Meet Charlie & Angel

Charlie and Angel are a brother and sister duo looking for a forever home together.

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Charlie’s very sweet and loves to be around people. He adored cuddling and receiving pets, and if you don’t have time to give him a pet he’ll be sure to patiently wait for one. He enjoys playing with his sister Angel and his favourite toy is the laser. He’s very friendly and will come up on the bed and sit on the pillow in the morning.

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Just like her brother, Angel loves to be around people. Her hobbies include cuddling, being pet and napping in your lap. She also likes playing with her toys and Charlie. For some reason, she also really enjoys watching her human friends in the kitchen, whether they’re cooking or doing dishes! Angel’s a very friendly kitty and was recently a young mama to her three kittens who have now been adopted.

If you’re hoping for a pair of adorable and loving cats to enter your life, look no further!

If you’re interested in adopting Charlie and Angel please visit our website at to fill out an adoption form.

Special thanks to Laura Bartlett for these great photos of Charlie and Angel!

Why we Walk for the Kitties



Long John Silver doesn’t let his injury stop him from being a scampy kitten

Tiny Long John Silver got his name because of his amazing silver fur. And because he’s missing part of his back leg.

He was rescued when a woman in Port Coquitlam spotted a mama and two kittens emerging from a carport. The kind Samaritan took the little family inside but the mama begged to be let back out. Once outside she went back to the carport and one by one brought out five more kittens.

We were called in and now the big family is safe and sound in foster care. Mom is very sweet and her mix of babies were likely no more than 4 weeks old when rescued. All the kittens are healthy except for Long John Silver who has a very damaged back leg and is missing his foot. The wound has been there for awhile and is infected, but with some TLC he’ll hopefully be able to live a normal life. He’s already made several trips to the vet though and the bills are starting to add up. But the good news is he’s healing really well and his wound is slowly closing over.


Long John Silver and his siblings

The reality is only 25% of kittens who don’t receive human care survive. The chips were stacked against Long John Silver and with his wound it’s certain he wouldn’t have made it without our help.

Long John Silver is just one of the thousands of reasons why we Walk for the Kitties.

Each year, VOKRA rescues more than 1,800 homeless cats in the Lower Mainland. Unlike many other animal rescue groups, VOKRA is a volunteer-driven, no-kill organization. Our work is made possible through the generous support of volunteers, adopters and people like you. Walk for the Kitties is our largest fundraising event of the year and we rely on the funds raised. Learn more here.

Please help us help kitties like Long John Silver this September 18 by joining us for our 7th Annual Walk for the Kitties.

Eventbrite - VOKRA's 7th Annual Walk for the Kitties

Can’t make it on September 18? You can still donate today!

IMG_0052LJS loves boxes! IMG_0053Here he is with his brother Mr. Smee.
LJS is much smaller than his siblings

Snaggletooth’s Happy Tail Ending

27260047193_b007f182d9_zSenior kitty Snaggletooth first came to us in July 2015 as a stray. At some point in his life someone cared enough for him to ensure he was neutered and tattooed. But by the time he came to us the tattoo had faded and couldn’t be read so he was stuck with us. He’s a sweet, loving, relaxed guy and sometimes his bottom left tooth ends up being in front of his upper lip so we dubbed him Snaggletooth.

Life on the streets was rough for Snaggletooth and it took it’s toll. He had high blood pressure, a heart murmur and was mildly anemic. But with some care and attention he was doing well, until disaster struck.

In April Snaggletooth failed to land a jump and severally broke his right back leg. In fact he broke it so badly a specialist had to come in to install a plate and pin the leg. But Snaggletooth is a resilient guy and he recovered nicely from his surgery and by June he was ready to find a forever home. That’s when something special happened.

IMG_7133We featured Snaggletooth on and shared the post on our Facebook page. His profile ended up showing up in the news feed of a woman named Jen who automatically recognized him as the cat she lost more than a year ago. She contacted us right away and we were able to confirm Snaggletooth is indeed her kitty. It turns out he’s actually 19 years old and she’s had him since she was seven. It also turns out his name is actually Ramsey and he went missing shortly after they moved to a new home. Our best guess is after he escaped he was trying to make his way back to his old neighbourhood when we trapped him.

We’re so happy these two have been reunited!

Do you have a Happy Tail to share? Email us at

Bottle Babies – A Reward Like No Other

20160507_Bottlebabies_2950_lowresWM-1If you’ve ever wondered about VOKRA’s origins, you wouldn’t have too look far – it’s right there in our name, specifically in the O and the K, which stand for “Orphan Kitten”. Founded because of kittens that were orphaned and without moms, VOKRA began as a means to provide crucial care that would replicate the feeding and love a mom cat would normally provide.

Though bottle feeding kittens may sound like it’s all purrs, cuddles and explosions of cute, considering that most litters reach upwards of five, it’s no small feat. Newborn kittens require constant tending to and must be fed every two hours. They have to be kept warm at all times through the use of blankets and heaters, they need to be burped and bathed, and you must stimulate their poop and pee. Basically you need to replace their mom in every way possible, short of becoming a cat yourself.

Many years ago, VOKRA founders Karen Duncan and Maria Soroski were volunteers at the SPCA when litters of kittens kept coming in without moms. They quickly learned how to bottle feed and fielded requests for their services up to twice a day during kitten season. If you’re picturing an actual orphanage filled with rows of cat beds and endless litters of kittens, you wouldn’t be far off. At times their own beds were piled high with kennels full of kittens requiring 24-hour care. Eventually, Karen and Maria branched off on their own and realized the reason for all the motherless kittens was that no one had figured out how to trap the feral moms. Once they began trapping them, the need for bottle feeding was greatly reduced.

While keeping kittens with their mom is always the preference, bottle feeding is at times a necessity. Sometimes it may only be for a short period, temporarily feeding them until their mom is located or merely helping a mom cat with her extra large litter. Other times we may be able to use surrogate moms instead, adding orphaned kittens to another mom’s litter. We trap feral moms whenever possible, using the scent of her kittens’ urine or fur to lure her in. But in cases where the mom is never found or has passed away, bottle feeding is the only hope of the kittens’ survival.


Receiving an average of 10 litters a year that require full-time bottle feeding, we have a handful of dedicated volunteers who provide constant care and attention to ensure these little ones survive. Around the clock care is necessary and some volunteers even take their tiny wards to work. In the past Ellen Keiser, a teacher, took her bottle fed babies to school and fed them during recess and lunch as her class looked on for some firsthand lessons in cat rescue. At times, volunteers share the duties between them, “babysitting” if one of them needs a break.

Even with the best possible care, survival rates are a bit lower for bottle fed kittens. They’re more prone to illness and not all of them make it. To be a bottle feeder volunteer requires not only time, patience, flexibility and the ability to do without sleep, but also the strength to handle the potential for heartbreak. Says Ellen, “You need to prepare yourself for the loss, but also for the celebration that so many do make it due to your efforts.” Last year, foster mom Tania Hennessy cared for more bottle feeders than she ever had before and says she becomes especially attached to them. For her, watching them grow up and find their forever homes is worth the undertaking.

Bottle fed kittens sleep a lot and after two weeks you can begin to train them to use their litter boxes. Eventually you’ll find small puddles of poop, which to a seasoned cat rescuer like Karen is “quite exciting”. As the kittens grow, they become among the sweetest and sociable of cats since growing up among humans is all they’ve known. In fact, they consider their bottle feeding human to be their “real” mom.  Says Tania, “My favorite part of caring for bottle feeders is the day when their eyes open and they finally look back at you for the first time. Paired with the happy purrs of a full belly at 3 a.m., it’s heart melting!” Seeing bottle fed babies transform into active and healthy kittens is truly a reward like no other.

Written by Ellen R.

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. We’re currently actively looking for cat care and reception volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at

Meet Crystal & Gabby

_MG_8184Crystal and Gabby are a unique mother and daughter duo.

A kind stranger noticed a very pregnant cat in her yard one day so she took her into the house. That night the cat, now named Crystal, had a litter of kittens and in that litter was little Gabrielle, or Gabby for short. The kind stranger wasn’t able to keep the new family because she already had two cats of her own, so she called VOKRA.



When Crystal and the kittens arrived we began to notice that Gabby was different than her brother and sister. Her back legs were crooked and she walked with a funny wobble that made her fall down a lot. After consulting with a vet she was diagnosed as having something called feline cerebellar hypoplasia (CH). Gabby was born with CH as her cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls fine motor skills and coordination, was underdeveloped at birth. There could be a number of reasons why a kitten can be born with CH, but most commonly it happens when the mother contracts a virus while pregnant or if there was some sort of trauma to the kitten while in the womb. The good news is CH is non-progressive and with some extra care cats with the condition can live a normal, healthy life.

Crystal knows Gabby is special so she spends a lot of time watching over her and she doesn’t like it one bit when they’re separated. In addition to loving Gabby, Crystal loves attention! She’s very affectionate and gives plenty of purrs and kisses. Sometimes she’ll even stand on her back legs so you can reach her head more easily and give her a pet. Despite being a mom, Crystal’s only two and a half years old so she still has the spring of a kitten. This is evident when she and Gabby are playing with the cat dancer, laser pointer and other toys.



Despite Gabby’s challenges she’s never stopped exploring and playing enthusiastically. And she’s never met a cat tree she couldn’t tackle! For the past several months Gabby’s been undergoing regular physiotherapy with her foster mom and each day her back legs have been getting stronger which has improved her balance and coordination. She’ll never be able to run around the house like her mom Crystal, but no matter how many times she falls over she always picks herself back up again and keeps heading forward.

Crystal and Gabby are looking for a forever home with people who understand and appreciate how special Gabby is. She may need a bit of extra care, but she’ll reward you everyday with love. If you’d like to meet these two and learn more about Gabby’s special needs, please contact your adoption counsellor or fill out an adoption application here.

Written with assistance from Katherine Drabek

We’re raising money to help get Gabby back on her feet. We estimate it’ll cost $2,000 to pay for her specialized diet, a harness to help her get around, acupuncture treatments and all her medical expenses. You can help us reach our goal by donating today.

Cali’s Happy Tail Ending

Cali & Robert

Cali adores Robert

It was early 2015 when Roxanne and Robert felt something was missing in their lives. Having had pets in the past, they sensed the time was right to welcome a new member into the family and they knew they wanted to adopt an older kitty.

Cali came to VOKRA as a 10-year old senior cat after her owner passed away. At their first meeting, Roxanne remembers Cali “was very shy. The visit consisted of her giving me stink-eye from underneath a chair and hissing at me. She did allow me to give her a chicken treat. I could see beyond the hissy facade there was a loving sweet girl.”

Cali, now known as Lady Calloway (but still referred to as Cali), now spends her days hanging out at home, lounging on the catio, listening to CBC Radio One and even watching Netflix! A feline sibling, another senior kitty named Ginger, recently joined her.

Cali & Ginger

Cali and Ginger lounging on the catio

Now an adoption counselor with VOKRA, Roxanne cannot say enough about the joy Cali has brought to her and Robert’s lives. “Cali has served as a very important ambassador to the life I have now,” said Roxanne. “She’s the reason I am involved with VOKRA and, through my involvement with VOKRA, I became a cat nanny with The Cat Nanny. It’s a job I absolutely love.”

And sometimes cats can be the best medicine. “Cali and my partner Robert have developed a special bond,” adds Roxanne. “She completely adores him and is so happy to see him when he comes home from work. Robert had open heart surgery nearly four years ago and he’s convinced Cali is the very best de-stressor and heart balm he could ever have!”

After a series of personal hardships and family illness, Roxanne says Cali, “filled a barrenness, an empty void. She gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. So, I’d say she rescued me.”

Would you like to share your Happy Tail? Email us at

Written by Kim C.

Ask Dr. Waffles


Dr. Waffles is VOKRA’s senior feline health advice columnist. He has had more than four years of experience as a cat with health, and is thus fully qualified to advise other cats in their health.

Dear Dr. Waffles,

Now that I’m not a kitten anymore and am all grown up something weird has started to happen. I get this funny feeling that makes me gag and retch.  Then I start hacking which seems to upset my humans, especially when I end up upchucking a gross clump of matted fur on the white carpet. What’s happening to me? Am I sick?

One concerned kitty,


Dear Peanut,

It sounds to me like you’ve got hairballs. But don’t worry because this is quite normal. When you were a kitten you were still leaning to groom, but now that you’re older you’ve become more adept at grooming which means more fur will be removed from your coat with your tongue. Some of the hairs from your coat end up getting swallowed and when they stay in your stomach they form a hairball. And what goes in must come out!

It’s not a pretty sight but it’s nothing for you and your humans to worry about. They should keep an eye on you though to make sure you don’t end up with a blockage which can be dangerous. Symptoms of a blockage may include ongoing vomiting, gagging, retching or hacking without producing a hairball; lack of appetite; lethargy; constipation or diarrhea. If they notice these symptoms they should contact your vet right away.

Your humans can also help you out by regularly brushing you. By combing or brushing you everyday they’ll be removing a lot of loose fur that otherwise may end up in your stomach. And you can also do your humans a big favour too by staying off the white carpet when you feel a hairball coming up!


Dr. Waffles