Mary started working the Thursday evening shift at the Halfway House in February of 2020 with an awesome crew who has been together for ages. She also picks up the Tuesday voicemails and is on the auction committee.

Three young cats showed up in their backyard around 2019, and her cat sitter who, at the time, was a volunteer at Furry Friends, helped her get the cats spots in the Halfway House. She was so thankful that she started dropping off items at Woodin’ You Pampered Paws, and then decided to start volunteering.

Her biggest challenges are not spending all of her money buying auction items and taking a cat home every week! While being unable to help out more when subs are needed is a disappointment, her proudest moments are being able to help cats in need. When two more cats appeared or were dumped on their property, she brought them to the Halfway House, and they were able to find their forever homes. She was also able to help out another area rescue purely by chance — thanks to “talking up” Furry Friends — and we were able to help a woman find a home for an elderly/blind cat who desperately needed one.

Mary’s favorite part of volunteering is, of course, helping the kitties, but she also enjoys the people involved and how they all come together to help as many kittens/cats/people as they possibly can. The reason she gives back is because that’s how she was raised and because, for her, Furry Friends is an amazing organization. Volunteering at the Halfway House during the pandemic helped her as much, or more, as the cats. In the past, she was a substitute driver for Meals on Wheels, which she loved, but work (she works fulltime as a nurse reviewer for Regence BlueCross BlueShield) got in the way.

At home, she and her boyfriend have two cats: 12-year-old Flash and Tiger, the tabby, a former Furry Friends kitty. And although they’re not exactly the best of fur-iends, they get along much better than at the beginning of their “relationship.”

Mary’s “not so hidden talent” is knitting catnip toys and dish scrubbies for us to sell at bazaars. And she thanks everyone for all of their hard work, citing, “It really takes a village!”


Furry Friends Volunteer Spotlights 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.

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.