just because a woman has a cat and is single (by choice) does not make her a “crazy cat lady”. I love my girl Mushu, just as I loved Casper and Chester before her. I love all animals, but prefer and have a lifestyle conducive to living with a cat (not a dog). There is no stigma about single men who have and love a cat, but those kind of guys are certainly appealing, as I admire men whom love all animals, and display affection for their own cats.

    Adopt. Don’t shop.

    • Thank you so much for reading and for sharing, Darth Kater! BTW, I wear my Crazy Cat Lady banner proudly! ; ) If being compassionate makes me crazy, sign me up.

  2. you guys rock !!! thank God for that child care worker and for the child who asked for help. and for all the volunteers who are working to help all these cats. people are nuts if they see this story and photos and don’t want to adopt them all ! they’re adorable. i was wondering about the first couple of photos with the cats with damaged or no eyes: are they up for adoption? just thinking it would take a patient special person to look after them, although that should be any animal lover who has space, time and a bit of $$. if i lived closer i’d totally be volunteering for you guys and helping any way i could and adopting if i didn’t already have a full house. or if i had a farm with lots of land for them to roam. awesome on you guys for helping and all that you do. ❤

    • Thanks for your great comment, me sofia. Any kitties that need rehabilitation stay with us at our Operations Centre or with an experienced foster until they are healthy and then are placed for adoption. Many of these kitties have been adopted, all to great homes, but some are still waiting. We are lucky to have lots of caring animal lovers, like you, who support us either through adoption, volunteering or by donating. Sounds like you have the same fantasy I have! Let’s see, if I had a big mansion, how many cats could I adopt…

  3. I am the person who nursed alot of these cats at Our Vokra new operations building. When the cats came in most came to the building first to be medically treated, one special kitty is A20 named Obrien. he is the sweetest orange and white tabby boy, Gentle and loving this boy was near death, His upper respiratory was so bad his eyes bled, and he could barely eat. For 5 days I syringe fed him every few hours to keep him alive and administered fluids under her skin by an IV line.. I thought we may lose him many times, but he has survived, and Yesterday he was neutered! He will be up for adoption soon, so just in case anyone would like to adopt him, he is ever soooo sweet.

    • Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication, Maria! Obrien is a very special guy who will be a wonderful buddy for someone. Soon, we hope!

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