What’s your story? Why did you first get involved with ACR?
I first fostered in university. My room mate and I were interested in having a cat but knew we couldn’t commit to adopting as our living situation was temporary.
How are you helping now? What volunteer position are you filling? What does your work involve?
I foster and I’m a feral feeder.
I’ve experienced a little bit of everything fostering, from frustration to relief to joy. It can be tough at times when you’ve got a kitty who has behavioural issues. But those are the cats that need you most and that are most rewarding in the end. Seeing them get adopted is such a joyful/sad moment. We provide food, litter, toys etc.
I moved so I now feed on the other side of town. It’s not as convenient, but still rewarding. The route takes about 30 minutes and feeds about 8 cats. Some you see and some you never see, but dedicated ACR volunteers monitor the feeding spots to gauge the need in each area. The weather is sometimes miserable, but I always feel good when I see the little guys waiting. After all, they’re outside in all weather, all the time.
Describe a real winning moment for you as an ACR volunteer.
Probably what I’m most proud of is getting our foster, Fred, to eat cat food again. When he first arrived from the street he was so skinny he was starving, but wouldn’t eat cat food as he was used to human scraps. Using cream cheese and bacon grease we got slowly got him back to a cat food only diet, and back to a healthy weight. He’s now been adopted into a theatre family as Zigfried Dander Stardust.
Why do you think people should volunteer with ACR?
It’s rewarding and such a good organization. I love our no shelter method that lets our cats be matched with the best possible homes (and homes with the best possible cats). And I really think we have an obligation to those who can’t look after themselves, whether human or animal!
In your opinion, what is the most important thing that ACR does?
Getting those kitties off the street! But the trap and spay/neuter program is also so important.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering with ACR? What’s your “real” job?
I’m Manager, Certification for the Canadian Association of Management Consultants.
Besides rescuing cats, what are some of your other hobbies?
Travel! Reading, writing and, honestly, watching Netflix.
Do you live with any ACR cats at the moment? Who and what is their back story?
Our current foster is Iorek. He was picked up on Spadina and has been with us 2 years. When he first arrived he chose “”fight”” in every fight or flight scenario. Ready to defend himself always, and startled by sudden noise or movement, he even growled at the toaster once.
Now he’s as sweet as can be. He loves to have his belly rubbed and is happy to be cuddled and carried around our apartment.
What cat do you dedicate your volunteer work to and why?
That’s a tough one. I couldn’t pick just one, as every cat we’ve had has changed our lives in some way. (16 fosters and counting…)