Furry friends could not operate without the help and experience of all of our volunteers and fosters. Some have played many vital roles over the years. One of those amazing people is Chris Kiefer. She had this to say about her time with Furry Friends.
“I found a pregnant stray cat hanging outside my Mom’s place 12 years ago. I contacted Furry Friends and was recruited to be her foster. I was so taken by watching the birth of the three kittens that night, went to bed, and woke up to a total of seven kittens. After that, I found myself volunteering more and more. There have been several litters after that. Along with being a foster, I had a shift at the Halfway House and at our adoption center that was once in Petsmart, I participated in fundraising events, adoptions, and whatever was needed.
Most people probably know me from the period when I was fielding incoming phone calls and responding to emails. I maintained the cat wait list, creating personality profiles, and scheduling the relinquishments. I came to know every cat in the shelter and really enjoyed matchmaking cats to owners. That was very rewarding. I have seen a lot of cat situations and had many experiences. I’ve seen the worst and the best in people. There were tears and there were smiles. I heard a lot of sad cat stories and all I wanted to do is help in any way I can. I couldn’t fix everything, but I really tried hard. After many years of this, I thought it was time for something else. More recently, I have been fostering newborn kittens needing bottle feeding.
I have to say my favorite part of volunteering is the time spent with the cats. It is satisfying when you get a stray to come out of its shell and help them become a well-balanced adoptable cat. These cats are in such need and are innocent creatures. It warms my heart to help them adjust to new lives.
Recently, I had three Furry Friend Cats. Unfortunately, in June, two of the three cats in my home passed on. One was from the first litter I fostered and the other, was truly the love in my life. I have been showering attention on my remaining cat, Baby. Fostering cats has been helpful during this tough time.
I am originally from the Midwest and fell in love with the pacific northwest on a vacation and just had to live here and try to hike every trail in the Gorge. I’m currently retired and enjoy my time finding and doing fun stuff! I love camping because it is all about living with nature, and I look forward to traveling again when the world opens back up. I enjoy snorkeling in crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches. I love the island life in the Caribbean. I been on an overnight trip on a mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and I have been on top of the world floating in a hot air balloon, and somewhere in the middle I backpacked Mt Hood. It was probably the most physically demanding activity that I’d experience. Life is different when you have a 50 lb pack on your back. I only backpacked once, needless to say.
My proudest moments with Furry Friends is when I see cats finding their perfect forever homes. Although I miss the cats and the bond with them, I am proud of them for making this journey and thankful for my part in helping them.”
Chris Kiefer has done many jobs with Furry Friends and we are forever grateful for the hours and love she has poured into every “job” she has done here.
We would like to thank Jenn Hutchman for writing this spotlight. She has been volunteering with Furry Friends for a couple years and has been an amazing contribution to our team. She has fostered over 100 cats and kittens so far for Furry Friends, and not just the easy ones. She has fostered several bottle baby kittens that require feeding every two hours and has taken on some of the difficult medical cases. She also handles community outreach such as emails/voicemails and does the adoption and cat intake coordination as well as a number of other tasks including fundraising. For 2021 she put in about 1500 volunteer hours for Furry Friends. We are so grateful for all she does.