Kittens, Kittens, Kittens!

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Kittens, kittens everywhere!

Kitten season may be the cutest time of the year, but it means a lot of extra costs and work for us here at VOKRA.

Each year during kitten season we care for more than 400 kittens, and this year is no exception. As a volunteer-driven non-profit, we can’t do this without the support of people like you.

Kittens in our care have a chance at a happy, safe and healthy life. Kittens like Samuel, Simon, Lily Mae and Ginger McGraw. These little orphans came to us when they were only a couple weeks old. We’ll never know what happened to their mom, but what we do know is they wouldn’t be alive today without our care.

When these kittens arrived they were so young they needed to be bottle fed every 2 – 3 hours. Between the cost of special kitten formula and supplements, nursing kits and medical care it costs more than $250 to raise each kitten. That adds up to more than $1,000 just for this litter alone.

Will you help us today?

Your support today will help us buy extra food and litter, and will also pay for veterinary care and medication.

Please donate today to help save kittens like Ginger and her brothers and sister.

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Luna’s Happy Tail Ending

Luna

Dear VOKRA,

We adopted our kitty Luna in early December 2015. I often see adoption stories on the blog and I thought I’d write you to let you know how much we love our cat.

I have to start by saying I have had a life-long allergy to cats. Puffy eyes, swollen glands, itchy hives, runny and sneezing nose were all a part of me coming close to a cat. I grew up with a dog always in our house but I never thought I would be a cat owner, even though a house cat was something that intrigued me and seemed closer to our family lifestyle. Actually, I loudly proclaimed pets were too much work and we would never have a pet to anyone that would listen!

Fast forward to my eldest son’s grade 2 year. He was experiencing bullying from a classmate. He’s a sensitive dude who often feels his emotions strongly and this relationship in his class was really hurting him. At the same time as we were helping him through this with counselling etc., he was becoming more and more obsessed with cats. He would read up on all the different domestic breeds and he knew things about wild cats (both common and obscure, like “do you know that cheetah’s claws don’t retract because they need to grip on uneven ground for running?”) from a favorite tv show that he would tell anyone who’d listen. Then as he started grade 3 his loving teacher made “cats” an official topic of research for him and he’s been working on a cat project all year. I started to think my baby boy might need a cat to care for and love and to whisper out all the things that were in his busy little mind at the end of a day. It really seemed like a huge leap for our family, and I didn’t tell my kids I was “caving”, but I did feel a little softened to the idea of a family pet IF we could find the right one.

At this same time I became interested in following the young UK artist Iris Grace; a little girl with autism who paints like Monet. Iris’ family found her a Maine Coon cat and they became fast friends. The cat, named Thula, became a therapy cat for Iris and is helping her to overcome fears and even start speaking. It is truly an amazing story!

I started looking into Maine Coons and Siberians. I was willing to pay big bucks for a breed that could be such a buddy to my boy and also perhaps be less allergenic. Long story short, they’re hard to come by and we had a strange dealing with a breeder who wouldn’t let me visit the parent cats (to see if my allergies were very bad) so I gave up on the idea.

Then one day, on recommendation from a neighbour, I started looking at the VOKRA site. I was intrigued because all of the cats are fostered, which meant we could visit the house where they’d been for a while so I could test my allergies. As well, I wanted to make sure any cat we chose would not be too afraid of children, especially my youngest, rambunctious and VERY loving five year old. It all happened very quickly. Once I told the boys we would be visiting cats they were cautiously thrilled! I perused the website and once an adoption coordinator called us we made our first appointment.

At the first house, there were three adult cats who had been feral. We were there in particular to see one who’d been recommended as very gentle and more social. Unfortunately that particular kitty hid from us immediately. We were able to coax the three kitties out with some kibble, but over the 45 minutes we spent there none of the three had let us pet them. As we were about to leave the foster parents were shocked to see one of the kitties laying down in front of my son and baring her belly to him. He was on his stomach nearby and was laying so patiently. They said that cat hadn’t let anyone in the house pet her yet and here she was bonding with my son!

We left that night and ultimately decided we were not the right family to put in all the work that kitty might need to become more social and comfortable. But, I was even more convinced that my son was a cat person and needed a kitty to love.

Luna_2The next visit we made to a foster home was ultimately the ONE. Luna was being fostered in a house with a six year old. When we arrived, Luna lay down and allowed my boys to pet her all over. She purred so loudly! On the recommendation of the adoption coordinator I took a towel with me and rubbed it all over Luna, then took it home with me and kept it nearby. My allergic reaction was very slight with just some sneezing so we decided to bring Luna home. (It turns out my allergies have gone completely now. I did discover that I am very allergic to some litters and it has made me wonder if my reaction all this time has been more to the litter or the airborne litter particles, rather than the cat. Hmmmm!)

Being a reticent cat owner I was at first going through the motions by simply teaching the boys how to change the litter and feeding Luna on a schedule. However, over these past few months Luna has become our little baby. We’re all happy to see her when we get home and her quirky play time amuses us to no end. She sleeps beside my feet and won’t get up in the morning until I do, even if I sleep in on a weekend which is something I find extremely charming. She’s my company.

Luna_3The house is filled with a constant sing-song of “Luna you’re SO lovely, aren’t you? Who is the best girl?” from my little boys and Luna purrs loudly in response. Just yesterday when my youngest and I were on the bus he turns to me and says out of the blue “mommy don’t you just LOVE Luna?!? I do so much!” And nothing fills my heart more than seeing poor Luna, who is not terribly comfortable, wrapped up in my eldest son’s arms as he whispers whatever he needs to into her ears. She seems to listen patiently and always waits until he’s done before letting him know she’d rather like to be put back down 🙂

All of this was a very long way to say that we’re very, very happy VOKRA adopters and very much appreciate what you do at VOKRA. The process was perfect for our family and we couldn’t be more fulfilled now having Luna in our house.

Stefanie

P.S. Luna was the name given to her by the foster. We had at first decided on other choices, but as we adopted her just before Christmas, and December 25th had the first full moon on Christmas in over thirty years, we thought Luna was rather fitting!

Do you have a Happy Tail to share? Email us at communications@vokra.ca.

Volunteer of the Month – June 2016

Andrea Tremblay_LegendreAnother month has flown by which means it’s time to honour one of our fabulous volunteers. We’ve been taking care of kitty after kitty here at VOKRA and now it’s time to recognize our Volunteer of the Month, Andrea Tremblay-Legendre!

Andrea is a pianist and, after hurting her arm due to excessive playing, she had to go from playing the piano five hours a day to nothing. During this time she discovered VOKRA and thought we’d be the perfect organization to volunteer with because she loves animals, especially cats, and she’s an incredibly helpful person. Almost a year ago, Andrea started volunteering at our Operations Centre before becoming a foster parent in October 2015. At the start of this year she also joined our medical team.

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Andrea with former foster Gino

The best part about volunteering for Andrea is socializing with her foster cats. The two fosters she has had were really shy cats upon arrival and she loved seeing them learning to trust her. She also enjoys watching the cats evolve, from when they first arrive at our Operations Centre as sick, feral or shy, to when they get better and go into foster care and on to finding their forever family and home. Andrea loves being a witness to those happy endings VOKRA helps to provide and knowing she’s a part of their successful recoveries and tamings.

Andrea has many favourite kitties and can’t name a favourite, but here she shares a memorable moment, “Julius is a cat I’ll never forget. When I first started volunteering on the medical team, I didn’t have any medical knowledge, so I had to learn everything! Julius is the cat that I gave subcutaneous fluids (sub-Q) fluids to for the first time and also an injection. That was a gigantic step for me and Julius was the perfect kitty for my first try.”

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Andrea with current foster cat Chevalier.

Like all that are a part of VOKRA, Andrea plays an important role in ensuring all the kitties we care for find their forever homes and neverending happiness. Thank you Andrea for all your hard work and dedication to the kitties!

Post written by Aurora C.

As a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit, we clearly couldn’t do what we do without our extremely dedicated and hard working team of volunteers. THANK YOU! If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at vokra.ca/volunteer.