Hope...A Little Gray Cat from Texas

By:  Deanna Graham, Member of the Nine Lives Foundation Board of Directors
Date:  March 19, 2012

Hope in Room 9 at Nine Lives

Hope's adventure began in the parking lot at a gas station in a small Texas town just north of Houston.  She had been hanging around the back of the parking lot for a couple weeks trying to stay out of everyone's way.  Hope loved it when the service station employees would bring her food and kindness.  She was a happy cat.

One day as Hope was taking a nap, a large transport pulled up to the gas pumps.  Michael, one of Animal Rescue Corps employees, spotted the little gray cat and went over to see her.  Hope was so friendly that Michael asked the gas station attendant if she belonged to anyone.  The attendant told him she was a stray, but a 'sweet little thing.'  The Animal Rescue Corps employee put her in a carrier and loaded her in the transport with the 14 dogs they were transporting to various shelters throughout the United States.  They had just picked up the dogs at a shelter in Houston that was permanently closing their doors.

The transport drove north towards Oklahoma to drop off dogs at a shelter there.  When they arrived and unloaded the dogs, Michael asked if they would take Hope as well.  They told him they didn't have room, so Hope was loaded into the transport with the remaining dogs and was soon on their way to Utah and a shelter in Salt Lake City.  When they arrived at the Humane Society of Utah, they unloaded the last of the dogs and Michael asked if they would take Hope.  They told him they were at maximum capacity because it was kitten season.  Again, Hope was loaded for the ride to Marin, California.

Michael took Hope to the Humane Society of Marin and they agreed to take custody.  They would spay her and try to find her a home.  Michael agreed and left Hope in their capable hands.  A few days later, he got a call informing him Hope was FeLV+ and he had two choices, he could come and get her and try to find her a home on his own, or the Humane Society would euthanize her.  Michael picked her up and brought her home with him, but unfortunately, he has a cat, two Chihuahua's and a pit bull.  He knew he was deploying in a few days on another rescue, so he needed to find Hope a home before he left.  He asked a neighbor to try and find someone to take Hope, and incredibly, the neighbor knew a friend that knew a friend that recommended he take Hope to Dr. Monica Rudiger at Nine Lives Foundation in Redwood City, CA.

Michael brought Hope to Nine Lives to meet Dr. Rudiger.  He was taken on a tour of the facility and saw the condo where Hope will call home.  Michael thought the facility was awesome, and immediately knew he had found the perfect place for Hope.  He left for his deployment knowing that the little gray cat would be okay.  Dr. Rudiger assured him that Hope could live in Room 9 at the shelter with the other FeLV+ cats.  Now Hope hangs out with Glenda, Howie and Rafael.  She loves to sleep on a shelf near a window and spends a lot of her day looking out at all the activity outside.  If you'd like to meet her, she's at the Nine Lives shelter at 3016 Rolison Road in Redwood City, CA.

Animal Rescue Corps' mission is to end animal suffering through direct and compassionate action.  They specialize in rescues involving large numbers of animals, with a focus on industries that profit from animal cruelty (i.e., puppy mills, animal fighting, animals in entertainment, laboratories, animal agriculture, exotic imports, etc.)  The primary goal of any rescue is to end the suffering of those animals, bring them to care and medical attention and then to assure them the best possible opportunities for long-term well being.  While doing this, ARC seeks to raise public awareness by exposing the cruelties inherent in these exploitive industries.  We accomplish this life-saving work within the legal system and through a variety of strong partnerships with other animal protection organizations, government and law enforcement agencies, dedicated volunteer groups, sanctuaries, shelters, rescue and fostering networks.

Nine Lives Foundation is a 501 (C)(3) non-profit no-kill cat welfare organization that works with the local community, TNR (trap/neuter/return) and rescue groups to reduce the over-population of homeless cats in Northern California by providing low-cost spay/neuter services, vaccinations, health care and shelter for stray, feral and at-risk cats.  Nine Lives Foundation provides all necessary medical treatments for its shelter cats through an on-site veterinary clinic, and seeks loving, permanent homes for them, including those with physical, medical or behavioral disabilities.

A Day in the Life - 37 Cats from Los Banos Animal Shelter are Spay/Neutered at Nine Lives

By:  Deanna Graham, Member of the Nine Lives Foundation Board of Directors
Date:  February 2, 2012

February is Spay Day U.S.A.... here's the story of 37 cats from Los Banos who traveled 106 miles to be spay/neutered at Nine Lives!

Last month, Laurel and Melinda, two dedicated volunteers at Los Banos Animal Shelter, carefully loaded 37 frightened, bewildered and I'm sure cranky cats into their cars for the 2-hour road trip from Los Banos to Nine Lives in Redwood City to be spayed/neutered by Dr. Monica Rudiger.  

Dr. Rudiger volunteers her time each month to spay/neuter Los Banos cats and only charges the animal shelter for the materials she uses.

Dr. Rudiger has everything laid out, the cats are waiting, let the spay/neutering begin.

The halls are full of cats in carriers waiting for their turn on the operating table.  Each carrier has a number and each cat has a paper collar with that number on it.

This cat is #37 and is ready for surgery.

Each cat is put in the anaesthesia chamber where they fall asleep waiting for surgery.

This cat is unconscious, receiving oxygen and fluids.

The area is disinfected and shaved.

Dr. Rudiger is spaying #37.  

The spay or Ovariohysterectomy procedure takes about 8-10 minutes,  Dr. Rudiger removes the ovaries and uterus on cat #37.

Once the ovaries and uterus are removed, Dr. Rudiger closes up the incision.

Laurel and Melinda give the cat their vaccinations.  It's a lot easier when they're groggy or asleep.

Now it's time to get the claws clipped.

Finally, it's time to rest before the long ride home to Los Banos. 


For several years, the last Tuesday in February has been designated as Spay Day U.S.A., and February has been chosen as Spay and Neuter Month by countless humane societies and animal advocacy groups.  Dr. Rudiger and Nine Lives Foundation will offer a special price from February 6th through February 28th...Spaying $35 and Neutering $25.  All surgeries will be done at 3016 Rolison Road, Redwood City, CA  94063 (650)368-1365.  Appointments recommended, but not required.


"Home for the Holidays" at Nine Lives Foundation

Posted on:  12/20/11
By:  Deanna Graham
Nine Lives Foundation Board Member

'Tis the season...and Nine Lives celebrated the holidays with a cat adoption and holiday party for our many friends on Saturday and Sunday.  There was food, drinks, an auction and a raffle, plus lots of good friends..and of course, our adorable cats, plus Christopher the Cat joined us.  The celebration was a huge success with 23 of our cats and kittens adopted to their forever homes.

Leanne, a Nine Lives volunteer and our Nine Lives webmaster, made an incredible gingerbread house and is helping Ernesto decorate gingerbread men.  Great job, Leanne!

You can help our cats and Nine Lives foundation by a contribution of $100 for a 4x4" or $500 for an 8x8" ceramic tile, with a photo of your pet(s) on the tile (like the examples).  Your tile will be placed, in your honor, in the lobby of the Nine Lives lobby of our remodeled facility.  Your generosity will be on display and will inspire everyone who enters our new shelter facility to give to Nine Lives Foundation.

Whiskers is enjoying herself on Michelle's lap with a lot of puurs and snuggling while Michelle's husband, Adam, watches.  The people interested in adopting our cats sat in the cubical's while the cats ran over for pets and scratches.

Whiskers is content getting pets and scratches from Michelle, while Morris looks on.

Sparkle, a beautiful little calico, was rescued from a "High-Kill" shelter in Bakersfield and fostered in a home with three cats.  Sparkle spent a lot of time being held and loved by folks looking for a kitten to take home.  Later that day, Sparkle met a couple who fell in love with her.  They adopted her and she'll join there wonderful family.

Sparkle is the hit of the day..such a great kitten.

Christopher the Cat is getting a lot of love and cuddling from Elizabeth and Wayne, the couple who found him hurt and alone.  Elizabeth tells Joanna, a Nine Live Foundation board member, who was videotaping Christopher's story for the Nine Lives Foundation Facebook, that while going for a bike ride on Polhemus Road in Redwood City, they saw an injured cat lying in a ditch.  He had a fractured hip and was in a lot of pain. They took him to a local shelter, but after thinking about Christopher's fate at the shelter, they picked him up and took him to Adobe Animal Hospital for evaluation and care.  The vet at Adobe told Elizabeth, "Take him to Dr. Monica Thompson at Nine Lives, she'll help Christopher...and she did.  Now Christoper is completely healed and has become the Nine Lives "Miracle Cat."  You can learn all about Christopher's story if you go to the Nine Lives website, or join Christopher the Cat's 3,000+ friends on Facebook.

TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return): Trapping Day at the South San Francisco Feral Cat Colony

Posted on 12/8/11
By:  Deanna Graham
Nine Lives Foundation Board Member

A few weeks ago, three Homeless Cat Network volunteers, Wendy, Gina and Cookie met at the South San Francisco feral colony to trap cats.  They used the drop trap because it's been difficult to trap Bushy Tail.  They set up the drop trap in an open area and set two traps by the feeding station in hopes of trapping a new cat, Midnight.

      "Traps are set..."

 "Here Kitty, Kitty..."

 "The Waiting Game..."


Many of the neutered/spayed colony cats went into the trap to nibble on the dry food on the ground, but finally the hours of waiting paid off.  Bushy Tail and Thumper went in the trap together and started nibbling on the food, Wendy pulled the string and they had them.  Two trapped cats can move the trap, but they were ready.  It took three of them, working as a team, to hold the trap down.  Gina put her body across the trap while Wendy was ready to open the trap and transfer the cats to another trap for transport.  Cookie spoke quietly and gently to the two terrified cats to calm them.

When Bushy Tail and Thumper were safely in the transport trap, Cookie went to the feeding station to check on the traps there.  Happily, they got Midnight.  Cookie says, "Luck was on our side."

"We got Midnight!..."

The cats were transported to Dr. Monica Thompson Rudiger at Nine Lives Foundation.  Thumper was already fixed, but needed to have his left ear tipped.  Now the feeders at the South San Francisco colony will know that Thumper is fixed and he'll never go through that again.  Sadly, Dr. Rudiger found out that Bushy Tail was FeLV+ and could not be returned to the colony.  The volunteers were afraid he would have to be euthanized, but Dr. Rudiger told them Bushy Tail could join the other FeLV+ cats in Room 9 at the Nine Lives shelter at 3016 Rolison Road, Redwood City, CA.  Dr. Rudiger neutered Bushy Tail, gave him his vaccinations and had to do extensive dental work on him.  She told me that Bushy will only let her pet him, and she told me, "He's my buddy."

As for Midnight, Gina is fostering him because she feels he is a friendly, loving cat who was probably dumped by his owners or maybe he got lost and found his way to the colony.  She feels he definitely was a house cat at one time.  Gina will find him his forever home, and as Cookie says, "Another blessing for our South San Francisco Colony."

Cookie, Wendy, and Gina are deeply thankful for all the care and love Dr. Rudiger has showered on their colony cats.  Dr. Rudiger kept Poppy, another SSF colony cat that was trapped, but not returned to the colony because the pads on his paws wouldn't heal properly and the outdoors was not the place for him.  Now Poppy makes his home at the Nine Lives shelter and spends a lot of his time roaming around.  Rose, another HCN Feeder, saw him at NLF a few weeks ago and was able to pet him.

"Wendy, Gina and Cookie"

The majority of the colony cats at South San Francisco will live out their lives in the colony, but some have been trapped, fostered and found loving homes.  Thanks to Cookie, Wendy, Gina, Rose and the other volunteers at HCN for working closely with Dr. Rudiger to make sure these abandoned, lost or throw-away cats are given the best life possible.

Another HCN success story.....Wendy, a long time trapper at HCN, trapped three kittens at the SSF colony some time ago, and Gina fostered them because they were ill.  With TLC and a lot of love, the kittens are healthy and going to kitten fairs, just waiting to go to their forever homes.  Both HCN and NLF have these wonderful success stories of lost kittens and cats finding loving homes.  To read more, you can go to www.ninelivesfoundation.org and www.homelesscatnetwork.org and read about the incredible job they're doing.  You can also follow NLF by going to our Nine Lives Foundation Facebook page.

Nine Lives Fat Farm...the Ladies of Room 1

The four cats who live in Room 1 at the Nine Lives shelter, Amber, Gladys, Ilsa and Marise, are beautiful, well-behaved young ladies, but unfortunately, they're a bit on the plump side.  Whiskers lives in Room 8 and is one of our FIV+ kitties and she too is a bit on the plump side.

These cats are not alone because it's estimated that 53% of cats in the U.S. are either over-weight or obese.  A cat's ideal weight depends on age, breed, lifestyle, bone structure and gender, but the average adult cat generally tips the scales at 7 to 11 pounds, with females a little less.

Dr. Monica Rudiger puts the over-weight cats on a high protein, low carbohydrate wet food diet, and feeds them twice a day.  Room 1 cats live in a condo with cat trees and enough room to move around.  Whiskers lives in Room 8 with the other FIV+ kitties and has lots of cat trees to play on.  So let's meet them...

Meet AMBER, a sweet little girl who was rescued from FAS (Fremont Animal Shelter) where she lived for a year with out being adopted.  It's FAS policy that if a cat isn't adopted within a year, the cat will be euthanized to make room for other cats.  Nine Lives learned about Amber and brought her to live at the Nine Lives shelter where she joined Room 1.  Amber's approximate birthday is June 2006 and she is an inquisitive, curious and lovely girl who greets everyone that enters the condo.  Amber would love to find a loving home where she can maintain her weight, exercise more and spend lots of lap time.

This is GLADYS, a beautiful girl who gets along with the other cats of Room 1 and is the second greeter, along with Amber, to welcome you to their condo.  Gladys was born around May 2006 and lived with a family as their indoor/outdoor cat.  When the family moved away, they didn't take Gladys with them.  That's when she joined the Nine Lives family.  Sometimes, Gladys looks a little sad, but she'll perk up when you come in and pet her and scratch her ears.  Gladys would make a wonderful companion for a family who wants a lap cat who loves belly rubs.

This beauty is ILSA, a tortoiseshell manx mix with stunning torti markings.  She was born around 2006 and her front claws have been removed, but that doesn't stop her from jumping on things and climbing the cat tree.  Ilsa is a very sweet, gentle cat who gets along with the other girls.  Ilsa is a little shy when you enter the condo, so she might prefer being an only cat in your home.  Ilsa came to the Nine Lives shelter from Martinez Animal Shelter on 4/5/08 with four other kitties.

Meet WHISKERS, a black and white, long hair Maine Coon mix.  She came to Nine Lives from FAS (Fremont Animal Shelter) and is one of our FIV+ kitties.  Whiskers is a real love bug and loves to be held and cuddled, she'll wrap her paws around your neck for a great big hug.  Whiskers gets along with all the other cats in Room 8, and loves to hang out with her BFF Morris (shown in the picture with her).  Whiskers can live a long and happy life with FIV+, but needs to live in a home as an only cat.

And last, but certainly not least, meet MARISE, a beautiful gray and white girl who loves to be pet.  Marise is a quiet, but loving cat who is gentle and purrs loudly while you scratch her neck and ears.  The Nine Lives volunteers call her their little bunny because her fur is so soft you just want to pet her for hours.  Marise would love to be an only kitty in your home, or a loving companion for another cat.

The next time you visit the Nine Lives shelter at 3016 Rolison Road in Redwood City, stop by Room 1 and visit with the girls.  Also, don't forget about Whiskers in Room 8.

Nine Lives Foundation Shelter, Room 8 ...

Posted on 11/2/11
By:   Deanna Graham
Nine Lives Board Member

Room 8 is a large space with sofas, chairs, tables, cat trees and lots of residents, 22 in fact.  The cats are either walking around, eating from two different feeding stations or asleep.  Some days, you'll see volunteers sitting on the sofa or on the floor with several of the Room 8 residents on their laps, giving them head-butts or just sitting near them waiting for pets.

The cats are all happy and very active, they look like all the cats in various condo's in the Nine Lives Shelter on Rolison Road in Redwood City, California, but they're not.  These 22 lovable cats are all FIV+.  Even though I've heard about the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), I didn't know that much about it.  Talking with Joe and Georgia, two Nine Lives volunteers, they told me that FIV+ cats have contracted the virus from cat fights and serious bites.  It is estimated that most infections come from feral, free-roaming, aggressive cats that attack and bite other cats.  Cats kept indoors are much less likely to be infected.  Sadly, a FIV+ mother can pass the virus on to her kittens as they pass through the birth canal or by the milk they drink after birth.

Joe told us that he and his wife adopted a FIV+ cat and she lived to be 19 years old.  Joe told me, "She died of old age, not FIV."

Georgia also told us she wouldn't hesitate adopting one of our FIV+ cats.  In fact, she said that if the FIV+ cat is not a fighter and enjoys the company of other cats in the household, she feels comfortable bringing one of these guys into her home.  On the other hand, Dr. Monica Rudiger will advise adopters that these cats should be only cats, or their house-mates should also be FIV+.

I asked them if humans could become infected with FIV if they were bit by their cat?  They both told me that FIV is a lentivirus similar to HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus causing AIDS), but is a highly species-specific virus that infects only felines.  A number of studies, according to Cornell University, School of Veterinary Medicine, have failed to show any evidence that FIV can infect or cause diseases in people.

Joe and Georgia told me that a FIV+ cat normally doesn't take medications, but they do need to be watched carefully throughout their lives and taken to their vet once a year for their annual checkup.

As I walked around the room to visit with all the cats in Room 8, I decided to spotlight four of them for this blog post.  The other cats of Room 8 will be spotlighted on our Nine Lives Foundation Facebook page in the near future.

MORRIS is a big bundle of love, and is the first one to come over for petting.  He is friendly, outgoing and gets along with all the residents of Room 8.  He likes to hang out with the other orange tabby's.  Morris loves to cuddle and will make someone a great lap cat, with lots of purrs.  Morris is an American short hair orange tabby.  He's had all his shots, is neutered and in good health, even though he's FIV+.

Morris was rescued from Fremont Animal Shelter and was on their PTS list for euthanasia.  That's one thing he doesn't have to worry about, he is well cared for and loved at the shelter and waiting for his forever home.

Morris and two of his orange tabby bud's.

SIGONA is a beautiful black cat with more love than he knows what to do with.  He loves to be held and will wrap his paws around your neck and cuddle for hours.  He also loves to purr and will sit on your shoulder and be carried around.  He loves all the other cats and just wants a soft couch to sleep on and the loving attention of the people around him.

Sigona was rescued from the Sigona Market parking lot in Redwood City, California, and was appropriately named after the place where he was rescued.  He is an American short hair, all black neutered male who is up-to-date on all his shots.  Even though he's FIV+, he's a strong handsome guy who will make a wonderful addition to your household.  Sigona should be an only cat or share your home with another FIV+ housemate.

LUTHER is a beautiful cat with swirly brown, black and white fur.  As I walked over to the table where he was sleeping, he got up and came right over to me and began chatting.  I started petting him and scratching his ears and chin while the dialog continued.  I fell in love with this big guy.  The volunteers told me he is the sweetheart of Room 8, so sweet and affectionate and outgoing too.  They said he is quite the little leg rubber who loves to have his chin and bum scratched.  He is goofy at times, friendly all the time, and always playful.

Luther would be a wonderful only kitty as he is definitely the boss in Room 8, and will become your constant companion who will chat with you daily.  If he disappears for a while, just check your bed and there he will be, belly up and purring.  He'd love to help you while you're on your computer working.

LINDA (shown with Loyd) is a sweet, beautiful girl.  She is snuggly and an affectionate love bug.  When I picked her up for petting and scratches, she was light as a feather, and her shiny black coat was soft like a bunny's.  Linda is loved by all the cats in Room 8, especially Loyd, Toby and Edison.  They see how special she is and she can always be found snuggling with them on the sofa.  Linda would make a perfect only cat or a loving companion for another FIV+ cat, probably a male, Linda loves the boys!

Come and visit the residents of Room 8, they'd love to meet you.  We're located at the Nine Lives Foundation Shelter, 3016 Rolison Road, Redwood City, CA  94063.  Phone:  (650) 368-1365.

Nine Lives Foundation is a no-kill cat rescue nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation that works to address the over-population of homeless cats in Northern California.  Our mission is to provide low-cost spay/neuter services, vaccinations, medical care, shelter and adoptions for stray, feral, and at-risk cats, and to offer affordable medical care to local TNR (trap/neuter/release) and rescue groups through our on-site veterinary clinic.  Nine Lives provides all necessary medical treatments for our rescued cats and seeks loving, permanent homes for them, including those with physical, medical or behavioral disabilities.

TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release): A Visit to a Feral Cat Colony in South San Francisco

Posted on 10/17/2011
By:  Deanna Graham
Nine Lives Board Member

It was a warm morning in South San Francisco, and Cookie, a volunteer at The Homeless Cat Network, was directing my daughter Becky and I to the feral colony she helps manage with six other volunteers.  Their colony is located in South San Francisco and has 23 feline residents.

When we pulled up and parked on a dirt road, we followed Cookie to the colony.  I saw a lot of over-grown grass, weeds, tree's, piles of wood, and several eyes watching us carefully.  Cookie called out to the greeter, a handsome white and grey cat named Thurston.  Cookie told us Thurston was the colony's alpha male.  Recently, another male named Tail showed up and tried to take over the role as alpha.  Tail is one of two cats that have not been trapped and neutered yet.  Wendy, their super trapper tries each week, but Tail is a very smart cat.  She has been trying for months and will continue.  The other twenty one cats are spayed/neutered, and live and get along so well in the colony.  Cookie told us that Thurston is now back in charge again and has regained the alpha male slot.  Tail is still a member too.

There are seven feeders that feed seven days a week.  Volunteers know each of the 23 cats and each one has a special name, Bootsie has white paws, Curly has a tail that curls, Buttons is as cute as a button and Tail has a big bushy tail.  She also photographs them and knows instantly when a new member joins the colony.  When that happens, she and the other six feeders communicate, via email, to discuss the new cat who has joined the colony.  Wendy is called to begin the trapping process.  I asked Cookie, "How do new cats join the colony?" and she told me, "People dump them, some cats wander by and smell cats and food, while others just happen upon the colony and decide to stay."  She told me a calico female came to the colony two weeks ago.  She noticed how thin and scared she was.  The colony let her eat with them, drink water and rest.  She was gone the next day when a volunteer came to feed.  I asked if some cats come and are not welcomed by the colony and she said, "Definitely."  A few males have shown up and if the colony doesn't want them there they chase them away.  That doesn't happen often.  It's a very friendly group of felines, but if a stranger comes in and causes trouble, they're gone.

Depending on the newest addition to the colony, Wendy will bring either an adult trap or a kitten trap.  She will put the trap in an area to attract the cat with a bit of food inside.  At this point, they do not put food out for the other cats, hoping the newest member will be hungrier than the others and venture inside the trap to eat.  She will go back to her car and wait.  Sometimes members of the colony are hungry and hurry in to eat and get trapped, that cat is released.  If the new cat does not go near the trap for hours,Wendy calls it a day and puts the trap in her car and finishes feeding all the cats in the colony.  Cookie told us this process could take several days or months, but the one thing they never do is leave the trap unattended.  A trapped cat, left inside the trap for hours or days, is unacceptable to TNR volunteers.  Once the cat is trapped, it is very frightened, so a cover is placed over the crate and the volunteer quietly reassures the cat with soothing words that they will be okay.

Cookie and Becky start washing out water and food dishes and pick up and straighten bedding.  I can see the cats beginning to gather, but a good distance away, waiting patiently for the plates to fill up with food.  Thurston and Buttons seem to trust us not to run over and try to pet them, so they stick around watching carefully what Cookie and Becky are doing.  Cookie fills up several bowls with dry cat food and tops it off with a can of wet food.  Becky fills the water bowls and I can see more and more little faces gathering in the background.

After the food and water bowls are put down and the cats are carefully coming up to eat, I asked Cookie if she can pet any of the cats.  Cookie explained that if one of the cats are really friendly and can easily be picked up and cuddled, it becomes too dangerous for them to remain in the colony, they need to be taken from the colony and fostered, if possible.  She tells us there are people out there who would do unimaginable things to cats, so their very survival depends on how fast they can run from danger.  Sadly, Cookie and Rose, the overseer of the colony, have seen some very sad times when the colony cats have died and they have found them.  They always show the cats as much respect when they've passed as they do when they were alive.

Cookie also shared the times they found mama cat with her kittens hiding under a pile of wood or in overgrown bushes.  Volunteers make sure mom gets her own bowl of food and water so she can nurse her little ones.  Once the kittens are old enough, around 8 - 10 weeks, and eating on their own, they will trap them first, sometimes they can just pick them up and put them in a carrier.  Mom is trapped last.  They're taken to Dr. Monica Rudiger to be spay/neutered.  After surgery, they are picked up and taken to a home to recuperate.  The females are kept for three days, but males may be released earlier, as they are sometimes so upset and frightened.  They are returned back to their colony and will head for shelter to rest.  The kittens are never returned to the colony.  They are put in foster care where they will be cared for and adopted into their forever homes.

The picture of the three kittens in the trap were spay/neutered by Dr. Rudiger and then fostered.  Happily, they've all found their forever homes.  After three days, mom is returned to the colony.

As we drove away, I realized how much I had learned about feral cats and how these incredible volunteers care for them.  The SSF colony was a very positive place where the cats can live together in harmony for the rest of their lives.  I asked her, "What's the secret of maintaining a feral cat colony?" and she told me, "Team work and communication."

Thank you, Cookie, for sharing all the hard work you guys do each day.

A few of the cats enjoy their dinner, the others will join them once Cookie, Becky and I are gone.  Bon Appetit, guys!

Cookie is a volunteer with the Homeless Cat Network, and each time a trapped cat or kitten is brought into the Nine Lives Feline Well-Clinic, Homeless Cat Network pays Dr. Monica Rudiger's expenses for spay/neuter, vaccinations and chipping, plus HCN reimburses the feral cat volunteers for dry food.  Both Nine Lives Foundation and the Homeless Cat Network depend on donations to allow them to do this life saving work.  Please feel free to visit their websites, donations are always appreciated.