Tom and Jerry’s Happy Tail Ending

Kashmire (previously Jerry)

Marie-Claire and her family were devastated when their beloved cat Cody went missing. After an exhaustive search they came to come to the realization that Cody was not likely to return and it came time to open up their home to another cat.

While on VOKRA’s website, Marie-Claire came across two bonded cats looking for a new home. After being adopted as kittens, Tom and Jerry were returned to VOKRA and they were quite stressed from the change in environment. The bonded siblings were six years old at the time and waiting for that special someone to come along.

Marie-Claire went to visit Tom and Jerry in their foster home. “I had fallen in love with them at first sight and I was so lonely without Cody that I couldn’t wait to have them come home with me,” said Marie-Claire. “We came back the next day to pick them up.”

Boxer (previously Tom)

After some vet care, patience and a lot of love, Tom and Jerry (now Boxer and Kashmire) are fully part of the family and living the pampered housecat dream. “It wasn’t long before they both slept with us, one of either side of me (I am never cold),” said Marie-Claire.

Boxer and Kashmire have become well-seasoned travelers, accompanying Marie-Claire and her family when they travel down south for the winter. They spend their days “helping” Marie-Claire and her family while they work in the home office. Marie–Claire says the kitties are, “very social and always join us when we entertain.”

We’re so glad Boxer and Kashmire have settled in and are so comfortable around people again. Thank you Marie-Claire for giving these sweet cats a second chance at a happy home!

Would you like to share your Happy Tail? Email us at communications@vokra.ca.

Post written by Aurora C.

Byron’s Happy Tail Ending

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Byron came into VOKRA’s care after he was found as a stray in an industrial park. Street life was starting to take its toll on him – he had some battle scars that were likely caused from run-ins with other animals. However, a tough life on the streets didn’t dampen Byron’s affectionate and playful nature.

Even though he was in good health, it was discovered Byron was feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) positive. Byron’s diagnosis didn’t affect his overall health, but it did mean he couldn’t go to a home with another cat.

Byron’s second chance came when his future adopter, Rebecca, decided it was time for a kitty to come into her life.

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“I’ve wanted to adopt a cat for a couple of years. I always had kitties growing up and I missed having a cat around. My best friend introduced me to VOKRA when she adopted her kitty, Penelope,” said Rebecca. “My friend suggested I check out Byron’s page on the website. He was a guy she and her boyfriend had wanted to meet before they adopted Penelope.”

After reading about Byron’s background and biography online, Rebecca knew this was a kitty she wanted to meet. “I thought he might be a guy who could do with some stability and some pampering,” she said.

Byron and Rebecca hit it off and he soon found himself in a new forever home. Thanks to his amazing foster dad Bill, who brought his toys and cat things to Rebecca’s home, Byron settled in quickly and was king of the castle before long.

happytails3.png“Now that he’s settled in, it turns out he’s a bit of a chatterer,” said Rebecca. “He really makes [my husband and I] laugh. He does this thing where he takes your hand between his paws and draws it under his head to use as a pillow. He’s so funny when he’s hungry, which is basically always. I haven’t had to set my alarm once since he settled in. He wakes us up at the literal break of dawn every morning. He doesn’t let up until one of us gets up and gets his breakfast.”

Besides watching the clock for mealtimes, Byron has discovered his people make wonderful places to sleep on. He also has a love/hate relationship with his favourite catnip toy (he beats it around then cuddles with it when he naps).

We’re so glad Byron found a safe and happy place to call home. Thank you to Rebecca and her husband for giving a second chance to this wonderful cat.

Would you like to share your Happy Tail? Email us at communications@vokra.ca.

Post written by Kim Cormack

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Poppy & Hazelnut’s Happy Tail Ending

dsc_0650Four years ago I was contacted by a woman named Laura who wanted to meet two semi-feral kittens I was fostering.  They were initially shy but had become playful and vocal companions to my cat and me.  (Soon enough mischievous Hazelnut would do things like pulling bottles out of the kitchen cupboard at 1 a.m.!)

dsc_0655When she came to meet them, Laura and I spent two extended sessions sitting in my bathroom as she tried to imagine if a bond would develop if she adopted the kittens.  After much thought Laura decided to adopt the two sisters and her faith was rewarded since Poppy and Hazelnut have become, in her words, “happy campers, goofy and more confident, extremely communicative with me, giving me lots of love and positive attention and are fun every day.”

When she decided to adopt the two sisters Laura wrote, “So, I’m going to do it!  I feel happy and excited and honoured to adopt these two beautiful little felines! “.

After their adoption Poppy showed an interest in children and Hazelnut began to focus on doing surveillance of the perimeter of her new home through the windows and busily trotted back and forth between them, keeping on top of things.  Poppy and Hazelnut’s new beginning with Laura has meant more love for all three of them,  not to mention a fantastic cat tree for sunny naps.

Post written by Katherine Drabek

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Luna’s Happy Tail Ending

Luna

Dear VOKRA,

We adopted our kitty Luna in early December 2015. I often see adoption stories on the blog and I thought I’d write you to let you know how much we love our cat.

I have to start by saying I have had a life-long allergy to cats. Puffy eyes, swollen glands, itchy hives, runny and sneezing nose were all a part of me coming close to a cat. I grew up with a dog always in our house but I never thought I would be a cat owner, even though a house cat was something that intrigued me and seemed closer to our family lifestyle. Actually, I loudly proclaimed pets were too much work and we would never have a pet to anyone that would listen!

Fast forward to my eldest son’s grade 2 year. He was experiencing bullying from a classmate. He’s a sensitive dude who often feels his emotions strongly and this relationship in his class was really hurting him. At the same time as we were helping him through this with counselling etc., he was becoming more and more obsessed with cats. He would read up on all the different domestic breeds and he knew things about wild cats (both common and obscure, like “do you know that cheetah’s claws don’t retract because they need to grip on uneven ground for running?”) from a favorite tv show that he would tell anyone who’d listen. Then as he started grade 3 his loving teacher made “cats” an official topic of research for him and he’s been working on a cat project all year. I started to think my baby boy might need a cat to care for and love and to whisper out all the things that were in his busy little mind at the end of a day. It really seemed like a huge leap for our family, and I didn’t tell my kids I was “caving”, but I did feel a little softened to the idea of a family pet IF we could find the right one.

At this same time I became interested in following the young UK artist Iris Grace; a little girl with autism who paints like Monet. Iris’ family found her a Maine Coon cat and they became fast friends. The cat, named Thula, became a therapy cat for Iris and is helping her to overcome fears and even start speaking. It is truly an amazing story!

I started looking into Maine Coons and Siberians. I was willing to pay big bucks for a breed that could be such a buddy to my boy and also perhaps be less allergenic. Long story short, they’re hard to come by and we had a strange dealing with a breeder who wouldn’t let me visit the parent cats (to see if my allergies were very bad) so I gave up on the idea.

Then one day, on recommendation from a neighbour, I started looking at the VOKRA site. I was intrigued because all of the cats are fostered, which meant we could visit the house where they’d been for a while so I could test my allergies. As well, I wanted to make sure any cat we chose would not be too afraid of children, especially my youngest, rambunctious and VERY loving five year old. It all happened very quickly. Once I told the boys we would be visiting cats they were cautiously thrilled! I perused the website and once an adoption coordinator called us we made our first appointment.

At the first house, there were three adult cats who had been feral. We were there in particular to see one who’d been recommended as very gentle and more social. Unfortunately that particular kitty hid from us immediately. We were able to coax the three kitties out with some kibble, but over the 45 minutes we spent there none of the three had let us pet them. As we were about to leave the foster parents were shocked to see one of the kitties laying down in front of my son and baring her belly to him. He was on his stomach nearby and was laying so patiently. They said that cat hadn’t let anyone in the house pet her yet and here she was bonding with my son!

We left that night and ultimately decided we were not the right family to put in all the work that kitty might need to become more social and comfortable. But, I was even more convinced that my son was a cat person and needed a kitty to love.

Luna_2The next visit we made to a foster home was ultimately the ONE. Luna was being fostered in a house with a six year old. When we arrived, Luna lay down and allowed my boys to pet her all over. She purred so loudly! On the recommendation of the adoption coordinator I took a towel with me and rubbed it all over Luna, then took it home with me and kept it nearby. My allergic reaction was very slight with just some sneezing so we decided to bring Luna home. (It turns out my allergies have gone completely now. I did discover that I am very allergic to some litters and it has made me wonder if my reaction all this time has been more to the litter or the airborne litter particles, rather than the cat. Hmmmm!)

Being a reticent cat owner I was at first going through the motions by simply teaching the boys how to change the litter and feeding Luna on a schedule. However, over these past few months Luna has become our little baby. We’re all happy to see her when we get home and her quirky play time amuses us to no end. She sleeps beside my feet and won’t get up in the morning until I do, even if I sleep in on a weekend which is something I find extremely charming. She’s my company.

Luna_3The house is filled with a constant sing-song of “Luna you’re SO lovely, aren’t you? Who is the best girl?” from my little boys and Luna purrs loudly in response. Just yesterday when my youngest and I were on the bus he turns to me and says out of the blue “mommy don’t you just LOVE Luna?!? I do so much!” And nothing fills my heart more than seeing poor Luna, who is not terribly comfortable, wrapped up in my eldest son’s arms as he whispers whatever he needs to into her ears. She seems to listen patiently and always waits until he’s done before letting him know she’d rather like to be put back down 🙂

All of this was a very long way to say that we’re very, very happy VOKRA adopters and very much appreciate what you do at VOKRA. The process was perfect for our family and we couldn’t be more fulfilled now having Luna in our house.

Stefanie

P.S. Luna was the name given to her by the foster. We had at first decided on other choices, but as we adopted her just before Christmas, and December 25th had the first full moon on Christmas in over thirty years, we thought Luna was rather fitting!

Do you have a Happy Tail to share? Email us at communications@vokra.ca.

Cinnabar’s Happy Tail Ending

We first told you about Cinnabar back in May 2014. You can read all about her rescue story here.

 

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Kathy, who happens to be the the executive director of Paws for Hope, wasn’t looking to adopt when she and her young daughter Maya came to VOKRA’s Operations Centre. But then she met Cinnabar and fell in love with the sweet calico cat. Kathy remembers how after meeting each other, Maya and Cinnabar “automatically took to one another and I thought maybe this would be a great opportunity to foster. She was so playful, despite her condition.” (You can actually watch a video of this very meeting right here!)

Cinnabar at KillarneyCinnabar had a rough life and lived for an extended time on the streets before being rescued.  On her arrival at VOKRA she was in a pitiful state; shivering, emaciated, dehydrated, filthy and smelly.  Her tail was infected, part of her lower lip was missing and she was so tightly matted her fur was pulling out by the roots and damaging her skin.  It took hours for VOKRA co-founders Karen and Maria to gently and carefully remove the mats and they were horrified and heartbroken to find maggots living inside.  Finally shaved and cleaned up, she had an odd owl-like appearance and was therefore named after the Cinnabar Owl.  It was not immediately known if Cinnabar would survive so she was temporarily placed in a recovery kennel.

It was just a few days later when Kathy and her family met Cinnabar and agreed to take her home as a foster kitty. Cinnabar quickly fit right in with her new canine foster siblings, and with Chili in particular (who was also a rescue). Kathy knew then that Cinnabar had to become a permanent member of the family. “We had [Chili] for three years and had never seen her act like this,” said Kathy. “Chili was running around tail wagging, playing chase with Cinnabar. It was amazing.”

Cinnabar & Jules

Kathy’s partner Jules is Cinnabar’s dad and she loves to spend time sitting on his shoulder.

Now enjoying life with her forever family, Cinnabar spends her days playing with her canine siblings (or trying to get them to play). She even has a new best friend – a pit bull named Lucy! “When we travel, Cinnabar stays with my friend and her dog Lucy,” said Kathy. “Lucy and Cinnabar love each other and play all day long.  Both of them are always sad after Cinnabar comes home.”

Cinnabar brings much joy to Kathy’s family and she remarks how “everyone who visits loves her.”

Would you like to share your Happy Tail? Email us at communications@vokra.ca.

Post written by Kim C.

A Vancouver Renter’s Plea

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We received the following heart wrenching letter on March 22, 2016.

To whom it may concern,

I’m a renter and my family has recently welcomed our second child! We are now a family of 6 – Dad, Mom, Toddler, Baby, Dog & Cat. We rent because we don’t have a down payment for a home that’s big enough for all of us. We need a minimum of 3 bedrooms. We won’t be having anymore children and our cat & dog are our family.

I’m writing this because for the past year we have been searching for a home for the 6 of us to rent in Vancouver. 1 full year of searching. The added stress to my pregnancy was terrible. We needed a bigger home for the humans that had at least 3 bedrooms, of course, but that wasn’t our biggest issue. Our dog is 60 pounds. She is far from a large dog, she’s a medium dog. She’s a mix breed that we rescued from the SPCA because we love dogs and believe a house isn’t a home without pets.

My husband and I grew up with homes full of pets; dogs, cats, hamsters, fish and bunnies. We both agreed that the memories we both had from animals in the home were extremely important to us for our kids. Our dog is wonderful and is my toddlers best friend. The idea of sending our dog back to the SPCA is out of the question. Our dog is our family.

Our cat was rescued from VOKRA years ago and my lap is never cold because our cat takes the job of “snuggler” very seriously. I have cried into our cats fur several times because it looks like we might have to send both our pets back to the very shelters we saved them from.

I’m writing this to you because my family finds itself in a horrible position: we can’t afford to buy a home in this city, but we also can’t rent in this city because not all our family members are welcome. “No pets” has become the normalcy in rentals and this means my toddler will lose his best friend and I will lose my lap warmer. Right now our current home allows all 6 of us, but it’s just too small. We need to grow into a bigger home, except there isn’t one that allows all of us to live in. Something has to give.

In Ontario a landlord has to accept your entire family – including your pets, why doesn’t British Columbia do that for us? We are not loud or messy or irresponsible. And yet, we can’t find anywhere to live in the city my husband and I both grew up in. We are getting to the point that both our dog and cat will be returned to the SPCA and VOKRA. Please help us. Please fix the housing crisis that this city faces. We can afford to live here as renters, we just aren’t all welcome.

Signed,

A Vancouver Renter

Meet Crystal & Gabby

_MG_8184Crystal and Gabby are a unique mother and daughter duo.

A kind stranger noticed a very pregnant cat in her yard one day so she took her into the house. That night the cat, now named Crystal, had a litter of kittens and in that litter was little Gabrielle, or Gabby for short. The kind stranger wasn’t able to keep the new family because she already had two cats of her own, so she called VOKRA.

Crystal

Crystal

When Crystal and the kittens arrived we began to notice that Gabby was different than her brother and sister. Her back legs were crooked and she walked with a funny wobble that made her fall down a lot. After consulting with a vet she was diagnosed as having something called feline cerebellar hypoplasia (CH). Gabby was born with CH as her cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls fine motor skills and coordination, was underdeveloped at birth. There could be a number of reasons why a kitten can be born with CH, but most commonly it happens when the mother contracts a virus while pregnant or if there was some sort of trauma to the kitten while in the womb. The good news is CH is non-progressive and with some extra care cats with the condition can live a normal, healthy life.

Crystal knows Gabby is special so she spends a lot of time watching over her and she doesn’t like it one bit when they’re separated. In addition to loving Gabby, Crystal loves attention! She’s very affectionate and gives plenty of purrs and kisses. Sometimes she’ll even stand on her back legs so you can reach her head more easily and give her a pet. Despite being a mom, Crystal’s only two and a half years old so she still has the spring of a kitten. This is evident when she and Gabby are playing with the cat dancer, laser pointer and other toys.

Gabby

Gabby

Despite Gabby’s challenges she’s never stopped exploring and playing enthusiastically. And she’s never met a cat tree she couldn’t tackle! For the past several months Gabby’s been undergoing regular physiotherapy with her foster mom and each day her back legs have been getting stronger which has improved her balance and coordination. She’ll never be able to run around the house like her mom Crystal, but no matter how many times she falls over she always picks herself back up again and keeps heading forward.

Crystal and Gabby are looking for a forever home with people who understand and appreciate how special Gabby is. She may need a bit of extra care, but she’ll reward you everyday with love. If you’d like to meet these two and learn more about Gabby’s special needs, please contact your adoption counsellor or fill out an adoption application here.

Written with assistance from Katherine Drabek

We’re raising money to help get Gabby back on her feet. We estimate it’ll cost $2,000 to pay for her specialized diet, a harness to help her get around, acupuncture treatments and all her medical expenses. You can help us reach our goal by donating today.