Grino | May 13, 2013
Thanks to Jude for all these wonderful pictures and the story of Mango as written below.
Mango's story is from one of VOKRA's fantastic volunteers, Jude, who is tirelessly helping save kitties from neglect, injury and starvation.
Now, with the help of VOKRA and our supporter's donations, Mango will be well taken care of and found a forever home.
Now, Mango's story:
It looks like I've got another cat. At least Mango thinks so! He was a neglected barn cat with dry food and water put outside for him. I was told one time he almost died but wasn't been taken to the vet for any treatment!!
One of his eyes that weeps and looks a bit swollen. No evidence of fleas but he likely has worms since he hunts. In the thinly furred area below each ear, the skin is scarred and often raw, with bits of blood dried from his scratching. That and very dirty ears probably means he has ear mites. He's just starting to let me pick him up so I'd like to treat the mites myself. I hope he'll let me pill him for worms he'll have.
Previously, he'd show up a few times a week and I'd always feed him. Now though, when I get up, he's waiting for me EVERY morning. I've put out a box with a furry pad in it well under the eaves for him to sleep. He's happy to use it when it's raining or wet and cold. But on nice days, he prefers sleeping in a sunny spot even if the grass is still wet. He gets fed three times a day with both canned and dry food. I also give him some milk mixed with water and the juice from his canned food. (Not all cats are lactose-intolerant and he isn't.)
I know he looks rough and scruffy but that exterior hides a sweet friendly boy. He's always happy for some love and attention and purrs loudly when I'm out with him. Poor sweet boy. If anyone has a pet, why don't they care for it?? He really craves attention and love I give him. I want to make his life happier than it's been.
It looks like he was winking at me here. :-)
Here is Mango, safe and warm, getting the medical treatment he needs.
Please consider fostering or donating to VOKRA to help us help cats like Mango.
VOKRA is a non-profit, no kill rescue that is 100% volunteer run. 100% of your donation goes to the rescue of kittens and cats in the GVA.
Grino | May 10, 2013
Grino | May 5, 2013
Thanks to the help of a major poster campaign, and dozens of possible sightings, tips & calls from concerned West End pet-lovers, Tasia has been found after 5 weeks on the lam! Thanks to everyone in the West End who helped!
She had been hiding out in a location very close to home, and venturing out only in the wee small hours of the morning through dawn.
With the help of a stealth cam, this was all confirmed:
She was glimpsed briefly at midnight by one of the people actively searching for her, and once sighted, it still took a week and a half to capture her.
There are a few lessons in this for all lost cat owners:
1. Don't depend on other people to find your cat for you, or for it to wander home itself.
You have to get out there and search yourself --- the first 48 hours are critical, so take time off work if you have to. Get your partner or a friend to help you so you can cover more territory faster. If you don't find your cat quickly, the search can take hundreds of hours later, so consider this time spent as an investment.
2. Leave a dish of dry food and water out close to your building, and monitor/change it once a day. If you can, leave it's litter box outside along with an unwashed article of your clothing, or sprinkle some litter discretely around the bushes on your property.
3. Search close to home, especially if your cat was an indoor-only cat like Tasia was. This means stay tight to your block, across the street and across the lane. If your cat was an indoor-outdoor cat, expand your search to a 4-5 block range. Look for crawl spaces, garages, sheds, under decks and balconies and any sheltered spot a cat can get into. Meaning there's a space 4-5" high. Even after you've searched likely places once, return to them repeatedly. (We had searched the spot where Tasia was hiding a few times, and visited it repeatedly. It was only by being there often that we saw her one day by accident.)
4. Put up lots of neighbourhood posters on your block, and radiating out 1 block in all directions. (4-6 blocks for indoor-outdoor cats) protected in plastic from the elements. Include a photo (colour is best), cats' name, where & when lost (date & cross streets), brief identifying decription, and a phone number where you can be reached 24/7. Make sure you are available 24/7 to respond to calls.
Follow up on every lead, to see if the cat the person called you about is your cat. Start by hanging around where the cat was seen, and asking neighbours if they know if a cat meeting the description given, lives there. This is the "process of elimination" --- if the cat described lives there, it's not your cat, but if you can find nothing about it or cannot find it yourself, include the location on your list of search places. After awhile, you'll know which cats belong where, and you won't have to go out on every call, because you'll know by experience that the cat the person is calling about is probably not yours.
5. Search mostly after dark and at dawn, especially if you have limited time. 11:00 PM through 2:00 AM is prime time for lost cats to come out, as is just before sunrise. Use daylight hours for sussing out likely hiding spots, getting familiar with what looks safe to a cat, postering, and for talking to neighbours.
6. Once you locate your cat's hiding place, arrange to get access to the property or space through it's owner or tenant. Rent or borrow a humane trap to capture it. (Through Petsearchers, VOKRA, SPCA, etc.). Learn how to use the trap from whoever you got it from, or on the internet. Even the most friendly cat will be wary after a few days outdoors and may not respond to you at all. It has learned that silence keeps it safe. A humane trap baited with tuna is the quickest, easiest and safest way to capture it. Once set, stay close by and monitor the trap at least every 2 hours. Prepare yourself by learning how to safely release an "accidental capture;" call Animal Control if you've accidentally captured a skunk or raccoon.
7. Above all, don't give up --- your cat is depending on you to bring it home!
Don't be persuaded that a coyote or raccoon got your cat, unless you find physical or eye-witness evidence of that.
Don't assume someone else took it in --- that very rarely happens.
Do check with the SPCA and Animal Control every couple of weeks, as well as on Craigslist daily.
Here is an update from Tasia's mom:
"Tasia and I are so enjoying being together again! I appreciate, beyond words, how [VOKRA volunteers] persevered and were able to make this possible.
She stays as close to me as possible, day and night and just wants me to hold her like she did as a baby. I bought her a new red collar today and she was sitting on my lap this evening with her little front legs crossed like, "look at me: I'm a princess." It was just so cute! It's just so wonderful to have her with me again!
Must cuddle up with my little girl and go to sleep now. God's blessings on you tonight and always!"
Here is Tasia at home:
Grino | April 28, 2013
Hector is a very gorgeous and forgiving kitty. He is a love bug and a gentle soul who needs a forever home!
Hector's story is a sad one, waiting for its happy ending.
Hector was found under the porch of one of our foster homes. Hector was scared, thin and unapproachable at the time. He needed to be trapped so that he could get the care he needed.
Later, VOKRA found out a little of Hector's history (a rare find indeed.) Hector's 'owner' left him to fend for himself outside. His 'owner' would leave food out but not bring Hector inside, no matter what the conditions were outside!
Luckily, a neighbour would feed Hector too so that when Hector's 'owner' fell upon hard times, had to move away and left Hector behind, Hector was being fed by someone until he was miraculously led to hide under the porch of a VOKRA foster to be trapped and cared for.
Hector was found with a sore leg which showed an old break and was kept wrapped for a little while. X-rays still show a crack although he doesn't seem affected by his leg now as he bounces around like any other cat!
Hector survived 11 years fending for himself and now deserves a forever home. He suffers minor health problems as a result of his neglect and will need a kind, patient and loving new forever Guardian.
Please consider adopting Hector or donating to VOKRA to help cats like Hector.
Every little bit helps!
Grino | April 21, 2013
Please help us find Max a home! Here is Max's story from his Foster Mum, Nicole.
Max came to me in December with his two brothers. They were about 14 weeks old at the time. They had been born outside and were pretty jumpy. They all had a very awful kitty cold. Their noses were plugged shut and they had sore, infected eyes. I could hear how sick they were when they breathed! Despite them being afraid of me and not super huge fans of getting their eyes wiped, eye drops and oral medication, they never bit me and always just tried to get away.
Max and his brothers were really sick for two months. After many vitamins and good food, their breathing finally got better but their eyes never did stop running. Max and his brothers have chronic feline herpes in their eyes (very common in cats and NOT contagious to humans at all.) His eyes water most days, but he is not bothered by it one bit. The only thing Max may need in terms of extra care is some vitamin powder of L-Lysine put in his food everyday (not expensive at all, about $12 a month.)
I use a warm face cloth to wipe Max's face and then he bounces away! I have noticed that slowly, as he ages, his eyes do get a bit better everyday.
In February, I brought all three kittens inside the house; they had previously been resting in my cathouse. I put them in the bedroom and cleaned out the bottom of the closet so they could hide there. Well, Max was happy to bounce all over that room and he wanted out of the bedroom in no time. He left his brothers to be out and play with my senior house cats. His brothers were too afraid to be inside and were placed in a barn together. Max has grown in size and in his trust for people.
Max loves cats and must have cat friends. His new best buddy is a 12 year old retired feral tomcat. They play leapfrog and Max respects his boundaries. Max would really like a younger, faster wrestling partner.
Max plays with the kids, lets them pet him but he is a bit shy with them. Max loves to cuddle and watch TV. He can find any lost plastic piece of anything that you are missing at three am and playing with it on the lino in the kitchen until you wake up. He is an avid "indoor" bird catcher while looking through the window. When he sees new people, he flops over, flips around to look cute and make people want to touch him, but then teases and wiggles off.
Max is one very lucky kitty. He is lucky that the herpes virus didn’t take his life, lucky he lived through all the dangers outside and lucky he had VOKRA people out trapping to save him.
Lucky is what you feel when you see what a little perseverance can do for an animals life. Max feels lucky and some how you can tell he feels it!
Grino | April 16, 2013
VOKRA is celebrating 13 years of rescue. We are a registered, non profit, no kill charity. It is because of the dedication of volunteers and your donations that make it possible to do what we do!
Thank you for your continued support. Mama Cate and her babies (below) and many cats like her thank you too.
Take a look at our stats for 2012! Who-Hoo! Another great year.
Grino | April 14, 2013
The Dogwood Monarchist Society is an amazing group of drag queens and kings who are as glamorous as they are generous.
For 40 years, the group has been a positive force in their communities, raising money for charities and being a family to one another across chapters from Canada, the USA and Mexico.
In 2012, the society elected to raise money for VOKRA, and has so far raised much needed funds for the cats and kittens in Metro Vancouver.
I attended the coronation for the new royal family on Granville Island March 6th and I must admit, I was far under-dressed, and hadn’t realized what a formal affair it was to be. The room was filled with royalty; dapper suits encrusted in rhinestones, flowing, glittery gowns, and the biggest most fabulous hair swept up into crowns twice as high.
I was the cat lady in a denim dress and clunky boots. Yes, I wore clunky boots and a denim dress to a royal ball. At least I had lint-rolled prior to leaving the house. Nonetheless, I took a front row seat and enjoyed these amazing, beautiful, and generous men, women, and everything in between. The lip-sync performances were emphatic, and people lined up in royal court fashion to tip in crystal bowls on either side of the stage.
Thank you so much to the Dogwood Monarchist Society on behalf of all of VOKRA for your generous work and for the amazing show! (If you invite us back I promise to wear something more appropriate.)
To learn more about the society go here:
Blog post by Alexis Baran
Grino | April 12, 2013
Fostering can take on many different duties. At VOKRA, we supply all the goods (food, litter, litter boxes, cats and kittens) and you supply the shelter (a spare room) and love. With VOKRA, you can foster a single adult cat, an adult pair, a pregnant mama or orphaned kittens.
Mama Cate and her kittens were rescued from the street. All you need is a spare room so that mama can take care of her kittens and as the foster, you have all the endless cuteness one could ever wish for!
Here is Mama Cate keeping her kittens clean:
Sometimes kitten fostering is a bit more labour intensive when their is no Mama cat or Mama cat's milk dries up. Cordie is one of Lilly's kittens, who's mother's milk may have dried up, so she stopped nursing and caring for her kittens. This made it necessary the VOKRA Foster to take over the mama-cat's duties.
In this video, Cordie is having his bath and you can see a herniated umbilical cord. Finally, and thankfully, the big bulb fell off a couple of days later. You'll notice that Mama Lilly is hanging around in the background on the dining room table which is a big "no no."
After his bath, Cordie is wrapped up in a towel to keep him warm and dry and to keep his little arms and legs from struggling and flailing around. This makes it easier to bottle feed him.
This foster job isn't for everyone but pays off huge to fosters willing to make the effort and take the time to help orphan kittens.
Here is Puff at 3 weeks. Nursing can get kind of messy :)
Grino | April 8, 2013
Earlier, we wrote about Motza and how through the dedication of a very loving Foster who bottle fed Motza and did not give up on him, he was given a second chance at life.
Motza is in long term foster care and will continues to need special veterinarian care his whole life. VOKRA is a no-kill, non-profit registered charity. Because of this, Motza has had a second chance at life when other vets suggested we euthanize him.
VOKRA and Motza need your help - in prayers and donations.
Please help us pay for Motza's continued health care costs by donating here.
Read more about Motza below and please share his story with everyone you know! Every little bit helps!
By Colleen Fitzpatrick-Killorn
Motza was rescued in Surrey on September 17th with several other kittens (I believe there were 8 in all). I took both him and a littermate that was very sick and unfortunately the littermate passed away 3 days later. The kittens were guesstimated to be about 3 weeks old at the time of rescue. By the end of the first week, I noticed that Motza's belly was filling up with fluid. The first visit to the vet, fluid was taken out of his tummy and the vet decided that it was likely FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis, a usually fatal, incurable disease that affects cats) and suggested that we put him down.
Looking into Motza’s eyes, it was clear that he was too vibrant and appeared to not be in any discomfort, so the decision was made to see how he did over the next couple of days. We knew if it was FIP that he may not live long, but until he was in distress, we would continue to give him loving care.
By Thanksgiving, his belly was so big that he was having difficulty walking.
Although he still not seem to be in any pain, I knew then that we needed to determine if it was time to let him go even thought he still did not seem to be in distress other than the fact that mobility was becoming an issue. Karen Duncan suggested that I take him to see Julie Anne Lee at Coquitlam Animal Hospital. Julie Anne Lee is a renowned Homeopathic & Functional Medicine Practitioner and she has worked many miracles with VOKRA kittens.
When taken to the hospital, Motza (nicknamed Little Buddha) was looked at by Dr. Nena Paunovic. Dr. Paunovic decided that it would be best if some tests were done to determine what might be going on with the little guy. The first test was taking blood tests before and after eating.
This test confirmed that it was unlikely that we were dealing with FIP, and instead, most likely a liver disease. Next to confirm this theory, Dr. Paunovic took fluid from the belly and tested it. At the same time, they were able to drain some of the fluid from the belly to give Motza a little more mobility. The tests confirmed what Dr. Paunovic had suspected, a liver disease. The next test (an ultrasound) was to determine how bad it was and if there was a chance that surgery may help. After the ultrasound, Motza was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver (the ultrasound showed his liver was so large and damaged that it looked like he had been drinking for years - he was about 8 weeks old). Besides having the fluid in his belly drained 4 times over the next two months, Julie prescribed several holistic remedies to try in order to get Motza’s liver working again (he would have a chance if the liver could function at least at 20%). With the efforts of all involved, Motza went for a whole month without the fluid coming back. We were so excited to see him doing things that a kitten his age should be doing except that he did not appear to have the strength in his hind legs to allow him to jump up onto high surfaces. By mid-January, he seemed to be doing quite well. He had his tummy drained one final time to get the remaining fluid out.
A week later, it was clear that Motza was going down hill again, and this time quite rapidly.
Julie prescribed some new homeopathic remedies and we kept trying different things to get him back to health.
By mid-February, without warning, Motza could no longer hold his body weight up. When he did get himself up, he would walk gingerly and often when being put down from being held, he would collapse to the floor. His eyes were still bright, so it was felt that if we could have him be comfortable, that we would let nature take its course. I treated the situation like a hospice one, where I was prepared for him to die at home, rather than at a vet’s office if at all possible.
Knowing that his life was limited, I decided to alter the fresh chicken only diet. I began feeding him a therapeutic cat food along with the chicken. Then around 2:00 am one morning, I heard Motza climbing up the little stairs that I had made for him to get onto the bed. He had not been able to climb these stairs for two months, so I was flabbergasted.
The next morning, I encouraged him to come down the stairs and then later that day, he repeated the process. It was a true miracle. Each day he has been getting stronger. He is now able to run up the stairs and although he is still not able to jump up onto high objects, he once again is able to pull himself up to certain places like the sofa.
Motza is one little miracle kitten that now is looking for a special home to call his forever. If it were not for the wonderful team at VOKRA, Julie Ann Lee and her assistant Andrea as well as the staff at Coquitlam Animal Hospital, this sweet little guy would more than have likely never survived.
Motza will always have special needs and at the same time, will always be a wonderful loving friend in return for his care.
Photo below is of Motza (dubbed Little Buddha) with Forrest the Coquitlam Animal Hospital house cat.
Grino | April 7, 2013
VOKRA Surrey received 2 big bags of Earth Options cat food from Pets First with their last 1000lb giveaway. VOKRA has been chosen again and will receive another delivery early this week!
Every little or big bit helps as VOKRA has expanded its rescue efforts in Surrey. With the help of over 50 fabulous volunteers that work tirelessly to help humanely control the abandoned and feral cat population, VOKRA has helped over 600 cats and kittens in Surrey in just the last year.