Archive for the ‘Meet Our Volunteers’ Category
I wasn’t always crazy about cats. But I was crazy about a boy who was. And he said I should give them a chance. We rescued our first cat, Kiki three years ago from a mobile adoption van in Park Slope. We were told that Kiki had been abandoned and found in a box with his siblings. I became hopelessly enamored of him. Two years later, we adopted Nara from KittyKind. There were so many abandoned and homeless animals that needed help, I started to think about other ways I could make a difference.
I had never volunteered for anything before, until KittyKind. I started working directly with cats at the adoption center, helping with general care like feeding and cleaning cages to rescued kittens and cats waiting adoption. Looking back, what made my experience so rewarding and successful was my Saturday morning crew. We immediately bonded over our love for cats but more importantly, we shared a common goal, which brought everyone on the same page and allowed us to work with collective passion. Over the course of two years, I saw many great volunteers come and go, and it made me think about how I could have more impact.
Earlier this year, I transitioned into a volunteer manager role where I’m overseeing the recruiting and training process at KittyKind. I’m excited about growing our KittyKind team and building up what I hope will become a more scalable organization. It’s funny to think until three years ago I never had a cat and never actually desired one. Today, I have two and since joining KittyKind, we have found homes for over 1,500 cats. Volunteering at KittyKind has been immensely rewarding and I hope to continue working with my incredible team for many years to come.
Congratulations to Ashley T, our September Volunteer of the Month! Ashley has been volunteering since May 2012, first as a foster parent, then as an event/social media coordinator. Right now, she’s fostering my 20th KittyKind cat—four 7-week-old kittens!! Ashley came to KittyKind as a prospective adopter. She says, “I originally planned to adopt an older cat, but when I explained my circumstances to the adoption team, they suggested that I try fostering. My first foster cat was King Oreo (who I actually ended up fostering twice). At some point, fostering became a regular thing, and I’ve gradually taken on more and more responsibility at KittyKind. I just launched an Instagram account (kittykindcats) and I’m hoping to become an assistant adoption counselor soon!”
Ashley says her favorite part of volunteering is being a foster parent. “Every time I take in a foster cat, I feel like I make a new best friend! I guess my favorite part would have to be seeing the very different personalities of each of the cats I foster. I don’t think most people realize how individualistic cats are if they only have one or two. I’ve had shy cats, cuddly cats, absolutely crazy cats, cats that can speak! I enjoy getting to know them so much. It’s not terrible seeing them get adopted either! :)” Ashley has one cat of her own, her “foster fail,” Misty, featured in the photo above. “I adopted her in June after I graduated college. There was no way I could give her back a second time (I fostered her twice). Misty was very stressed out in the cage so no one got to see her colorful, feisty, personality except me (she’s a typical calico princess). She’s just so expressive, smart, and well-mannered. There’s no other cat like her, period. Misty runs our house now… She absolutely knows how special she is.” Ashley also has special words of advice for those considering adoption. “Consider adopting an older cat. A lot of people come in to the adoption center wanting to adopt kittens (which is great!) but there are also plenty of older cats waiting to find their forever homes who are just as adorable! Also, if you meet a cat who you are thinking of adopting, but who seems unfriendly or antisocial, PLEASE give him/her a chance! If you show love to an animal they will
return that love tenfold! My cat Misty is a perfect example of a cat whose confinement in a cage was the determining factor for why it was so difficult to adopt her.” Thank you, Ashley, for all you do for KittyKind—we and the cats sure do appreciate it!
Congratulations to Pam D, our July Volunteer of the Month! Pam has been with KittyKind for two and a half years, but she will be leaving us soon to start the next chapter of her life in sunny Florida. Pam loves travel, animals, cooking, fashion, dancing and drawing. She started volunteering with KittyKind when she was between jobs. She says, “I wanted to do something with my time….I started volunteering Tuesday mornings. Once I landed a job, I was able to switch to Mondays evenings. I love coming here to volunteer after work
because it just makes my day better.” Pam loves playing with the kitties and seeing the cats get adopted and go to loving homes. She says, “I also like meeting the other volunteers (or fellow cat fans). I especially love being part of a team with the goal of taking care cats.” Pam is very enthusiastic about the cat she gets to live with too! “I have a wonderful one-year-old brown tabby/bengal cat named Menina. She followed my sister home one day, and she knew Menina and I were a perfect match. She was malnourished and scared. After we brought her back to health, she made herself at home. At the request of my mom, I originally was supposed to find a new home for her and that never happened!! =) Menina is a riot. She loves her scratching condo and treats, is very curious (likes to knock things off of surfaces!! Grrrr!!), likes to watch TV, loves giving her mommy massages (kneading), and likes to play fight with our teacup yorkie. I’ve helped friends adopt and foster through Kitty Kind and I am so glad I am now a cat owner.” Menina will be accompanying Pam to Florida, of course. Thank you, Pam, for all the work you do for KittyKind! We, and the cats, thank you!
Congratulations to Anya R, our March Volunteer of the Month! Anya has been with KittyKind for about a year, first as a floater, then a foster mom. Now she manages KittyKind’s Yelp account. Anya says, “My last foster, Lola, whom I began fostering in August, is now a part of our family. She was only supposed to stay with us for a week, but she had a seizure on her first night with us and so we said we would keep her to nurse her back to health and then couldn’t let her go!” Anya has two other cats who live with her, and it was her experience adopting a cat from KittyKind (Tini, who was called Archer at KK) that led her to becoming a volunteer. Anya says that fostering is both hard and rewarding. “Having kittens who are so traumatized is difficult to see and having to give them up is even more difficult. But I also found it very rewarding to see their progress at the end and know that they found their forever home.”
Anya has three cats: “Rusty (a little over 2 years old), Tini (2 years old this June), and Lola (kept her name! almost 1 year old). I never had any pets growing up other than a turtle, but my fiancé had a cat growing up so we adopted Rusty as soon as we moved in together. I am actually no longer allowed to foster, according to my fiancé, because I will keep them all.” Tini even helped with her engagement! “My fiancé bought a cat collar with a custom tag that said “Anya, will you marry me?” and put the ring around the cat collar. Tini ran up to me and surprised me with the engagement. It was perfect, since our cats are such a huge part of my life.
Thank you, Anya, for everything you do for KittyKind and the cats looking for homes!
Congratulations to Michelle N, our February Volunteer of the Month! Michelle has been with KittyKind for two years, and she currently works as a cleaner. Her nominator said she can always count on her, and even though sometimes it’s just the two of them, they get everything done. And Michelle always stays late to play with and socialize the kitties. Michelle wanted to volunteer with KittyKind because she loves all animals, and her favourite part of her work is playing with the cats. Michelle lives with a girl cat named Mikey (above, with her doggy pal Dilly). Thank you, Michelle, for all the work you do for KittyKind! We, and the cats, thank you!
Congratulations to Melissa T, our January Volunteer of the Month! Melissa has been with KittyKind since May 2012 as an event coordinator and Facebook Liaison. She also recently fostered her first KittyKind kitty, Betty. She says “I love being a part of the adoption process—whether that means posting information about a cat on Facebook, writing an article about a special-needs cat for Huffington Post, or planning an event. It means a lot to me to help kitties find their forever homes regardless of the way I’m helping. Fostering was particularly rewarding. Watching Betty transform from a shy kitten to a confident one was amazing. It’s an emotional process and was difficult to part with her, but I know she’ll find a great forever home through KittyKind.” Melissa lives with two chatty and cuddly KittyKind alums who she adopted in 2005, named Mama and Chloe. When she’s not volunteering for KittyKind, Melissa is an avid runner. Thank you, Melissa, for everything you do for KittyKind! We all appreciate it!
*********Winners are chosen at random from all nominees*********
Congratulations to Kristin S., our October 2012 Volunteer of the Month. Kristin has been with KittyKind just a little over a year. She says that after she adopted her cats from a shelter, she decided to look into volunteering. Her favorite part of volunteering is, “the cats. D’uh. 😉 Once cleaning is done, I like to spend the rest of the night collecting payment for my hard work in cuddles. I like to sit with the shy ones when I can.” Kristen has two cats of her own, Roo and Munk. She says, “Roo is the one in the picture, she’s my acrobat. Munk is a fussy little brat who you can’t touch until she decides she’s in the mood, but we love he anyhow.” Kristen adds “All my previous cats were strays right off the street, but apparently the neighborhood kitties didn’t get the memo that there were vacancies to be filled.” Besides having a wicked sense of humor, Kristen is an art student. She says, “Sometimes I draw cats, cos why the heck not.” Thank you, Kristen, for all your hard work!
Winners are chosen at random from all nominees.
Congratulations to Sophie W, our July’s volunteer of the month. Sophie continues to be a strong volunteer on her Monday PM cleaning shift, she has been with KittyKind since May 2011. Sophie has often walked by the adoption centre in Union Square and when her scheduled opened up and she had time to volunteer, she thought of KK. She says her favourite part of volunteering is having a cat leap into her arms or climb into her lap when she opens the cage door, and getting to hold and play with cats in need of affection, knowing that a clean cage makes them feel a little more comfortable. Sophie has a cat she adopted 2 years ago from the ACC, she adds: “I really appreciate the work of no kill-shelters and want to support them, knowing I am helping with volunteering, makes me happy”. She loves hearing about all the cat stories and when they get adopted into good homes, and she is looking forward to soon being able to add another cat to her household, for companionship. Well done Sophie you do a great job, and a valuable member of the volunteer team!
***Winners are chosen at random from all nominees.