Archives - July 2009


as the aps come in i am sending a note re time to reach you.. please answer right away..questions re fees, what is covered by the fee etc , are all covered on the site. if you change your mind or cannot adopt right now..but have an ap in , please write and let me know...

Wow, what a weekend!

kduncan | July 26, 2009

We made it through the weekend!! Four seperate events..needing many people, supplies and energy!

Sat at the Brick on United Blvd..Nina and Troy, Michelle, Barbara all were so great and pulled it all together there.. As well as Brenda who introduced us to the whole Brick opportunity.

I managed to gather up volunteer Leigh and we downed coffee and found the park in Ladner for the Delta Community Animal Shelter....event. Saw lots of fellow rescue people and met people interested in adoption, fostering etc. We packed up just as the weather was starting to turn . It was a lovely day...and i felt like i almost had a holiday, as i was able to get away from the computer and phones. Amazing what a day away will do for you when you feel burnt out and haven't had a holiday for months. Thanks Leigh and the people at Delta. Great event!

Sun we had the amazing Barbara at the Brick again!!! Penelope came by with her foster kittens and helped out and Kim got back from her weekend away and jumped in too..Elizabeth and i managed to come by with a one and a half week old i had just picked up from Burnaby SPCA..met lots of people and had a spot in the shade. I hope we can do some more events there..lots of parking and friendly people.

Maria manned the booth at Anneiville Park, North Delta event on Sun., another Delta Community Animal Shelter event. Lots more rescue gadding about and a bit of a day out for Maria who has spent everyday for months trapping all over Vancouver, Burnaby etc.

Thank you all so much for your time ! Karen

Four events 25th & 26th!

kduncan | July 23, 2009

We will have two events on at different places on Sat and Sun.. a few of our kittens will possibly be with us to show but no adoptions from the events unless people have sent in and had an application approved.

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*****We were also asked to do a fundraiser hotdog sale at the Pacific Reach Brick ( United Blvd) 11 to 5 on Sat 25th and Sun the 26th.. There will be volunteers out both days to let people know what we do and give out flyers etc..some kittens will possibly be present.

Just to let anyone who is trying to reach us know...things have been very rough at this end. People are leaving messages and i am trying to catch up...people are applying to adopt and i am just grabbing the new aps right away. If anyone has had an ap in for awhile and no response...please email me right away. We are missing our usual adoption person so trying our best.

If you are going to apply to adopt please be sure you are ready. I have been trying to get to people who have aps in and so many have found a kitten elsewhere or have decided not to adopt right now.. Only send in an ap if you are ready.

We will continue having kittens well in to Sept. If you already have an ap in and don't want to adopt now...send a note and we take you off the list and stop worrying about not being able to reach you..

Now let me say...if you are ready and want to give one or two of our kitties a wonderful indoor home.. please send in an ap right away .Puleeeeeeeeze!

The melt down here is that we keep getting in more and more requests for trapping of moms and kittens, or found tame ones.. dealing with kittens night and day that just don't make it.. sorting out getting incoming into all too few foster homes.. doing health stuff with foster homes.. Telling people over and over that, yes there are coyotes all over the city..and yes they do sweeps in a neighborhood and clear all the loose cats they can get, then move on to the next area. You will notice that there will be a rash of lost posters up in one area and then none for awhile. Seems like a good reason for not having an outdoor cat to me...

Then someone comes along and says.."oh i would love to do what you do.. " thinking it is all sweetness and little kittens.. Nope... it is sad, it is exhausting, esp at this time of year, it is frustrating , but then every time we find a home for kittens or cats we get a bit of a lift knowing that they have a happy home to be in and likely wouldn't have made it if we didn't all try so hard.

Most heart rending thing in last few days was a group of five kittens that came in to me. Mama had been killed by a car and kittens were under five weeks and inconsolable as well as starving and being really hard to convince they should allow me to bottle, syringe or plop in formula and food. Much like having 5 colicky babies around. Finally got a homeopthic remedy that settled tummies and coaxed in enough food so they could start to feel a bit better. We carried one around all day down our tops yesterday as that was the only thing to calm her. Today a new foster came to take them on and i feel lighter and so grateful . They will get easier and happier with someone who isn't trying to get ten thousand things done as well as care for them. Thank you so much Anne and Mark..!

Today i can laugh again.. and start back at things..Yesterday was different story.


Applications to adopt

kduncan | July 16, 2009

We are catching up on applications now.. but if you have an ap in and haven't heard from us please email right away.. if you have decided not to adopt or have found a cat to adopt elsewhere do let us know that too so we can take you out of our files..thanks!!!

Why Two kittens?

kduncan | July 13, 2009

I am putting this up on the blog again...as i feel it is sooooooo important. Each year people insist they only want one kitten , oh no they can't possible have two sibs...etc.. Then 5 or 6 months later they acknowledge that the kitten is lonely... and adopt another. Please! it is so important to have a pal from the start...imagine being taken from your mom and siblings , who you have had to play and snuggle with for your whole life and suddenly find yourself on your own with people and surroundings that are all new and scarey to you..

VOKRA always suggests adopting two kittens if no other cat in home or the other cat is old. We do not suggest this to get kittens out the door, but to make things happiest for both the adopter and the kitties.

To have a sibling (or sometimes their mom) move with them makes it so much easier. People ask if it will take away from how the cats are with them..and no, we don't find this. They want their human attention but have each other when you are out. As is written below, they run off energy while you are at work so you don't have kitten on face at night. You can put them in separate room if they are keeping you up and they have each other. While young and foolish...they can be kept in small safe room when you can't watch them and have each other to goof with instead of getting into trouble all over.

.The hard time is right at the start. That's when they really need a pal. Introducing a new kitten into a home with one already there is much trickier than just getting the pair right at the start who are already best friends.




1. You're saving two lives instead of one.
2. One kitten can become lonely
3. One kitten can just drive an older cat nuts.
4. Two kittens will "self-train." and they can be happily kept in a small safe room ( bathroom) while learning good litter box skills and general keeping safe and out of stuff things.
5. They help each other burn off energy.
6. Fewer behavior problems with two kittens.
7. Curiosity overcomes "food finickyness."
8. They act as pillows for one another.
9. Having two kittens is insanely fun.
10. They will each have a friend for life.


"If one kitten is finicky about food, the belligerence is often overcome by
curiosity at what its sibling is eating. (Feed one cat Same Old, the other
cat New Stuff, and they both end up tasting the new stuff.)"

*Kittens will often play so hard that they simply flop where they are, and
more likely than not, they will flop next to (or on top of) each other.
There is no sight so endearing as two kittens curled up together for a nap.
Their peaceful innocence can soften the heart of even the grumpiest
curmudgeon, and the sight of that blissful moment will wash clean the slate
of their previous misdoings.

*"And last, of course, they're just so much darn fun to watch!" Having lived
through (and survived nicely) the joy of adopting and raising two kittens, I
can personally attest to the downright fun of having two kittens.

*Two kittens who grow up together will almost always be lifelong friends.
Although they will sometimes have their little squabbles (what friends
don't?) you will more often see them engaging in mutual grooming, playing
together, and sleeping with their best pal.

If you are considering adopting a kitten, think about your best friend and
consider whether you would deprive your kitten of the enrichment a friend
brings to life. You can't be home all the time and they are used to living with their litter and mom.

Fundraiser thank you!

kduncan | July 10, 2009

Stephanie Hamilton and her classmates at Madrona School organized a successful yard sale..on july 4th..in Kitsilano.
Stephanie's mom, Janet, was a huge help in organizing and hosting the sale. Kay ( you would know her by her lovely Scottish accent! ) came early and left late, bearing donated wonderful things to sell and Valana was there and huge help as well. I am so grateful for all they did and donated..as i have sworn off holding yard sales until the queen of sales : "Strong Donna", moves back to Vancouver from Toronto. In fact when the girls from Madrona approached us to hold a sale i was woozy for a minute thinking about the organizing , sorting, setting up etc ...but they said they would do it all and we are really happy they did! Then on the day of the sale Kay, Janet, Valana and others, whose names i don't know, worked long and hard for hours.

There is talk of holding another sale in Sept ...so stay tuned !

The day was a great success and over $1000.00 was brought in which is badly needed to cover our vet bills right now.

Thank you all so much!!!!


Stephanie and pals!

Article in Courier today

kduncan | July 10, 2009

Crucial cat rescue group disbands

Sandra Thomas, Vancouver Courier

Published: Friday, July 10, 2009

Sitting in the lobby of the Courier Wednesday afternoon, Kitsilano-based cat rescue coordinator Karen Duncan looks exhausted as she holds two kittens less than a week old.

As she reaches for a tiny bottle of formula to feed the squalling grey bundles of fur, so young their eyes aren't open, Duncan has noticeable red scratches lining her arms. "You caught me on a day I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed," Duncan told the Courier earlier in the day during a phone interview. "I think I'm going a bit nuts."

Duncan, who formed Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association in 2001, has a right to feel overwhelmed. Not only has VOKRA rescued a record number of stray cats and kittens this summer, Duncan and other volunteers are taking on the responsibilities of Maverick Cat Coalition, which is dissolving this month. Maverick Cat was the focus of a Courier cover story published in March, but last week in an email co-founder Cylia Wong said the board is disbanding the group because it's short on volunteers and cash.

As a major cat rescue group disbands, Karen Duncan and the volunteers of the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association have their overworked hands full.

photo by Rebecca Blissett

As a major cat rescue group disbands, Karen Duncan and the volunteers of the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association have their overworked hands full.

The organization's volunteers trapped feral and abandoned cats and kittens, which they then had spayed or neutered. Following their recovery, tame cats were fostered out until a permanent home could be found while feral felines, surviving well on their own, were placed back where they were found and fed regularly by volunteers. Wong didn't respond to email requests for an interview before the Courier's press deadline.

Without Maverick Cat, VOKRA, which on its own rescued 800 cats and kittens last year, is taking on extra responsibilities. Duncan said the two groups shared some volunteers, so they'll attempt to keep trapping. The two grey kittens Duncan held on Wednesday had been rescued just the day before from a fish food factory near Southeast Marine Drive. A worker there told Duncan a stray mother cat and at least two more kittens still need rescuing, so she's planning a return trip.

Besides the almost 100 kittens and mother cats VOKRA has that need homes, there are dozens more in foster care that also need a place to live in a matter of weeks. VOKRA has taken on the care of 40 orange tabby cats and kittens recently rescued from a home in Port Moody. Duncan said the B.C. SPCA won't respond to calls unless stray cats or kittens are contained, so the association contacts VOKRA, which responds day and night.

"Our mandate is to rescue kittens from Vancouver and Burnaby, but now we're getting calls about cats and kittens from Surrey and other outlying areas," she said. "We just don't have enough money to handle them all. It's tricky, we're doing our best but our bills for spaying and neutering are enormous."

Duncan said VOKRA is in desperate need of committed volunteers for trapping and feeding, foster homes and cash. For more information, contact Duncan at rescue@orphankittenrescue.com or leave a message at 604-731-2913.

sthomas@vancourier.com

Update on orange gang.

kduncan | July 9, 2009

Very slowly , we are sorting out the over 40 orange cats and kittens that we got in a couple of weeks ago. Here are a couple of pictures of Elsie and Lucy with their kittens. Lucy is still very fearful but Elsie is so great with her kittens.. i especially love the one snugged under her tale!Elsie

Lucy has teeny kittens and Elsie stayed in the same kennel with her when they were born and helped out with them. They are now at a great foster home and have a guest room to themselves. We are so grateful for fosters and esp so when they will take a big gang like this and make it work.

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