Katherine Tucker, Furry Friends Volunteer and Adopter

Katherine Tucker_photo by Diane Stevens.jpg

"Growing up, our family had dogs while most of our cousins had cats, and as a result, my sister and I loved ALL animals," Katherine says. "When we moved to Texas, not only did my sister and I have horses, but so did both of my nieces. My youngest niece did dressage and boarded her horse at the stable that trained the two of them.

"By then, I’d been a flight attendant – with no pets – for about 15 years, but being based in Dallas/Fort Worth allowed me to visit my sister’s family in Austin quite often. On one visit, I found their house filled with kittens! My niece had brought them home because she was afraid they would be stepped on by the horses and killed.

"After that, whenever I visited, a cat slept in my bed at night. Five years later, my sister asked if I’d take PJ, a pretty calico. Apparently the rest of the litter picked on her, making her hide all the time, except for when I was there. I finally broke down and took her just before moving up to Vancouver, WA, where I flew out of Portland to Japan. PJ would greet me when I got home early in the morning after flying all night, and she would lie down on my chest and purr to keep me company while I napped.

"After she died, I flew to Atlanta to visit some relatives, and one of my cousins asked if I’d take his cat, Galileo. So I said ‘yes’. When I returned from a trip, he would come up to me, turn around and sit down with his back to me. My last two cats died in the fall of 2017, and I thought ‘no more cats’.


"I’d been volunteering with Furry Friends for some time when a cat named Dash entered our care. He was quite young, and although he was adopted fairly quickly, he was just as quickly returned with the name Yoda. During his stay with us, I’d visit with him as I did my shift, and he won me over. I knew he had to be MY kitty.

"Dash is a much better name than Yoda because he runs everywhere! I put his litter box in my bathroom tub -- which I don’t use – and he loves to play and go out onto my enclosed deck provided it’s not too hot or too cold.

"All in all, I think he’s happy. I know I am."

Stash’s Story

Stash had to wear a sweater until he healed

Stash had to wear a sweater until he healed

Stash came from a home where he was not cared for. He was neglected for quite a long time.  They decided to get rid of him and Furry Friends was there to welcome him in. When he came in he clearly felt miserable. There were very few spots on his body that didn’t have scabs.  He had been this way for a very long time.  He was treated for flea allergies (allergic dermatitis) and secondary yeast and bacterial infection on his skin. He had to have a medicinal mousse treatment every 3rd day all over his body, then he had to wear a sweater so he wouldn't lick the medicine off of his body. He had to wear his sweater all the time except for 30 minutes after the moussing. He disliked the mousse because it made him wet all over and when it dried he felt greasy.  This went on for weeks. He also had a dental cleaning because of severe tarter. Furry Friends spent about $500 on his medical care before he was adopted.

Stash is a healthy, happy cat now

Stash is a healthy, happy cat now

A volunteer for Furry Friends was in the market for a kitty and Stash stole her heart. SuAnne was not able to take Stash home until he finished his medical treatments. She came to visit him every other day for 6 weeks and they formed a great bond during this time. Once SuAnne took him home, Stash had an entirely new environment to get used to; including, 3 new people, a 'sister' kitty and a 'brother' dog.

She suspected Stash had been neglected because he did not seek out affection, but also, did not want to be left alone.  When he first came home he was confined to the spare bedroom for a few days so he could adjust.  He hated being in the room alone and would meow all the time.  Since he didn't want time alone she integrated him into the rest of the house quicker than originally planned and slept with him at night.  He liked Blaze, the other kitty, but it took a lot longer for him to accept the dog. Blaze and Stash started playing...very awkwardly...by chasing each other up and down the hall.  They have grown to like each other; they play all the time, eat together and sleep near each other.  Stash tolerates the dog!

He never jumped up and sat with anybody, so SuAnne started picking him up all the time.  At first, he would jump down after a minute or two but gradually he started staying longer.  Finally he started jumping up on his own.  He would, also, hide under the coffee table and watch everybody.  He still hides under the coffee table but it is less frequent and he will poke his head out if you talk to him.

SuAnne & Stash before she could take him home

SuAnne & Stash before she could take him home

When everybody would go to bed he wouldn't know what to do. They had to remember to bring him in to a bedroom or he would sleep alone in the living room.  Today, he has a bed in her son's room, where Blaze sleeps, and a bed in her room.  He gets to choose where he wants to sleep.  He sleeps with each of them for a few nights, then switches.  

Because he was sick for so long, his immune system was very compromised so his new family is working hard and making him fully healthy.  He gets weekly B12 shots (for 12 weeks) and once a day has medicinal mushrooms mixed in his wet food.   These things are working great!  He has more energy to play, doesn't wheeze or cough anymore, and he hasn't had any more reactions to fleas.  In addition, almost all of his fur has grown back and he's a very handsome boy!

"He is a great addition to our family.  Everybody loves him and he is very spoiled.  He comes to greet us when we get home and now realizes that he is part of our family.   He hates it when we are all outside without him, he stands at the back door and meows.  He is quite the talker and now he's not afraid to demand what he needs!"

Who is Furry Friends?

Founded in 1999, Furry Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, no-kill organization that rescues and adopts out homeless, relinquished, and abused cats in Clark County, Washington. We care for them as long as it takes to find their forever home. We are an all-volunteer organization; there is no paid staff.

Furry Friends depends almost entirely on business sponsorship and private donations to fund an an­nual operating budget of $120,000. Our major fundraising event is the annual dinner and auction to be held each September. We are an all-volunteer organization; there is no paid staff.

When we take in a cat or kitten, they all have their vaccinations, treatment for fleas, worms & mites, tested for FIV and FeLV, spayed or neutered, and monthly wellness check-ups. If the cat needs other attention such as teeth work or medical procedures done, we will take care of that before we put them up for adoption. Our adoption fee is $80 for one cat or $100 for two. That fee does not begin to cover the costs that we have into the kitties. Our goal is to have healthy, happy cats and kittens to be adopted into wonderful loving homes.

Contact Us: Website:   www.furryfriendswa.org * (360) 993-1097 * information@furryfriendswa.org


Furry Friends to Participate in GIVE MORE 24!


Furry Friends is asking for your support on Thursday, September 21, during the Give More 24! online fundraising challenge hosted by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington. The nonprofit, an all-volunteer cat adoption organization in Vancouver, WA, is looking to raise funds to cover the extraordinary medical expenses of cats in their care. These costs include veterinary bills for emergency surgeries, as well as ongoing treatments and lifelong medications. As a 501(C)(3) no-kill organization, Furry Friends is committed to providing the best possible medical care to the cats they rescue before placing them in their “furever” homes. 


Your donation on September 21 will boost your donation to Furry Friends on that day. For example, if Furry Friends receives 3% of the total raised on September 21, it will also receive 3% of the $30,000 stretch pool. In addition, supporters can start planning on how to help the organization win up to $15,000 in prizes by logging onto the Give More 24! Website at https://give-more-24.org/prizes. And to top it off, Furry Friends will receive matching funds of up to $2,000, thanks to Julie Baldino of Front Door Realty.

Nova_by Diane Stevens..jpg

Every tax-deductible donation made to Furry Friends through Give More 24! will help Furry Friends cover the extraordinary medical bills of cats like Dash and Nova. Dash is a naturally happy, friendly four-year-old Russian Blue that likes to hop onto the back of anyone daring to bend over in his company. A volunteer favorite, he loves attention, and if he had his way, he would sit on your lap all day. But due to painful and chronic oral disease, he has become sad and lethargic and spends the majority of his days sleeping. Your support will help cover the more than $2,200 in medical treatment that he needs for this painful issue. Nova is a beautiful all white cat with one blue eye and one yellow eye that came to Furry Friends with severe dental disease. His oral treatment alone was more than $2,580, but it was worth it to once again see him climbing his way to his comfy window-sill bed. 

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Give More 24! will launch at 12am on Thursday, September 21st and will last until the stroke of midnight. You can make your tax-deductible donation count by making it through https://give-more-24.org/designee/furry-friends on that day. The mission of Furry Friends is to help homeless, relinquished and abused cats by providing spay/neuter, medical care, and foster shelter for as long as it takes to find their forever home. For more information visit www.furryfriendswa.org, send an email to information@furryfriendswa.org or leave a message at (360) 993-1097.

Featured Volunteer: Nomi Berger

Nomi Berger (and her sidekick, Mini) – Toronto, Ontario

Nomi Berger (and her sidekick, Mini) – Toronto, Ontario

Nomi Berger is a writer with a big heart and a lot of creativity. She volunteers her talents for several animal rescue operations including Furry Friends. She produces an educational Cat Tale article every week that is posted to the Columbian’s web site and the Furry Friends web site. She also interviews people that have adopted our kitties then writes a weekly adoption story that we call Furry Friends Fur-Ever. These are posted to the Furry Friends web site and Facebook page weekly.

Here is an interview about Nomi written by the Boston Terrier Rescue Canada. We greatly appreciate her and so do the other rescue operations that she writes for.

BTRC: How long have you volunteered with Boston Terrier Rescue Canada?
Nomi: My volunteering began with a Blog post I wrote on May 22, 2013, and I’ve been the “pen behind the prose” ever since. Thanks to cyberspace, I’m as near to this remarkable rescue as my computer screen, as close to everyone as a heartbeat.

I have the joy and privilege of writing bios and Set for Life profiles for dogs I’ve never met, educational articles for a public I’ve never seen, text for fundraisers and other events I’ve never attended, and communicating with BTRC Board members I know only by their names. And yet, I’m a member of a group I consider family, an active participant in a world where tragedies are balanced by triumphs, and where passionate people dedicate themselves to making a difference in the lives of so many innocent and deserving dogs.

BTRC: What made you want to be a BTRC volunteer?
Nomi: May I tell you a story? Having grown up in an “allergic” household, we had no pets, and owning one never occurred to me. But I was a born writer. Words were and are MY passion, taking me from poet to advertising copywriter, from public relations to published author.

Then, in 2011, I fell in love with a rowdy Jack Russell terrier named Uggie in the Academy Award winning film “The Artist.” Don’t ask me why. Writers have no logical explanations for their obsessions, and Uggie, a rescue dog, became mine. Within months, I took that obsession to an entirely new level: the world of animal rescue. And so, with my passion for words, I decided to volunteer my voice to those who needed it.

Writers are resourceful and relentless. Online, I found guides, directories and web sites, and began emailing queries to rescues in Canada and the U.S. One by one, I found, to my delight, that my voice WAS needed, and BTRC was the first.

BTRC: How many pets do you own, or should I say own you?
Nomi: I’m held in thrall by a lovable, playful and absolutely adorable 8-year-old Maltese named Mini, whom I adopted in August 2014. She’s my accepting angel, loyal listener, constant companion, and consummate cuddler packaged in 5.9 pounds of silky, soft white hair.

BTRC: When you’re not volunteering, how do you like to spend your time?
Nomi: As a writer, I spend most of the day, every day, at my laptop, completely consumed by what I do. As a political junkie, I read the New York Times online; as an avid reader, I go from book to book, and as a culture vulture turned couch potato, I spend the evenings engrossed in Netflix with Mini curled up comfortably in my lap.

BTRC: What did you want to be when you “grew up”?
Nomi: here was never any question: I wanted to be a best-selling author. And I was fortunate enough to have lived my dream.

BTRC: Summer or winter?
Nomi: Neither. I cherish the freshness of spring and the coolness of fall. But sadly, nowadays, there are no true seasons.

​​​​​​​Recycled cats are priceless

Furry Friends will be offering their recycled cats for adoption June 24 & 25, 2017 at the Recycled Arts Festival (RAF) held at Esther Short Park, 301 West 8th Street in Vancouver, WA. It has grown into a huge family event, with more and more participants every year.

Come on out and “purruse” the adoptable cats, talk with the Furry Friends volunteers, relax and listen to music, get all sorts of info on what you can do to help the kitties besides adopting a cat and check out some of the great cat themed merchandise that Furry Friends will have for purchase.

Furry Friends will be offering discounted Avid FriendChip ID microchipping for dogs and cats on Saturday, June 24 from 9am to 1pm and Sunday , June 25 from 9am to 1pm. The chips will be implanted in your pet by our volunteer licensed vet tech for only $20 (a $50 value). Cats often do not wear collars, and may not have any other form of ID. A recent study showed that less than 2% of cats without microchips were returned home. However, if a cat is microchipped, the return-to-owner rate is 20 times higher than if the cat was not microchipped. This unique permanent identification gives your lost pet a much better chance of coming home.

Furry Friends volunteers will be available Saturday from 9am-5pm and Sunday from 10am-4pm. The cats will be there during those hours, weather permitting. Come on out to meet the cats and volunteers or to learn more about the care of cats and the mission of Furry Friends.

Furry Friends is a nonprofit, all volunteer, no kill, cat adoption organization in Vancouver, WA. Its mission is to help homeless, relinquished and abused cats by providing spaying and neutering, medical care and foster shelter for as long as it takes to find their forever home.

For more information about Furry Friends, visit www.furryfriendswa.org, email information@furryfriendswaorg or leave a message at (360) 993-1097.

Recycled cats are priceless, so let's make our planet more purrfect and adopt a recycled cat today!

Pet overpopulation continues to be a huge problem. Shelters have limited capacity and every 8 seconds an unwanted cat or dog is euthanized somewhere in the United States. It is a sad reality, but you can help to be part of the solution by adopting one of these recycled felines.

Here are a few reasons to consider adding one or more recycled shelter cats to your household.

·       There is a full selection available: Whether it is a kitten, adolescent, senior or special needs cat, your local shelter will have a large selection for you to choose from. There will also be cats of all colors and personalities. Find the perfect feline for your situation.

·       Shelter cats are ready to go: They’re spayed or neutered, immunized, dewormed, microchipped and assessed for behavioral issues.

·       Adoption fees are lower than buying a cat: The cost of purchasing a purebred cat is significantly higher than acquiring a shelter cat. And don’t be fooled by taking a free kitten. If you are a responsible pet owner, you will be spending $300 to $400 to take care of vaccinations, spay/neuter, micro chip etc. These are things that have already been taken care of when you adopt a shelter cat.

·       You’ll save a life: By adopting a shelter cat you will be part of the overpopulation solution. This will open up a spot for another cat to come into the shelter. Why not consider a cat that is more than five years old. These cats tend to settle into routines quickly, making them great housemates. And if you travel a lot, consider adopting cats as a pair so they can keep each other company.

Recycled cats are priceless, so let's make our planet more purrfect and adopt a recycled cat today!

Cat Adoption and Book Signing April 29th

Photo by Diane Stevens

Photo by Diane Stevens

Woodin’ You Pampered Paws will be hosting a Furry Friends Cat Adoption Event and book signing with author Ramona Marek on Saturday, April 29th from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Woodin’ You Pampered Paws, Your Neighborhood Pet Supply Store & More is conveniently located at the Center Square shopping center in Salmon Creek at 13305 NE Hwy 99 #102, Vancouver WA  98686

Furry Friends will have a selection of their cats that are available for adoption at the event. Come and meet the kitties and the volunteers.

As an added bonus author Ramona Marek will be signing her new book “Cats for the Genius”. Are you a cat owner or are you thinking about becoming one? If cats have already cast their magical spell on you, you’ll find valuable information for you and your feline friends. If you’re getting your first cat or find yourself unexpectedly living with a feline roommate, welcome to the cat fancy. Get ready for a whimsical, enchanting, and affectionate lifelong relationship!

A little about Ramona: Welcome to the world of award-winning author, Ramona D. Marek, MS Ed. A world where the arts, culture, history, and lots of fur and purrs come together into the printed word. In her career as an author, freelance writer, and contributing writer, her work has been printed in numerous national and international print and digital magazines. She is an author whose writing and curiosity know no bounds, but her work is surrounded by three touchstones.

About Furry Friends

Furry Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, no-kill organization that rescues and adopts out homeless, relinquished, and abused cats in Clark County, Washington. They care for the kitties as long as it takes to find their forever home. They are an all-volunteer organization; there is no paid staff.

 Mission Statement:

To care for homeless, relinquished and abused cats by:

  • Spaying or Neutering;
  • Providing medical care and foster placement until permanent, loving homes are found; Educating the public regarding the care and responsibility of cat ownership;
  • Collaborating with other pet rescue and companion groups to accomplish a no-kill status in the state of Washington. 

For more information about Furry Friends please visit the website at www.furryfriendswa.org  or contact them at information@furryfriendswa.org  or leave a message at (360) 993-1097.

Do you love kittens? Then why not become a foster parent

Love cats and kittens but not ready for your own? Maybe your lifestyle doesn’t allow time for you to adopt, then fostering may be a great alternative. Fostering is a great way to help our kittens on your own time, in the comfort of your own home for a few weeks or months.

Kitten Season is coming. That is the period of time between roughly, March through November each year when all the unsprayed female cats start having their kittens. A female cat will usually have 4-6 kittens in a litter and can have up to 3 litters during the season. A female can become pregnant as early as 5 months old.

Furry Friends tries to take in as many mom cats with babies as they can. But these nursing females with their litters need to be raised in a home, not in our shelter. A cat’s personality is largely formulated in the first eight weeks of life. They need to be gently handled as soon as possible. Early human handling results in a well socialized cat.

The more foster parents we have, the more lives of kittens we can save. The experience of fostering can be one of the most uniquely satisfying and fulfilling experiences of your own unique life.

To become a foster home for Furry Friends a Foster Application must be completed, references checked and the home inspected. Foster parents are to maintain the health and well-being of each cat in their care; with cats remaining indoors at all times. All food, litter and medical will be supplied. You can help make a life-saving difference by becoming a volunteer foster parent today

If you are interested in fostering, please complete the online application at www.furryfriendswa.org. Or for more information call (360) 993-1097 or email information@furryfriendswa.org.

Founded in 1999, Furry Friends is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, no-kill organization that rescues and adopts out homeless, relinquished, and abused cats in Clark County, Washington. We care for them as long as it takes to find their forever home. We are an all-volunteer organization; there is no paid staff. Furry Friends depends entirely on private donations, business sponsorships and fundraising events to finance our operation.

By Diane Stevens for Furry Friends


Furry Friends Receives Emergency Medical Grant

Furry Friends, Vancouver, has received a $1000 Emergency Medical grant from the Petfinder Foundation. The Petfinder Foundation Emergency Medical grant program is used to assist Petfinder members who are caring for a pet that needs special life-saving veterinary care in order to become adoptable.

This generous award is for the medical expenses incurred after Maggie, a sweet, loving, one-year-old orange tabby, was rescued. This petite cat suffered from neglect and severe respiratory symptoms. After three rounds of antibiotics did not alleviate her breathing problems, Maggie was taken to a specialist that surgically removed a one-inch nasal polyp from her tiny nose. Her veterinarian bills were quite high and we greatly appreciate receiving the grant from Petfinder. Maggie is now healthy and breathing normally. She has just been adopted and is keeping her new forever family entertained with her purrs and playful antics.

The Petfinder.com Foundation assists the 12,000+ animal shelters and rescue groups that post their adoptable pets on Petfinder.com. A nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the Petfinder Foundation helps adoption organizations find homes for the pets in their care through its Sponsor A Pet, Disaster Fund, Quality of Life and other programs. Since its founding in 2003, the Petfinder Foundation has given more than $20 million in cash and product grants to shelters and rescue groups in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Furry Friends posts its adoptable pets at www.petfinder.com/shelters/WA12.html.

Pet Therapy for People

Pet owners know first-hand that dogs and cats love unconditionally; they are there when the person needs a hug or a smile. This love and acceptance make dogs and cats ideal therapeutic visitors for the elderly and disabled in nursing homes and care facilities. 

Furry Friends, a non-profit, no kill cat rescue organization in Clark County, has been operating a Pet Therapy visitation program to area nursing facilities and assisted living centers since its inception in 1999. The program’s first therapeutic visitors were cats that lived in the shelter. Later, volunteers brought their own well behaved, docile cat or dog to interact with the residents. 

“Faces light up when we bring our pets,” said Susan Anderson, who heads the pet therapy program. “It’s a thrill to watch the people shower love and affection on the dogs and cats—and to watch the pets return that love. For many people, the pets’ visit is the highlight of their day.” 

Anderson evaluates potential volunteers and their pets. “A well trained friendly pet can bring a smile to a sad face,” she said. “People who rarely interact with other people may shine when they have a chance to talk to, touch or cuddle a dog or cat. It’s a wonderful experience.” 

 When she’s not visiting homes with her dog Shasta, Anderson is a Deputy Fire Marshal. She also volunteers for the Oregon Humane Society Technical Animal Rescue (OHSTAR) team, which rescues animals in trouble in the wild. For example, if a dog falls off a cliff while hiking with their person, the team responds to the scene to attempt a rescue. She has a big heart for people and animals. 

Benefits of Pet Therapy
The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial relationship, and studies have proven that interaction with pets is an effective method of stress reduction, lowered blood pressure, and increased sense of well being in patients and staff. Residents report that loneliness, helplessness, and boredom have yielded to companionship, self-sufficiency and a sense of joy. Plus, the pets love it! 

No special volunteer training is required, but pets must be well groomed, respond to basic commands and have current licensing and vaccinations. Most importantly, pet parents need to be reliable. The care center residents and staff very much look forward to the visits. Advance notice is requested if you have to miss an appointment. Our human/pet teams are welcome to schedule one or more visits each month, each typically lasting about an hour. Our partner care facilities are located throughout Clark County.

About Furry Friends

Furry Friends is dedicated to offering animal visits as therapy to local residents of nursing homes and assisted living centers. We provide regular visits of therapy animals that can be held, stroked, or just talked to as a means of providing stimulation and interaction with residents and staff. 

Furry Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, no-kill organization that rescues and adopts out homeless, relinquished, and abused cats in Clark County, Washington. We care for the kitties as long as it takes to find their forever home. We are an all-volunteer organization; there is no paid staff. 

For more information or to inquire about volunteering, please see the Furry Friends website at www.furryfriendswa.org  or by contacting us at information@furryfriendswa.org  or leaving a message at (360) 993-1097.


Spotlight on Sandra Bush, Vet Tech extraordinaire

Sandy Bush is a person that loves animals so much that she has dedicated her life to their well being. It was over 15 years ago that she received her Associate of Science degree in Veterinary Medicine from Portland Community College and she has been a Veterinary Technician ever since.  Her compassion for animals runs deep and she gets much reward from helping them out.

About 4 years ago Sandy met Jennifer Hart, the now president of Furry Friends. Jennifer was volunteering at a Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) event and Sandy happened to strike up a conversation with her. Sandy was looking to contribute some time to helping cats and Furry Friends, which is located in Vancouver, Washington, was looking for more Vet Tech help with their growing organization. It was a purrfect match.

Sandy began her volunteer work with Furry Friends helping out the lead Vet Tech, and then it wasn’t long before she was the lead Vet Tech. Her work load has grown right along with Furry Friends requiring more and more of her time.  For 2016 there have been about 200 cats under her care. That is a lot of cats for one person to be watching over. Some of the cats and kittens are adopted out quickly, while many more end up staying with Furry Friends for months and some for years.

When cats and kittens come in to Furry Friends, they all go through a wellness checkup with Sandy. This exam can take 15 to 25 minutes per cat. The kittens will end up having a 2nd checkup 4 weeks later. The initial exam includes: checking heart & lungs, testing for feline leukemia & aids, treatment for fleas, ear mites & worms, their eyes and skin is checked, scanned to see if they have a microchip. If the cat does not have a microchip, she will insert one. If the cat has not been spayed or neutered and is over 3lbs, they will be scheduled for an operation with Salmon Creek Companion Vet. If the cat has other health issues, they may have to go to visit the Vet at Claus Paws. In addition to the initial wellness checkup, she and Brianna the monthly vet tech, perform a monthly checkup on each of the cats in Furry Friends care which takes 5 hours to complete.

With so many cats in her care, there are always those needing daily medications. She ends up coming to the Furry Friends Halfway House one to three times a day to give medications. In addition to that she is run ragged taking cats to the vet. Right now there is a cat named Lillian with heart issues and high blood pressure and she has to see a specialist in Portland. Once her blood pressure is under control then we will need to take care of her dental issues. These vet trips take about 3 hours of Sandy’s time. Many other cats need teeth work, which Sandy is the one transporting them to Claus Paws to get the work done. 

We would very much like to find more help for Sandy such as finding another Vet Tech that could work a few hours a week. Or perhaps someone is willing to transport cats to the vet or an experienced person to give some critical meds to cats so Sandy does not have to make one to three trips to the shelter each day.

What is impressive, Sandy, like the entire dedicated staff at Furry Friends, works on an entirely volunteer basis. Payment comes in the form of knowing she is making the world a better and safer place for kitties that wouldn’t have a fighting chance otherwise.

In the rare moments when Sandy is not consumed with cats, she loves to visit antique shows with her mom. She is also a car buff and loves visiting classic car shows with her boyfriend and watching NASCAR. Then she comes home to cuddle with her own two cats Nemo and Buddy. You guessed it; yes these were Furry Friends kitties that she adopted. You can’t work so long around these cats without one or two coming home with you.

We are so grateful for Sandy and her tireless effort for the kitties. She is an angel in the lives of our kitties and as a fellow volunteer for Furry Friends. She is a sacrificial person and it is an honor to work by her side.

​Cat-Friendly Ideas for Holiday and Year-Round Giving

The holidays are the perfect time of year to give back to the charities and organizations that you feel most passionate about -- and if you're a cat lover, Furry Friends is the perfect place to share some holiday joy. There are lots of ways to help cats & kittens during the holiday season and, really, anytime.  For so many of us it seems like our homes are already filled with “stuff”, making us feel that it makes no sense to give one another even more “stuff”.  One gift option chosen by more and more people is to make a donation in someone’s name.  This is a lovely way to honor the relationship with the gift receiver while contributing to meaningful work. http://furryfriendswa.org/donate/

Furry Friends also appreciate donations of new items such as paper towels, kitty litter, bleach, Natural Balance canned and dry cat food to name a few items. Or perhaps a gift card to Orchards Feed or All Natural Pet Supply so we can buy exactly what we need. We also have wish lists on Amazon, giving donors a chance to have that “shopping” experience while doing something wonderful. Or link an Amazon purchase to Furry Friends through Amazon Smile. http://furryfriendswa.org/online-purchasing/

You might consider fostering an adoptable cat to give a homeless pet love and comfort and to help Furry Friends which is an all volunteer organization, rescue more cats.  Becoming a foster family or volunteering in other ways for Furry Friends is very rewarding.  Or, you might consider opening your home more permanently, as a “forever home”, adopting a homeless cat.  There are so many wonderful cats and kittens just waiting for.  What about giving a pet somewhere to finish his or her days surrounded by kindness and warmth? 

About Furry Friends

Furry Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, no-kill organization that rescues and adopts out homeless, relinquished, and abused cats in Clark County, Washington. We care for the kitties as long as it takes to find their forever home. We are an all-volunteer organization; there is no paid staff. For more information visit the Furry Friends website at www.furryfriendswa.org  or contact  them atinformation@furryfriendswa.org  or leave a message at (360) 993-1097.

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Noel and the Funkhausers

Sharon proudly admits that she’s been "privileged to have had many fur babies in my life."

Obviously then, her nibs, Miss Noel was not her first. Sadly for Sharon, however, Noel’s entry into their lives was due to the death of the family’s 17-year-old orange tabby to kidney failure, and the fact that their 6-year-old gray tabby, Sweetie, was in mourning.  

"When my friend, Marilyn, a volunteer for Furry Friends, told me how many cats and kittens needed to be adopted, I visited them several times and found it impossible to choose from among so many beauties," explains Sharon. "But the last time I was there, I picked Noel up and held her as I walked around watching the other cats. Then, when I looked down, she was sound asleep and still purring. It was the loudest purr I’d ever heard, and my heart melted. She was the one!" 

The Funkhausers couldn't have asked for a better fit. Noel and Sweetie are now the best of friends and love chasing after treats together. When Sharon’s husband tosses them treats, they laugh as the two cats chase each other up the stairs and back down again. But let the family leave the house for a few hours, and Noel soundly scolds them upon their return! 

"She’s actually learning to fetch," says Sharon. "She’ll dig around in her toy box and I’ll throw her mouse so that she can chase it. But I must admit that morning is our favorite time of day. While the adults are having coffee, the cats are frisking about, until Noel changes course and curls up in my lap for some love. During what we call our ‘love fest’, she gives me kisses and rubs her forehead against my chin."

As for bedtime? When Sharon heads upstairs, Noel runs past her and is happily ensconced in the "big" bed by the time she gets there.  

"Noel usually sleeps between our pillows, and I like to curl my arm around her at night. Yes ... she's mama’s baby! She may be two years old, but she’s still very much a kitten at heart, and still needs to be near us."

Nomi Berger is the bestselling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry, and hundreds of articles. She is a volunteer writer for Furry Friends in Vancouver, WA and also volunteers her writing skills to animal rescue groups in Canada and the USA. She lives with her adopted Maltese named Mini.  For more information about Furry Friends visit www.furryfriendswa.org or contact them at information@furryfriendswa.org or (360) 993-1097

Whiskers and the Wilmotts

Having been committed cat owners for over 20 years, the Wilmotts, after the death of one of their two latest cats, knew that lonely 2-year-old Cosito needed a new companion.

"We decided to get another cat," explains Debbie, "but didn’t really want to go through the kitten stage again. We were familiar with Furry Friends as they took several sets of kittens born to feral moms from our neighborhood several years ago.

"We also knew that The Cat’s Meow Luxury Boarding (we board Cosito there) often had cats from Furry Friends in their adoption room, and both Jo and Amber felt 4-year-old Whiskers would be a good match. We met her, and brought her home the next day.

"Thinking the cats needed to get used to each other’s scents before introducing them, we put Whiskers in a separate room. Cosito, however, had other plans. He kept vigil outside the door, even sliding his paw under it, and refusing to move. We went out for several hours and upon our return, found that not only was he still there, but that one of her paws had slid out from under the door. Needless to say, the introductions were made then!"

And the two have been best feline friends ever since, romping and playing, chasing and looking out for each other, and cuddling together with their humans. Whiskers, once skittish and not fond of being picked up, is a cat transformed, provided she’s approached slowly and spoken to softly.

"When we’re sitting, she’s a little love bug," Debbie says. "She loves being petted under the chin, and she likes to groom Cosito, just as a mama cat would. She also likes lying on us while we watch TV (a big step in trust for her), and will sometimes even sleep on our laps."

As a treat fiend, now on a treat "diet", she still comes running – hopefully -- whenever she hears the familiar rattle of spoons in the kitchen drawer.

"Bringing Whiskers into our family was the best move we could have made, especially for Cosito. She’s taught him some of the things he missed out on as a kitten, such as how to play with balls and catnip-filled toys. She has really brightened up our lives."

Hot Weather and Cool Cats!

Make sure your cats stay cool in the summer heat!

Wait a minute – are we talking about the same creatures who reach near-spontaneous-combustion temperatures when they bask in a sunny spot next to a window or in front of the fireplace in the winter? YES! Even though our floofy fluffballs love warmth, hot weather is something that can be very dangerous for cats. When cats enjoy a sunny spot or relax in front of a fireplace, generally only one side of them receives the heat, and they can move whenever they want. However, in weather-related heat-waves, the entire body of the cat is immersed in warmth and sometimes it’s not so easy to escape the heat. How can you help? Here are some ideas:

  • Know the signs of heat stroke. If you see your cat panting, drooling, being excessively lethargic or if she has a fever or collapses, get her to the vet right away. Heat stroke is no joke – it can cause permanent organ damage or death.
  • Provide cool spots, indoors and out. If you have outdoor cats, make sure they have access to a shady spot no matter where the sun is. Indoor cats will appreciate access to rooms with tile or concrete flooring that they can sprawl out on and cool off.
  • Water, water, water! Make sure your cats have access to fresh, clean, cool water at all times. Refresh several times a day if your water bowls are outside or if you do not have air conditioning. For a little bit of fun you can put ice-cubes in the water that will keep it cool, and provide a little play-time enrichment!
  • Catsicles for everyone! You can give your cats ice cubes with treats in them (like catnip, or freeze tuna water in cubes), or you can make a wet-food catsicle. Check out PetFinder’s recipe here.
  • Keep the air flowing. Air conditioning is great, but if you don’t have AC, make sure to keep a fan blowing in your cat’s favorite area. In the evenings, open up the windows to get cool, fresh air inside (but check the screens first to make sure they won’t pop out of the window!).
  • Play and exercise during cooler hours. Don’t play with your cat during the heat of the day – exercise can happen in the morning or evening when it’s cooler. Or, if it’s super hot and the temperatures aren’t going down at night, wait until another day. It’s ok to miss a day of rigorous exercise!

Stay cool, everyone – I hope you are having a fun summer and that your furry family members are enjoying the season as well.

Dr. Marci Koski is a certified Feline Training and Behavior Specialist whose mission is to keep cats in homes and out of shelters. If you are having problems with your cat's behavior, visit Marci's website at www.felinebehaviorsolutions.com. Marci also volunteers with Furry Friends, a no-kill cat rescue organization in Vancouver, WA. You can learn more about Furry Friends at their website, www.furryfriendswa.org.

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Olivia and Janice

Once upon a time, Olivia wasn’t the happiest puss-in-boots around. But feast your eyes on this fabulous feline now.

Her adoring adoptive mom, Janice, has even bestowed oh-so-awesome Olivia with a regal nickname: the Duchess. Talk about your rags-to-riches kitty cat tale.

“She’s doing wonderfully,” says Janice, “and the more I play with her each day with various toys, the more active she becomes. She’s really, really gotten into it. She’s also eating like a little horse and drinking a lot of water -- usually from the bathtub! She sometimes sleeps in there as well, probably because it’s cool, and with the curtain up, she feels secluded and comfortable.”

But these weren’t the only secrets on Olivia’s “favorites” list. It seems she’s a cat who actually craves milk.

“I recently set down my bowl of cereal,” Janice recounts, “and before I knew it, she had her nose in the bowl, lapping up the milk. Since then, whenever I go to the fridge, she starts yowling, runs over to her dish and sits there until I pour some milk into it.”

Another unexpected and pleasant surprise came in the form of a recent indoor “garage” sale Janice held. Fully prepared to keep Olivia safely tucked away in the privacy of the bedroom, Olivia chose instead to be in the front room.

“So I let her out, just to see how she would do, and she was fine! She occasionally slipped under the kitchen table, but remained at my feet most of the time. When a close friend stopped by with his two daughters, Olivia amazed us all by jumping up onto one of the girl’s laps and staying there awhile.”

One can only speculate as to the other happy surprises laying in wait for the Duchess’s loyal court of admirers.

Bossy, Megan and Alex

Nicknamed “Kisstopher” because of his tendency to lick his pet parents’ faces while giving himself a bath, big boy Bossy is as sweet as sugar without the calories.

Noticed first by Alex at PetSmart, it took little convincing for Megan to meet the plush, striped puss at the Halfway House. In fact, admits Megan, “He ran and jumped over things from across the room to get to us! I’d never adopted an adult cat before, and I’m so glad I did. While kittens are pretty much guaranteed a home, amazing adults like Bossy are overlooked and ignored. Adult cats are the way to go!”

But the deeper she fell in love with Bossy, the more Megan wondered about his past. She couldn’t imagine how such a perfect (and potty trained) cat could have been abandoned. Who were his owners? Why did they leave him? Did he run away? Is that what he DOES? And yes, Bossy did try – twice – to slip past them, but they tagged and “tamed” him and taught him that being indoors was most definitely “in.”

If there’s any doubt as to who rules the roost in this roomy apartment, one need only look at the assortment of cat toys and dishes, food and catnip, litter and litter boxes to know. And beautiful Bossy knew a good thing when he saw it.

“His adaptation to us and our home was immediate,” says Megan. “No sooner had we brought him inside than he jumped right on the bed and kissed us. Then he walked back and forth between Alex and myself purring, head butting, and giving us more kisses. Talk about a housewarming!”

The sole focus of his cat guardians’ love and attention, Bossy revels in being their one and only. A blend of energetic and easygoing, depending on his mood and the time of day, he loves one particular batting toy with bells, ribbons and feathers on the end, which Megan uses “to get him up and running around.” But his favorite time of day, without question, is “when we wake up and feed him in the morning.

“A cuddly lap cat when he wants to be, he’s very generous with his kisses and purrs. I’ve also discovered that when I scratch the base of his tail and the bottom of his back, he seems to go into a trance, moving his head back and forth like a pendulum. It is SO cute.”

As for this trio’s sleeping arrangements? Bossy sleeps everywhere, often switching between lying at the bottom of Megan’s feet in bed and curling up on the couch.

Kiss kiss.


Furry Friends Offers Microchipping and Cat Adoption At the Peace and Justice Fair

Event Date:     Saturday, September 10, 2016   9am to 2 pm

Who:              Furry Friends, a nonprofit, no-kill, all-volunteer cat adoption organization in Clark County

What:             Microchipping for dogs & cats – Also adoptable cats will be on display

Location:        Esther Short Park, downtown Vancouver

Cost:               $20 per pet for microchipping (a $50 value)

Furry Friends will be offering their cats and kittens for adoption Saturday, September 10, 2016 at the Peace and Justice Fair held at Esther Short Park, 301 West 8th Street in Vancouver, WA. It has grown into a huge family event, with more and more participants every year.

Come on out and “purruse” the adoptable cats, talk with the Furry Friends volunteers relax and listen to music, get all sorts of info on what you can do to help the kitties besides adopting a cat and check out some of the great cat themed merchandise that Furry Friends will have for purchase.

Furry Friends will be offering discounted Avid FriendChip ID microchipping for dogs and cats onSaturday, September 10 from 9am to 2pm. The chips will be implanted in your pet by our volunteer licensed vet tech for only $20 (a $50 value). We will complete and submit the registration paperwork. Unlike other brands, there are no annual fees. Cats often do not wear collars, and may not have any other form of ID. A recent study showed that less than 2% of cats without microchips were returned home. However, if a cat is microchipped, the return-to-owner rate is 20 times higher than if the cat was not microchipped. This unique permanent identification gives your lost pet a much better chance of coming home.

Furry Friends volunteers and the cats will be available Saturday from 9am-4pm. Come on out to meet the cats and volunteers or to learn more about the care of cats and the mission of Furry Friends.

Furry Friends is a nonprofit, all volunteer, no kill, cat adoption organization in Vancouver, WA. Its mission is to help homeless, relinquished and abused cats by providing spaying and neutering, medical care and foster shelter for as long as it takes to find their forever home.

For more information about Furry Friends, visit www.furryfriendswa.org, email information@furryfriendswa.org or leave a message at (360) 993-1097.

Furry Friends Fur-Ever Tail: Gretchen and Henry

To call Gretchen a cat lover would be an understatement. For a woman who has owned in excess of fifty cats throughout her life, she’s most finely and fabulously "fixated on felines."

And Henry (originally named Pandu) is the most recent of her furry, four-legged loves. What’s particularly unique about this pussycat happily-ever-after tale is that Gretchen adopted him without ever having met him.

Why? You might ask.

"I based my decision on what the Furry Friends volunteers told me about his looks and his lovability," admits Gretchen. "And because of his Siamese markings. I've had numerous part-Siamese kitties, and I adore their appearance as much as their personality."

To her delight, Henry slid into the groove fairly quickly with her Tonk and her Bengal, staunchly refusing to be dissuaded or discouraged by their indignant growls.

"He follows me everywhere," Gretchen says, "and sleeps on the pillow beside me. He gets along wonderfully with my Rottie who readily accepted him while the cats were still growling at him.

"He plays with everything, and I do mean everything. He's even dragged out toys that have been ignored for years by my other cats."

His special favorite, however, is a toy with an elastic cord that hangs in the door frame. The better to bat at it, no doubt.

"Henry is one heck of a good eater," laughs Gretchen. "Truth be told, he’s a bit of a piggy. And although he cuddles with me sometimes, he’s fonder of climbing the cat tree and watching the world from on high."

A Loving Letter from Jasper

Meow to my furry friends,

It was a dark and stormy night. I was wet and cold, hungry and lost. I had to get out of the rain, but I couldn’t find my way home. In desperation, I crawled under a car and jumped up on the wheel. A very kind man heard me crying and brought me to his house. It was nice and warm inside, and there was food! But because he had other cats, he didn’t have room for one more. He called Furry Friends and a lovely lady picked me up and took me to a place called the Halfway House where she said I’d be safe. She also named me Oakley, which means “Field of Oak Trees.”

They sent me to the doctor to see if I was healthy, but the next day, I noticed some of my parts were missing. (A little kitty humor here). Life at the Halfway House was pretty good, and I got lots of attention. And food! But I really wanted a home of my own. One day, a volunteer came in, and when she picked me up, I climbed onto her shoulder and nuzzled into her neck. Although she didn’t know I did this with almost everyone, she later told me that she felt a real connection. She even visited me during the week. On her next visit, she learned I was ready for adoption and promptly claimed me as her own.

She took me home and introduced me to my brother, Cooper, and my sisters, Alice and Dali. She also changed my name to Jasper, which means “Keeper of the Treasure.” But best of all – she had and still has good food. Yes, I like to eat. A LOT! I tell her when it’s time to eat every morning and afternoon. (I tell her at other times too, but she usually ignores me). If she doesn’t get up early enough in the morning, I try to pull the covers off her or lie on top of her. When she finally “dishes up”, I try to help by nudging her. I eat so quickly that she feeds the other cats first, giving them the chance to eat before I arrive for “clean up” duty. I learned that if I ate part of MY food, I could finish theirs and still have some of mine left. One day, I got into big trouble for taking a pork roast out of the kitchen sink, unwrapping it and chewing on it. And although I left it in the middle of the living room rug so that she could have some when she got home, she didn’t seem to want any.

I’m very happy in my new home. I spend my day sleeping outside in Purrsia (that’s the name of our catio), where I’m safely enclosed but still have plenty of room. There’s even a ramp that goes up and out across the yard. My Mom is the best. I jump on her shoulder as soon as she comes home from work, and she lets me stay there for as long as I want. When she gets ready to leave in the morning, I try to jump on her shoulder to keep her there. (It doesn’t work).

And so, to my fellow adopted Halfway House alums, I hope you’re as lucky and happy as I am. To those still waiting, please trust there’s a special someone who will feel the same connection with you that my Mom did with me, and that you too will find your fur-ever homes.

Love, Jasper

Jasper is 'owned' by Furry Friends volunteer Colleen Figley

Local Cat Rescue to Host “My Fair Kitty” Dinner and Auction

(Vancouver, WA) Furry Friends is hosting its eighth annual dinner and auction fundraiser on Saturday, September 17th from 5 PM to 9 PM at the Firstenburg Community Center, 700 NE 136th Ave, Vancouver, WA. 98668 

Festivities begin at 5 PM with guests having their photos taken and placing bids on the dazzling assortment of silent auction items. Dinner, catered by Summerland Catering, will then be served, offering a vegetarian entrée and including a dessert bar. The live auction, gaveled by auctioneer Doug Quinn will follow, and the evening will conclude with the awarding of the prize for the most popular “My Fair Kitty” costume. 

Advance tickets are $50 per person and $55 at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased through PayPal at www.furryfriendswa.org. All proceeds from the event will be used to fund both the rescue’s operating costs and the building improvements on the halfway house they recently purchased to accommodate their ever-expanding roster of cats. 

Furry Friends is a nonprofit, no-kill 501(c)(3) animal rescue serving Clark County. Run entirely by volunteers, their mission is to save ailing and abused, abandoned and relinquished cats by providing them with medical care and socialization, spay/neutering and shelter until they are placed in appropriate adoptive homes. 

For further information on the rescue, please visit www.furryfriendswa.org, email information@furryfriendswa.org or call 360-993-1097.