What’s your story? Why did you first get involved with ACR?
My own cats (not that we “own” cats) died at ages 16 and 17. I was then 68 years old, and unwilling to adopt again and undertake a long-term commitment. An animal-loving friend recommended that I foster with ACR, which I began to do in 2007. In the past eight years, I have looked after 28 cats/kittens: 19 were successfully adopted, four were transferred for various reasons, three died of natural causes, and I currently have two foster cats.
How are you helping now? What volunteer position are you filling? What does your work involve?
Foster two rescue cats.
Describe a real winning moment for you as an ACR volunteer.
It’s hard to choose, but perhaps my most special experience in fostering was caring for a small, beautiful male tabby named Rufus, who was profoundly deaf. I had to learn a lot about how to interact with him without the benefit of sound. We were all very pleased when he was successfully adopted by a compassionate young woman. They fell in love with each other immediately, have since completely bonded and have lived happily ever after.
Why do you think people should volunteer with ACR?
I have great admiration for ACR: the Board members, foster parents, feeders of cat colonies, as well as many other others who work in communications, developing the website, sending out newsletters, organizing fund-raising and adoption events, etc. All ACR people are volunteers and contribute huge amounts of their time and effort to the organization.
As a foster parent, I have always received a great deal of advice and support from foster co-ordinators and others, whenever I encountered problems with my foster cats. They are all very committed and caring people
In addition, I very much admire and respect all of ACR’s founding principles and procedures.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing that ACR does?
Most recently, I have been impressed by how ACR is now interacting with other animal rescue organizations to co-ordinate rescue and adoption activities.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering with ACR? What’s your “real” job?
Besides rescuing cats, what are some of your other hobbies?
Gym. Movies. Concerts. Lunches with friends. Reading.
Do you live with any ACR cats at the moment? Who and what is their back story?
I currently foster a mother and daughter pair, Tina and Rue, rescued from a cat colony, who have a difficult history and require a lot of socialization: getting them to be comfortable in a domestic setting with all its new sights, sounds and smells, teaching them how to play with toys, interact with me, etc. It is a great challenge, but I am enjoying it.
Photo: Patches (black and white) and Shreddy, a bonded male pair rescued from a cat colony, both well known to and loved by ACR volunteers. Patches died of natural causes in my arms at home in late January. Shreddy died in late March, having been at a veterinary clinic for a month for treatment for a respiratory infection and undergoing dental surgery. Both cases very sad, but not unexpected, given their history.