Kate Goudschaal has become an expert in caring for newborns—newborn kittens, that is. In her 15 years of fostering, she has volunteered for various animal rescue organizations, including Furry Friends, which she joined more than two years ago.
When she moved back to Vancouver from Multnomah County in 2021, “I was surprised and happy to find Furry Friends right in my backyard and was immediately impressed with their philosophy and approach to cat care and rescue.
Kate is one of the few volunteers to take on neonates or bottle babies. She said the first kittens that she accepted were only four days old. When she’s caring for a litter, she’s available 24-7, although the actual number of hours will depend on the health and age of the kittens. “Fostering is typically a ‘round the clock’ assignment, but it is so very rewarding,” she said.
She said some of her most rewarding experiences with Furry Friends, in addition to watching the kitties grow and thrive, are when she receives texts and e-mails from the adoptive parents that she has met as a foster “parent.” Sometimes several years have passed when she receives word that the adopted cats are happy and thriving.
“I love it when they take the time to send me photos and updates and I get to see my fosters all grown up as adult cats,” she said.
She also has an Instagram page @fosterkittensPNW where she posts pictures.
Caring for foster kittens is a way of life for Kate, and she enjoys watching her babies grow and move through the stages of growth— “from the ‘furry slug’ phase of newborns to ‘popcorn’ kittens as they start to learn how to play, and the teen-age phase as they transition into adults.”
Furry Friends provides foster “parents” the opportunity to participate in the adoption process, and Kate said she loves meeting potential adopters and sending her foster kittens to their fur-ever homes.
Kate and her husband live in the Orchards area of Vancouver. They are from Arizona but have lived in Portland and Vancouver for 15 years. Her job as director of referral marketing for Ethos Veterinary Health, a subsidiary of National Veterinary Associates, allows her to work from home, a definite advantage when she’s feeding bottle babies several times a day.
As she has volunteered with several animal rescue organizations, she is in a good position to analyze Furry Friends.
“I am very happy to lend a hand to such a deserving organization,” she said.
We would like to thank Alice Perry Linker for writing this spotlight. Alice is a retired newspaper reporter and editor who last worked for The Reflector in Battle Ground, WA.
Earlier, she worked for the La Grande (OR) Observer, and she and husband Ray owned the Creswell (OR) Chronicle for eight years. Alice, who now lives in Gresham, OR, has two sons and one grandson. She enjoys hiking, gardening and playing (badly) the piano. Alice has volunteered her writing and proof reading skills to Furry Friends for several years.