Is anyone really surprised that Conrad was adopted within hours of arriving at the Nine Lives Foundation? This sweet boy hadn't even unpacked his bags when his new Daddy walked in and adopted him. It's pretty hard to imagine that Conrad was due to be PTS at Los Banos when cats like Conrad are in such high demand in the Bay Area. Good luck in your new forever home fluffy boy.
Written by: LH

Thanks to Maine Coon Adoptions!

Martina, Oreo, Riley, Ellie and Mia all went off with Maine Coon Adoptions today where they will be placed up for adoption and cared for by their loving foster homes.
Written by: LH


Rogue and her sister Emmie were each adopted to their own wonderful homes today! We feel sure they picked excellent people to spend their lives with.

In addition, Opal went off on a trial adoption today. Her new mommy seems sure that given time, her new older brother, 10 year old Tubbie, will love her too.

Written by: LH


Goblin went home today! Within minutes of his arrival from the Los Banos Animal Shelter, Goblin met his new family and went home on a trial adoption. We feel sure that he picked his forever family today.
Written by:LH


This afternoon a man and his son came in to look at Rogue. She's an adorable little calico girl and quite a cute kitten, but they wanted a laid back family cat. Tina, our fabulous Shelter Manager, took him in the back and told them about Onyx. Onyx is a 1.5 year old, all black, neutered, Maine Coon mix and nearly dog like in his fondness for belly rubs and lazing about. They assured Tina that they knew what they wanted and they played with Rogue while Tina played with Onyx. Before long they were charmed by his playful and goofy nature and decided that Tina was right. They're picking Onyx up tomorrow to make him their newest family member.
Written by: LH


Timmy and his litter mates were found abandoned in the bushes in the Redwood City, Carl's Jr. parking lot. Healthy, flea free and otherwise robust, it was clear that they had been dumped there. Dubbed the "Carl's Jr. Kittens" Timmy and his siblings were wee little things, nearly 4 weeks old, when they were delivered to our care on Sunday, April 22, 2007.

Tango, the other boy in the litter was adopted at our June 1st open house but Timmy and his sisters remained. Always cuddly, Timmy has always been boundless in energy and his joy in life. While his sisters failed to thrive at the shelter and quickly returned to foster care where they've grown into lovely teenagers, Timmy stayed at the shelter and attended dozens of adoption events. Folks cooed over his handsome looks, soft coat and pleasant disposition but no one seemed interested in adopting him, until today.
Today a mother and daughter came in looking for a playful but cuddly kitten who would easy going as it would be their first cat. Timmy immediately came to mind and while they met all of our other available kittens, they clearly agreed with our suggestion as Timmy went out on a trial adoption last night to what we hope will be his forever home.

Written by: LH


Dr. T and I were at the Nine Lives Foundation until 9:45 last night but we got 8 spays and one neuter done. Tonight it's time for act 2 of the same as we whittle our spay/neuter list down to nothing. We plan to spay/neuter all of our cats/kittens before our move at the end of the month and we'd like to get it done before the packing starts this weekend.

In addition to the surgery marathon we had 3 more adoptions last night, including my own beloved foster girl Tabitha a.k.a. Thee, who will go to her forever home on Saturday with Magic (that's right, Magic has been adopted!). The couple who adopted them has promised to provide us with updates and photos. I think they realize how much the staff and volunteers love the cats they're taking. :)

The third kitty to be adopted was quickly named Sue, after the rescuer who trapped her and brought her in yesterday for her spay. Sue was trapped in a feral colony, but as sweet as she is, she was likely handled and socialized well at some point. A lovely lady came in yesterday, one of many visits she's made to our shelter in the hopes of finding the cat who would chose her, and spied Sue in her cage awaiting her spay. It was clearly love at first sight. The woman stayed for over an hour snuggling with little Sue and promptly adopted her.
Written by: LH

Fiona, a story of healing

Fiona is a 2.5 year old DMH, Calico who has had a very tough life. We pulled Fiona from San Jose Animal Care and Control in the early spring of 2006. We spayed her and found for her what we had hoped was a loving forever home. This June Fiona was returned with the comment that she was "feral" and she'd spent the entire year after her adoption living outside and running from her adopted family. Upon examining her we discovered the horrible truth. We're not sure when it happened, but Fiona had managed to push her front leg through her collar until it lodged in her armpit and began to dig in and cause her a great deal of pain.

By the time we got her back, the collar had created a wound that was now old and very infected from months of festering. Since her return she's been recovering in our hospital with loads of antibiotics and loving care. She's begun to remember that people are not all out to hurt her. We snuggle her and tell her everyday how sorry we are that we allowed her to be adopted by someone who cared so little for her well being. We plan to ensure that her next home is the "right" home and that she has a happily ever after.
Written by: LH


Monkey was adopted this evening by a lovely family who adored him instantly! No surprise to us, we've know what a special cat he is since we pulled him from the Humane Society of Silicon Valley on 7/13/2006, when he was due to be PTS for an Upper Respiratory Infection.
Written by: LH

9/15/07 4 more trial adoptions today!

Today Gryffindor, Billie, Achilles and Venus went home on trial adoptions.
Written by: LH

Kiki the wonder kitten

Kiki was 8 weeks old when he arrived at the Nine Lives Foundation on June 20th. The family who had him rushed him in to a near by hospital where Dr. Thompson worked as a relief veterinarian after his head had been stepped on by their 8 year old son, in a freak accident that fractured his skull and rendered him blind and unresponsive. The injury caused swelling in his brain and poor Kiki suffered seizures and received a very guarded prognosis.

Kiki's initial treatment included full body x-rays, including skull x-rays, oxygen therapy, IV fluids, Valium and 24 hour nursing care as he was non-responsive and seizing. Dr. Thompson provided nursing care after-hours taking him home every evening to avoid the added expense of emergency clinic monitoring. After two days, Kiki's prognosis remained unchanged and his expenses continued to increase. Kiki's owners (who had limited financial resources) surrendered him the Nine Lives Foundation in the hope of saving him from being put to sleep due to their inability to cover his expenses at the near by hospital.

After three weeks of intensive care, Kiki had returned to near normal. His seizures resolved completely and he now has only partial blindness. We believe that he see shadows and movement. During his recovery he thrived with the help of Del Monte "turkey and turkey gravy" baby food and the loving play of other kittens his age. Despite his blindness he became quite an adept kitten wrestler.
He is now a playful, healthy, happy kitten and last week he went home with one of our volunteers as a foster with the potential to be adopted at the end. He will always need to be an indoor cat but will enjoy a long and happy life with a family that appreciates his determination and tenacity. Kiki is one of a kind but his story is not unique. He is but one of many lucky kitties that have come into the Nine Lives Foundation, each with a heartbreaking story inspires us to continue our work to help Bay Area cats and kittens in need.
Written by: LH & Dr. T

Dorthy a.k.a Tia - an ongoing story of hope.

Dorothy a.k.a Tia was barely a handful when she arrived at the Nine Lives Foundation. She was brought to us at the tender age of 3 weeks in early April of 2007, after being found abandoned on a sidewalk in Redwood City. Her tail was already crooked and an unhealthy infestation of fleas. Luckily we had a nursing mother with kittens her age who was willing to take her in. Lauren was a good mother to Dorothy. These two photos are of Lauren and her kittens, with tiny Tia the only brown tabby in the mix. At fist they were all the same size.

To our distress we soon found that little Tia had already been exposed to ringworm, likely before she was brought to us, which she shared with the rest of her new litter mates. While they all quickly recovered and continued to thrive, Dorothy did not. She stayed small while the other kittens rapidly grew. Here she is, on the left, on April 26, 2007 at 4.5 weeks of age.
Soon Lauren's kittens had been adopted, four of them by their foster family, or returned as Callie and Yazmine were and Dorothy returned as well and it was very clear that she was half the size of Callie and Yazmine. Worried for her well being she was once more shuffled out to foster care where she got ringworm baths and was fed baby food to fatten her up but nothing seemed to work. On Saturday, August 25 she went back for a check up and we discovered that she'd dropped down to 1.03lbs. The ringworm now nearly covered her body and she had liquid poo and a nasty URI. Things were not looking good for her and her current antibiotics didn't appear to be helping. On that day Dr. Thompson and her foster mother discussed putting her to sleep but decided that she needed a little more time and faith.

So back she went for foster care with new medicine to help solidify her poo. It was like a miracle. Our crooked tailed Tia cat regained her energy and in less than a week she'd gained 8 oz. She's still on the road to recovery but we think she's going to grow up to make some family very happy.

As of today, September 14th, 2007, Tia is 2.08lbs and growing. Her eyes are nearly clear and she hasn't had a sniffle in days. Her ringworm is nearly gone and she has more energy than a nuclear power plant.
If you have any spare healthy, growing thoughts, we'd be grateful if you'd send them Tia's way. We're quite in love with her and hope she has a very long life ahead of her.
Written by: LH


Today Zorro was adopted by a lovely gentleman who came in looking for a cuddly black cat. Zorro decided to show off his stellar talents as a neck scarf and quickly won himself a new forever home. Not bad for an orphan boy from Los Banos.
Written by: LH

8/13 to 9/13 Adoptions

I couldn't possibly post photos here of all of the cats we've adopted but here are a couple. Vixen, Eskimo and Roo are just a few of the 44 cats we've adopted out in the past month.

  1. Bandit
  2. Ellen
  3. Lady
  4. Artimis
  5. Connor "box kitten"
  6. Nectarine
  7. Tangerine
  8. Vixen
  9. Tandy
  10. Racie
  11. Janie
  12. Mickey Blue Eyes
  13. Bubba
  14. Betsy
  15. Sylvana - Sahara's
  16. Sammy - Sahara's
  17. Huckleberry
  18. Ollieberry
  19. Crypton
  20. Darwin
  21. Freckles
  22. Spot
  23. Chaplin
  24. Athena
  25. Eskimo - Skye's kitten
  26. Eli - Skye's kitten
  27. Benny
  28. Benson
  29. Blackberry
  30. Crook "box kitten"
  31. Austin
  32. Lindsey
  33. Hannah
  34. Lucia
  35. Mattie
  36. Jelly-Belly (a.k.a Grape)
  37. Cora
  38. Roo
  39. Strawberry
  40. Sunshine
  41. Tac
  42. Toe
  43. Vincent
  44. Wendy

See, I told you there were 44 cats adopted. ;)

Written by: LH

The story of Xena, Zepher and Zeus

In August of 2006 we received a phone call from the rescue coordinator at the Martinez Animal Shelter asking for help. She had 3 beautiful, 3 month old kittens who had been spayed/neutered but because of a potential exposure to Ringworm, were due to be PTS. She was hoping that we could help by taking any of the three and we could.

We had a foster family with a couple of kitties that were already being treated for Ringworm who was happy to add a few more. Xena, Zephyr and Zeus arrived the next day. Zeus and Zephyr are the tabby and white boys to the right with fellow foster Teegan.

Xena was a bit sicker than the two boys who were very healthy. She immediately broke with ringworm and an Upper Respiratory Infection soon followed. All three dis very well in their foster home though and over a couple of months they blossomed. They all cleared their Ringworm and got healthy. They grew accustomed to the resident dog and over time even learned to love him. As Halloween approached they began attending the weekend adoption events but by then they were no longer small "kittens" but teenagers and no one showed much interest in them beyond commenting on how sweet they all were. The months passed and they grew into more wonderful kitties every day.

Then one weekend, in early December 2006, a couple came in to the Nine Lives Foundation who had adopted a kitten from us before in the past. Pia, the woman, was looking for a cat for her parents, to keep their dog company and a pair of cats for her boyfriend, Ryan's, parents.

For her Parents, we immediately introduced her to Xena and it was clear instantly that she would be the perfect match. It only took a few minutes more for Ryan and Pia to choose Zeus and Zephyr for his parents. Applications were filled out and within an hour the three cats were on their way home on trial adoptions.

Within a week we heard glowing praise for all three cats. They had finally found the homes where they belonged.

On May 12, 2007 Zeus and Zephyr came in for their annual check up and I got some photos of them in their carrier on their way out. They'd had shots and been weighed so they didn't want to come back out of the carrier for a photo session, but it's more than clear that they are happy and healthy adults now, and just as bonded as ever.

These three cats are just one more example of the amazing cats and kittens that are put to sleep in Bay Area shelters every day.

**Below is Pia's email from January 27th, 2007 with an update on Xena.
Written by: LH

Dearest Nine Lives,

We are true believers. I wanted to get my parents a cat but they already had the most sweetest English Bull dog. I thought that the best Anniversary present would be a kitty to keep the English Bull dog (Amalfi) and my parents company. I immediately called Nine Lives to see if they had any kitties that are "dog friendly." I was told that a kitty who was named"Xena" would be perfect. Immediately, I fell in love. Another all-American black cat was purrfect!

When I introduced her to my parents and Amalfi, I was in shock because I never thought a kitty could be so calm and stand her ground. And moments later she was following Amalfi around the house. What is even more amazing is that my parents travel a lot. They love to bring Amalfi and Sabrina (a.k.a Xena) with them. They have it all worked out, Sabrina knows when it's time to travel and she actually loves it. For New Year's we were in Las Vegas and my parents brought the whole family (Mom, Dad, Amalfi and Sabrina).

Every time I tell someone that my parents have a cat and dog who actually are best friends and love each other, they cannot believe it. I am a true believer that in a loving, nurturing environment, love between a dog, a cat & the owners can flourish. Everyday Amalfi and Sabrina are loved and cherished. My parents love them both dearly. My father walks around with Sabrina on his shoulder and Amalfi on a leash. They would call me and tell me how Sabrina loves to snuggle under the blanket looking for my parent's faces. They love it : )

This picture is of Amalfi & Sabrina getting ready to go to bed New Year's day. I did not think they would be that close...but they really love each other! They chase each other around and snuggle next to each other-it's amazing!!!Thank you all so much!!! We are truly blessed with a special dog and an amazing kitty cat who we cherish every single day. Nothing is impossible.


Pia, Shirley (Mom), Tony (Dad), Amalfi & Sabrina

The story of Colby

Colby came to us on 3/18/06 from Kern County Animal Shelter. Here he is on the day of his arrival. He was not an old cat, likely not much older than 2 years old upon his arrival, but he looked ancient. He was very, very ill. Colby had developed a nasty case of Feline Calicivirus (FCV) . Calicivirus is a common viral disease that affects cats, it is characterized by upper respiratory symptoms, pneumonia, oral ulceration (sores in the mouth), and occasionally arthritis.

Because of the sores, he wouldn't eat on his own and had to be force fed (with a tube) for 18 days until the worst of the symptoms had passed. During the progression of his illness, he lost most of his body weight and resembled a victim of the concentration camps at Auswich. For nearly 3 weeks he ran a very high fever and we truly wondered if it wouldn't be more kind to him to put him to sleep. Every time Dr. Thompson actually contemplated putting him down, Colby would purr and lean into her body or hand for a pet or a scratch. He was fighting and it was clear he wanted to live.

Finally, he recovered from the Calicivirus and began to eat on his own. It took longer still for him to recover completely, but over time he did. At one point his eye developed a secondary infection and had to be "flapped" or stitched closed so it could heal. He was truly a sad sight to see.
During the months after his recovery we had him loose as a house cat so he could walk around the front office, anything to help him to regain muscle tone. One day, in September of 2006, a nice lady came in looking for a mellow cat for her small studio apartment. Colby, still had a little way to go before he was 100% recovered, but it was clear she was smitten with Colby and wanted him, so home he went.

It was very shocking, when in February of 2007 we received an email from the same lady telling us that Colby, now named Petey, had become too active for her small apartment and she was returning him. We quickly took him back, saddened that he had to return to a cage but happy that he was safe. We all knew that there had to be a perfect home out there for out sweet Colby.

Colby was not happy to be caged again and made it known. He spent most of the next 2 months out in foster care but always coming back for the adoption events. To the left is a photo of him in his foster home.

On Saturday, May 12th, 2007, Colby found the home he was always meant to be in. A wonderful lady came in with her dog, a large retriever mix, and asked if we had a couple of dog friendly cats. Colby came immediately to mind as he did so very well with the dog in his foster home. The minute she met him she swept him up into her arms and snuggled him close. It was love at first sight. Colby and Ethan, another long time resident of the Nine Lives Foundation, went home that day. We’ve received several emailed updates on their status and one photo (below) that speaks a thousand words. Colby, now Chairman Meow, is clearly very happy enjoying the sunbeams on his window seat while Ethan, now Buzz, drapes himself over his dog. Below is an email from their family...

Written by: LH

Dr. Thompson, and all the Nine Lives Staff:

Last weekend I adopted the big orange fuzzy Colby and frisky, whimsical Ethan (black skinny boy with white paws). Just wanted tell you how they're doing.
Colby is now Ezra, a.k.a. Chairman Meow. He's so calm and sweet. He feels completely at home. Ezra sleeps on
my pillow every night. He nags when he's hungry. He now purrs, especially when he's in bed with us. He and Logan, our big dog, are buddies. They hang out together on our sofa to watch The Daily Show.

Ethan, now Buzzy, is the absolute sweetest, most adorable cat ever. He follows me around the house, jumps on everything, and purrs on contact. He races around, hurtles onto my lap for a cuddle, then leaps off to resume his speed-skating. When we watch television, he stretches up to bat at the moving images. Buzzy runs up to Logan and skids to a stop. Logan jumps up and barks, tail wagging. Buzzy leaps away, then flies in for another pass, pouncing on Logan's tail. Buzzy's so inquisitive. Whatever we do -- wash dishes, read in bed, sort through mail -- Buzz
suddenly leaps in to check out what's going on. At night, Buzz sleeps under the covers with us, until the mood strikes him to speed around the house. When Buzzy is alone in a room, he meows until we call him.

Our other two cats, Anna and Sasha, are displeased. They hiss and spit at Buzz and Ez like two fat cobras. They yowl and moan like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. I sometimes have to shut the two of them up in our guest room. Anna absolutely cannot abide Buzzy and chases him. But Buzz and Ez are such good sports. Ez calmly walks away from the hissing cobra kitties. And Buzzy -- nothing can suppress his sweet, playful nature. Despite the new surroundings, big dog, and malevolent cobra kitties, neither Buzzy or Ezra have hissed or hidden once.

Thank you so much for giving us these enchanting kitties. Good luck with your move!


The story of Tabitha

On 4/1/2006 Tabitha arrived at the Nine Lives Foundation, via volunteer jeep transport, from Kern County Animal Shelter. Tabitha is only one example of the multitude of nursing mother cats gets dumped in Central Valley shelters during the long months of California's "kitten season." We believe she was less than 8 months old when she reached us, just a baby struggling to care for babies of her own.

When she arrived Tabitha weighed barely 5lbs and was attempting to nurse her seven, week old, kittens. Sadly, she was sick with a nasty Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) , very common in cats that come from the Kern County Animal Shelter, malnourished and was unable to feed her kittens. We took them from her after a couple of days and bottle fed them all but they developed her URI and passed away one at a time over the following 2 weeks, despite all of our efforts to save them.

To our amazement, Tabitha recovered and over the 6 months that followed she developed quite a charming personality. She filled out and even got a little plump, perhaps the daily Friskies wet food she got could have been reduced in portion. And her coat became sleek, long and gorgeous. She was in such poor shape when she arrived that we hadn't even realized that she was a long haired cat.

Just before Christmas of 2006 a lovely couple came in looking for an affectionate, female lap cat to join their family. Tabitha had the same name as the cat they'd recently lost, perhaps that's why they first took her to the "Get Acquainted Room" but she quickly made them appreciate all that was special about the Tabitha in front of them. She went home that very day, on a trial adoption and became Bailey.

She took a few weeks to fully settle into her new home, but she clearly rules the roost now. As Bailey, Tabitha now has everything she could ever need, a loving family, a safe secure home of her own and all the treats and toys she could possibly ever desire. We're working on finding her a sister now, then her life will be perfect. ;)
Written by: LH


First, the planning board for the City of San Carlos is insistent that the area our building is in, is not zoned properly for our purpose. If the place was ideal we'd probably fight to stay but we've had a ton of issues with the new building. The electrical is a nightmare, as is the water situation which makes running a shelter difficult. On top of that the ventilation has become an issue and so have the neighbors (who have been stealing from us) so it's really a good thing that we have to move.

For the short term, the shelter needs to be moved to a much smaller facility. We are trying to adopt out as many cats as possible & hoping to get the rest out into foster care. We looked at a new building in Redwood City last week, but it's more for having an address and for adoption events. We're hoping to get the majority of our cats adopted or out into foster care before the move. Which is doubly hard as none of volunteers or BOD members seem to want to take on the responsibility of managing our foster homes and the cats out in foster. Honestly I'm very stressed out about the whole thing but I have to believe that it will all work out.

Written by: LH