Today was another typical day for us at the Ferndale Cat Shelter. Three cats were adopted, which is always a joyous occasion. The families are lovely people who will provide amazing homes for our rescue kitties. On the flipside, 3 four-week old kittens were dropped off in a shoebox at the Catfé Lounge. They cannot stay at the Catfé because of their age and needs and we don’t have the space to separate them from the healthy cats at our facility. I had to take them home because we do not have a foster available to care for them. At 7pm, I received a call from one of our volunteers that a mom cat and her 5 ten-day old kittens were living outside of a home in Berkley and no rescue would step up to help them.

Momma Cat and Kittens

A momma cat and her kittens that were found in Berkley.

So let’s do the math: one adult female cat and a total of eight kittens came into our care today and three cats went to their forever homes.

We receive calls and Facebook messages and emails every day from people wanting to rehome their cats, from people who find stray cats in their neighborhood, from people that need help with TNR in their community, and from shelters that are overflowing with unwanted animals. We do our best to respond to these requests as well as we can with the limited resources we have available.

Ferndale Cat Shelter has two full-time “employees” that receive a weekly stipend when our coffers allow. We mostly run on the power of 50+ volunteers and fosters who give their time, energy, talents and (very often) money to help animals in need. In doing so, our amazing team helps PEOPLE in the community too.

Captain Kitty and adopters

Captain Kitty was adopted in September by these fine folks.

I am constantly amazed and overwhelmed with the generosity that I encounter every day from our donors and supporters. However, I need to clarify a few things. Contrary to our name, the city of Ferndale does not provide any financial assistance to our organization. We operate solely on the kindness of visitors to the café lounge who make donations and purchase merchandise, the handful of sustaining donors that consistently give a portion of their income on a monthly basis through PayPal, people that purchase tickets to our events, Rescue Food Bank, 4 Paws 1Heart, and caring souls that donate when a cat is hospitalized with a serious injury or illness. The adoption fees we charge barely cover the expenses we incur with every cat and kitten we bring into our care. Four years into this little rescue, we have yet to be awarded any grants from any foundation or corporation. This is not for lack of trying. There is stiff competition out there.

I love my job and I love seeing the results of my labor in the happy new beginnings I witness in the eyes of the cats and loving families who adopt them. This is truly a labor of love, but love doesn’t pay the rent. Or anything else for that matter.

Shoebox Kittens

These kittens were dumped in a shoebox at the Catfe Lounge in September.

We currently have over 6000 followers on Facebook and that to me is a formidable army of animal lovers. I generally avoid posting lengthy messages and post less than 5% of the sad and wretched side of animal rescue I experience firsthand every day on our social media pages. That is not the world I want to show you and put my energy into. I want people to see and experience the beautiful side of animal companionship.

So all I ask of you is this: the next time you “like” a post because it warmed your heart or made you smile, please put a price tag on that feeling. Make a donation, to us or to any rescue or non-profit that shares your values and concerns. We are a small but mighty cat rescue. We need your support so we can keep working to make this world a little better every day. For you. For the community. For all the animals that deserve a chance.

Thank you. -d