This post was written by Michelle Furbacher and originally appeared on the Catfe blog on October 11, 2015. It’s reprinted here with her permission.
I would like to express gratitude to VOKRA for their foster program which has blessed me with such a wonderful companion for the past two months, and in particular this holiday, when I needed a friend. This weekend, with my family far away, I’ve got one temporary family member to celebrate the holiday with and keep me company — my foster cat, Snuggles.
When I took on the fostering of this little dude, I could not have predicted the impact it would have on me, and on Catfe as well. In September, Catfe joined forces with Stretch Yoga to host Cats on your Mats, a yoga class and fundraiser for VOKRA in a studio filled with cats! The event was a success, and helped raise money and awareness for orphaned kittens. It was also the perfect opportunity to learn first hand what it’s like to herd a bunch of cats together in one room and see what hijinks ensue. I brought Snuggles along for the adventure.
He’s a curious, friendly cat who loves to explore and play, and the event provided lots of stimulation for him… but when I brought Snuggles home at the end of the day, his purr motor kicked into overdrive, and I was touched by how much he loved being in his own home. Until then we had been planning for Catfe to be home to a stable colony of permanent feline residents — but Snuggles’s purring became the soundtrack to my epiphany that every cat deserves to find a loving home where they can purr to their heart’s content, snuggled up with their trusted human.
VOKRA is different from other cat rescues in the Lower Mainland: their foster system is unique, as they do not house their cats in cages until they are adopted, but rather in home settings. In foster care, VOKRA cats get to live in a safe, comfortable environment while they wait for forever homes. I came to the realization that Catfe can be more of a force for good by providing a spacious, temporary home in a stimulating environment for other less fortunate cats, who are currently housed in cages or small living spaces at other shelters.
So thanks to Snuggles, Catfe has changed its course: our business will help cats who are most in need find permanent homes. All cats at Catfe will be available for adoption, with a focus on getting cats out of shelter cages, rather than taking them out of foster homes.
Our cats will come from the BC SPCA, and Catfe will act as a centre for support and awareness for animal rescues and charities all over British Columbia. Each month we will donate a percentage of our profits to a different charity, and help shine a spotlight on the important work that they do. VOKRA will be the first of these charities, and I look forward to continuing our relationship together, promoting their TNR program, cat and kitten adoptions, and of course their foster program. If you have a little extra room in your home and your heart, think about fostering a cat — it just may change your life!