Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Vicky and Sarah Fletcher

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Vicky and Sarah Fletcher

“I’ve always lived with cats,” says Sarah, “but Vicky is the first cat I’ve adopted with my boyfriend. Although her name was originally Gracie, we changed it to Vicky aka Thick Vick because she’s a big girl (20 pounds when adopted but 16 pounds now).

“My last adopted cat was 15 years old when he died and I was heartbroken from that loss. We decided I needed another cat and Vicky was so different from him, but still a bit older (7 years old) and my favorite blue/gray color. Despite being incredibly overweight, she was SO spunky and engaging. She had a big attitude and a tiny chirping meow. I usually prefer male cats due to their more relaxed personalities, but I decided it was time for a change.

“Her adjustment was gradual. She would briefly spend time with us each night but she was very skittish when it came to sudden movements and loud noises, including cars driving by when the windows were open. Within two weeks, she seemed to warm up, and as she got more comfortable, she continued to reveal new aspects of her personality.

“While my previous cat was a ‘mama’s boy’, Vicky’s independent streak has been a change of pace, yet it’s a nice fit because she’s always close by. She provides us with hours of entertainment due to her high energy and desire to play. She also enjoys spending time with my partner — something he also enjoys although he pretends he doesn’t!

“Since Vicky loves to play, we have various mice and ball toys scattered all over the floor, but she particularly loves a red fluff ball that she often carries in her mouth (when it’s not lost under furniture). She also loves playing with the laser and feathers on a stick. She’s very feisty and is always ready to attack things that move — in a playful way – including us. She’ll attack our arms and hands if we move them quickly across the couch or a blanket.

“A big favorite is our game of hide and chase. I chase her into a room, she collapses onto the floor and I rub her belly, then run out of the room and hide. She runs around until she finds me and the game repeats itself until we’re both tired! Despite her diet, she’s still incredibly chubby, and while it doesn’t impede her agility, she definitely gets out of breath and is quite a heavy breather. Occasionally we’ll hear her breathing, but not see her, and realize she’s resting somewhere close by.

“Vicky prefers being petted and cuddled on her own terms. She often cuddles in the late evenings right before bed and will lie in my lap or lie next to me while I work in the middle of the night.

“As for resting and sleeping, she has numerous choices – from one of her many cardboard scratching posts to the floor under our bed to her cat bed in the living room near us to the couch beside us.”

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Furry Friends Fur-Ever Stories are compiled and written by Nomi Berger who is the bestselling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry, and hundreds of articles. She is a volunteer writer for Furry Friends in Vancouver, WA and also volunteers her writing skills to animal rescue groups in Canada and the USA. She lives with her adopted Maltese named Mini.

Colleen Finley-Furry Friends Volunteer Extraordinaire

Colleen Finley-Furry Friends Volunteer Extraordinaire

By Tina Starks

Colleen Figley is one of the best volunteers to share a shift with (In my biased opinion, being the one who volunteers with her on Sunday!). You can always count on her to give a lively air to the house and to laugh at your jokes or puns, however terrible they may be. Colleen is very often the first one in and the last one out on morning shift, busily cleaning the med room of all the stink and litter that its inhabitants have tossed onto the floor for about two hours.

Colleen first started volunteering five years ago. Upon hearing about Furry Friends from a neighbor, she promptly signed up and has volunteering with the Sunday morning Halfway House shift ever since. Her main task is to deep clean the med room. “To me, that should be the cleanest room in the house,” she explained. Considering its state when she leaves, it is indeed the most spick-and-span spot in the house. She tackles it with brooms, steam mops, and spray, scrubbing at pee that somehow ended up on the wall and rolling aside cages to find the weekly stash of toys that have fallen behind them. However, she is equally as aware of the kitties within as she is of the hair-bunnies and tumble-furs. She explains that the hardest part is to get the room really clean without freaking out cats who are already very frightened. “You’re already going in their space to sweep and scoop,” she points out. “Sometimes moving cages and running a noisy steam mop isn’t the kindest thing”. On those days, Colleen just cleans their “house” and stick to the perimeter for the rest of the room. The intakes certainly appreciate it! Colleen has also subbed on many other shifts and has “pretty much done all the different tasks.” She has can also add helping with the annual fund raiser and fairs to her Furry Friends resume.

Considering some of the gross stuff that Colleen has to clean up, she’s got to have a good reason, which she does, of course. “On the days when you think your life, all you have to do is look around and see how many people, and pets, can use someone to help,” she said. “Even if it’s just a simple thing like listening. It makes me feel more connected to the world”. Furthermore, she derives great satisfaction from being a part of caring for cats waiting for their new families. She tries to take the time to spend a few minutes with every cat, even though it’s never enough. “Some cats can’t ever get enough play time and attention, and it’s so hard when you have to move on!” she explained. Her proudest moments are when one of our “difficult” cats get adopted. Knowing you are part of the team that helped care for them, getting to know what they like and don’t like, and helping them become socialized enough to find their own family is the best feeling. A few examples she gave were Sheena, Charlie, Carlo and Bernie. “I’m just gutted that Bernie came back” Colleen admitted. “But she is better than she was.”

Until recently Colleen had three cats, Alice, Cooper and Dali. Alice and Cooper came from the Oregon Humane Society. Dali was found in some bushes on Fourth Plain. She was only about five weeks old and looked like she had been tossed there. At the beginning of September, a cat showed up in the yard who was very thin and clearly uncared for. They found he was chipped but the owners did not want to be contacted by anyone other than the chip vendor. “We tried everything to find his owners and they were contacted by the chip vendor and by Pet Smart, who inserted the chip, and never got a response” she explained. “We did find he was about seven months old. He has the markings of a Serengeti or Savannah; he’s quite handsome”. She says that bringing him into a house of older cats has been an adventure to say the least. “The first night we locked him on the catio and the next thing we knew he was out on the roof – hence his name, Roofus.” Hence, her three cats have turned to four!

Until recently Colleen worked in corporate governance and legal affairs. The company closed, so the unexpected “retirement” is taking some getting used to since she didn’t feel ready. “But I’m getting the hang of it,” she admitted. Along with Furry Friends, Colleen has been a Camp Fire Leader and a soccer coach, and volunteered for years at Toy & Joy Makers. They’re part of the Portland Fire Bureau, collecting and distributing toys for underprivileged families every Christmas. She loves to garden and I knit. For a time, she was a test knitter for a yarn company and one of her projects was included in one of their magazine advertisements.

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Thank you to Tina Starks for writing this spotlight on one of her co-volunteers. To find out more about becoming a Furry Friends volunteer, please visit our website at www.furryfriendswa.org.

 

Brandi Towner: New Executive Board Member

Brandi Towner: New Executive Board Member

Brandi Towner is the newest member of our Executive Committee. She has taken on the tasks of secretary, adoption councilor and intake liaison. She comes to us with management, accounting and business skills. She works full time as a realtor at Sundin Realty, Inc and wants to donate the rest of her time to help the kitties in our care.

Brandi says, “I have always enjoyed volunteering at various organizations and helping within the community throughout the years. My strong passion to help animals led me to Furry Friends. Now, I not only get to help clients find their dream homes; I also get to find forever homes for all the amazing cats.”

Furry Friends Board of Directors also called Executive Committee

We are very happy to welcome Brandi to our Executive Committee. The board is comprised of select volunteers who oversee the activities of Furry Friends. The members of the board are responsible for governing the organization, approving budgets, approving an organization’s policies and other similar tasks. Board members have an obligation of allegiance, care and duty to Furry Friends. We seek to fulfill our mission statement by providing advice and implementing long-term goals that will assist Furry Friends in planning for the future and creating the vision of what it will become.

 

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Opal and the Perrys

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Opal and the Perrys

“As a family, Opal is our third kitty,” explains Kristine. “And we kept her name since it suited her so well.

“We chose the little ‘gem’ because she was very mellow but also friendly, and because it seemed she would like to cuddle. She’s also a very beautiful kitty. Her beautiful green eyes against her white fur caught our attention immediately.

“We brought her home on Christmas Day and the boxes and wrapping paper scattered all over the house proved a bit overwhelming for her. We decided to keep her in one room so that she could get used to her new environment. Within minutes, she found a small hole in the bottom of the bed’s box spring, climbed inside, and didn’t come out for several hours. It took her almost a week to get used to the rest of the house although she’d still run away whenever one of us got too close. Thankfully, though, she’s now fully adapted to our home and to us.

“Opal has brought a whole new level of joy to our family. She’s such a sweet soul who warms all of our hearts, and always puts a smile on our faces, even when we’re feeling down.

“Before adopting her, we bought a bunch of toys for her to play with – all lying forgotten now in a small basket! She prefers to chase and ‘attack’ a shoelace that she found in one of our closets. As soon as the shoelace is brought out, we immediately get her attention. She claws, bites, and pounces on it, making all of us laugh.

“While she likes being petted and cuddled, it’s only on her terms. If she doesn’t want any pets, she’ll meow at you and walk away. But at 3 AM, when we’re asleep, she suddenly becomes very interested in our attention. When she does cuddle with us, she lies against us and spreads her whole body out long. She also loves the smell of fresh air. We open windows for her so that she can stick her head against the screen and smell all the scents.

“Opal sleeps on top of the cushions in our living room right by the window. She likes looking out the window to observe people and other animals wandering around outside.”

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Furry Friends Fur-Ever Stories are compiled and written by Nomi Berger who is the bestselling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry, and hundreds of articles. She is a volunteer writer for Furry Friends in Vancouver, WA and also volunteers her writing skills to animal rescue groups in Canada and the USA. She lives with her adopted Maltese named Mini.

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: T-Bone, Yuki and Kathy Howe

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: T-Bone, Yuki and Kathy Howe

“My best friends, my therapy cats — my ‘dog cat’ and my ‘cutie patudy’ — are the best cats on the planet,” exclaims Kathy. “I know that T-Bone was everyone’s favorite at Furry Friends because he loves every person he meets. But I consider him my ‘dog cat’ because he’s everywhere I am. When I get up in the morning and use the bathroom, he’s suddenly on the counter giving me head bumps. No matter where I go, I know he’ll go there, too. He wakes me up in the middle of the night by touching my face with a paw. I love him so-o-o-o much. And all of my family and friends love him, too. He’s always around and eager to meet new people!

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Ruby, Emmie and Cindy Christensen

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Ruby, Emmie and Cindy Christensen

“Ruby and Emmie (formerly Eva and Echo) aren’t my first cats,” explains Cindy. “I’ve had cats since I was five years old. “Most recently, my cats were Libby and Dallas who were much loved throughout their lives. Libby passed on two years ago and Dallas followed a few months ago. I waited awhile, not sure that I could go through the loss of another beloved pet. But I missed having a cat in my life too much.

Volunteer Spotlight on Jaimie Garver

Volunteer Spotlight on Jaimie Garver

Have you met Jaimie Garver? If not, chances are you will if you drop by the Halfway House even occasionally. This powerhouse, despite having only been a volunteer for less than two years, has taken on the demanding position of Furry Friends president. What’s more, she’s not just president, but is currently lead of park events, the grant team, the fundraising team, medical team, and Halfway House coordinator. That’s a mouthful to say and even more to do. So, how did she get to dedicating so many hours a week to Furry Friends?

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Olive and Kiondra Kuiper

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Olive and Kiondra Kuiper

“I originally had three cats, Crusty, Explorer and Screamer,” says Kiondra. “When Screamer passed, Explorer got really depressed because she no longer had her buddy and she started terrorizing Crusty, who prefers to be left alone. I wasn’t sure I wanted to get another cat but it became clear that both of mine would be happier with another one in our home.

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Nora and Scooby and the Byrds

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Nora and Scooby and the Byrds

“Our home is alive again thanks to the antics of the amazing brother and sister kitten duo of Nora and Scooby,” admits Angela. “We had a beautiful, black shorthaired male cat for 23 years, and after we saw him over the Rainbow Bridge, we still had love in our hearts for another kitty. When we saw Nora and Scooby online, we knew that we needed them to fill up our hearts once more.

Volunteer Spotlight on Brooke Peterson

Volunteer Spotlight on Brooke Peterson

Introducing Brooke, the multi-talented, Japanese speaking, cat volunteering college student of the Monday halfway house shift! She has been volunteering since the summer of 2017 when she was debating what type of service to do for her high school’s National Honor Society. “I was most interested in working more with animals,” she said. “I have four cats of my own and feel more comfortable around them. So, a cat shelter seemed like the best fit for me!”

Volunteer Spotlight on Tina Starks

Volunteer Spotlight on Tina Starks

Like almost every kid at the Recycled Arts Festival, Tina Starks saw the booth with cats and immediately dragged my parents over so I could see. When her father made it clear that none of those cats were going to come home with Tina’s family, she did the next best thing: sign up to be a volunteer. So, at the age of thirteen, Tina began her journey with Furry Friends.

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Ravenpaw and the McCanns

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Ravenpaw and the McCanns

“My boss at work is Jaimie Garver, your new president,” Helen says, “and I got to know Furry Friends through her. When seven-month-old Ravenpaw came into the shelter, she posted on her Facebook page a fundraiser for his vet bills with videos of him bravely trying to pull himself around on his front paws, while having two seriously broken back legs. He must have been in a lot of pain, but he still wanted to play!

Cats in need of a Vet Tech

Cats in need of a Vet Tech

Crazy about cats? Not enough hair on your clothes already? If you are a veterinary technician wanting to give back to your community, then Furry Friends would like to talk to you. The cats, kittens and good folks at Furry Friends are looking for a qualified volunteer veterinary technician to help with the medical duties.

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail -Mr. Tumnus, Theseus and the Kushners

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail -Mr. Tumnus, Theseus and the Kushners

“The newest additions to our home, Mr. Tumnus and Theseus, were part of a long line of feline friends we’ve had over the years,” explains Andrew. “The two kittens took to our home and our huge cat pole right away. We have two older rescue cats named Lovebug and Cat King Cole who needed a few weeks to warm up to the new arrivals, but they soon became the best of friends.”

In the spotlight: Abi Harrington

In the spotlight: Abi Harrington

Abi has been volunteering with Furry Friends since October of 2018. She jumped in with both feet and we are amazed at all she does for the kitties. She has a heart of gold. When you email us at the information@furryfriendswa.org email address, she is the one on the other end receiving it. We treasure this girl and are so happy that she is with us. Here is what Abi has to say about herself.

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Milk and Cookies and Summer Turpin

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Milk and Cookies and Summer Turpin

“I had four other cats in the past,” explains Summer, “but Milk and Cookies are my only kitties now. “How could I change such cute names when Milk and Cookies suit them so perfectly? “I chose them for several reasons. It was important to me that they’re sisters since I sometimes work 16 or 18 hours a day. Then, when I met them, they seemed so friendly and so cuddly that I simply couldn’t resist them.

FURRY FRIENDS’ FAVORITE FELINES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

FURRY FRIENDS’ FAVORITE FELINES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Familiar with the old axiom: never judge a book by its cover? The same holds true for cats deemed less desirable than other cats. These less than “purr-fect” kitties may have medical conditions, physical limitations or behavioral issues but we at Furry Friends believe that cats with special needs deserve special owners who are dedicated to both loving them and providing them with the care and support they deserve.

Furry Friends is a nonprofit cat adoption organization. Its mission is to help homeless, relinquished and abused cats by providing spaying and neutering, medical care, and foster shelter for as long as it takes to find their forever home. Copyright © 2013 – 2020 Furry Friends. All rights reserved. Website design and development by Christina Roberts.