What’s your story? Why did you first get involved with ACR?
I was helping an ACR volunteer, Jen, with feedings at a colony near Bathurst and College, which at the time wasn’t her “official” colony to feed, she had discovered the cats near where she lived. We fed up to 11 cats in a vacant lot in a laneway. Eventually, Jen had an opportunity to move out of the country and so I approached ACR about the colony officially being under the guidance of ACR. Jen had already had many of the cats spayed/neutered and so we didn’t have too much to do to catch up.
How are you helping now? What volunteer position are you filling? What does your work involve?
After doing the feedings at Bathurst-College about three times a week for two years (alternating with volunteer Anna D.), the colony became part of ACR and we were able to get more feeders. Currently I do the Friday night feedings there, and I am also the scheduling coordinator for our team.
Describe a real winning moment for you as an ACR volunteer.
There are a few, but I recall how we were able to rescue a neglected young cat who was in severe need of dental care, and have her taken under the wing of ACR. She recovered well and went into the foster system, eventually finding new forever home.
Why do you think people should volunteer with ACR?
If someone really loves cats and wants to make a difference, even in one cat’s life, ACR is a great place to do it. As they say, if you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, volunteer in some other way. Not everyone can do the feral feeding, but it is very gratifying to meet the kitties close up and see firsthand how you are helping them.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing that ACR does?
Probably the TNR aspect. As we know, the feral cat population needs to be controlled humanely, and this is the best way to do it. TNR combined with educating the public about the importance of spaying/neutering their pets and trying to encourage them to keep pets indoors are important. Next would be the foster/adoption program, of course – finding homes for the tame cats that are lost or abandoned and find themselves in an ACR colony.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering with ACR? What’s your “real” job?
I work in an office as an administrative assistant, but I still consider that my “day job”. I am also a professionally trained actor; I love to do theatre but recently have been branching out into film.
Besides rescuing cats, what are some of your other hobbies?
As well as being an actor, I enjoy writing, reading, movies/t.v. and am learning how to play the piano.
Do you live with any ACR cats at the moment? Who and what is their back story?
One of my four sweeties was found living with the colony at Bathurst and College about five years ago. Kensington was skinny, slightly injured and looked like he could use some love. He had a scraggy plastic collar on him and was very friendly, so obviously he had been lost or abandoned. The colony cats have always been very good about letting new cats eat with them, so he found a place to have a meal. I was fostering him but after about a month, I was in love so he joined our family! He is a lovely purring lap cat. And much chubbier now!
What cat do you dedicate your volunteer work to and why?
I dedicate my work to all the Bathurst-Colony cats we have lost over the past seven and a half years that I have been feeding there – Black Fluffy, Grey Fluffy, Duchess and Sweetie, and some where I did not know their names. They were all wonderful but sadly each cat’s time came. We are down to two cats in the colony, Lilybell and Tabby, who must each be about eight years old, but they are still there and we will care for them for as long as they need us.