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.