Story and Photos by Alice Gerard
When Forgotten Felines of WNY rescued Trinity, she was pregnant and in poor condition.
“She had to have emergency surgery because all her babies were dead inside of her. Even after that, she barely made it. She now has a great home and a great life. That brings me happiness. Trinity is very loved,” said Mel O’Connor, who runs the cat rescue from her Grand Island home.
On April 15, Forgotten Felines of WNY held a yard sale and basket raffle to raise money for the organization, so that more cats can be adopted by other great homes. According to Donna Barrett, a board member for the cat rescue, the goals of the event was “to raise as much money as we can to help the cats in our program, and all future cats in our program, with veterinary care and fostering care and food and litter and everything else that goes along with it.”
Forgotten Felines of WNY, which has operated for “a little bit over two years,” Barrett said, is a foster-based cat rescue that takes in cats that have been abandoned, have been in unhealthy conditions, whose owners have died, or for any other reason that would result in a cat becoming homeless.
“People normally contact us because there is no shortage of cats that need help,” she said. “We do have a network of people who know us. We are online, so people can contact us online or via text or email about the cats or kittens that need help. Then we do what we can to help.”
For people who wish to adopt a cat, there is a process to go through that starts with filling out an application available online, as well as answering questions asked by Forgotten Felines of WNY. All potential adoptive cat owners go through a preapproval process, which includes checking with a vet “to make sure that you’re a responsible cat owner,” Barrett said.
Visitors enjoy looking through items offered for sale at the garage sale.
Some cats are just decorative.
“If people want to foster or adopt, they can go online, to Forgotten Felines of WNY (https://forgottenfelineswny.com/), and through Petfinder,” Barrett said. “They have a whole list of adoptable cats who are available. You’ll see a picture and a small biography. If you are interested in any of them, you can contact us with your name, and we will also do this online. If you are interested in a cat, you would have to go to the foster home where the cat is. You could visit the cat or cats.
“Then you go to the foster home and meet the foster mom and meet the cats and have a discussion. You fill out an application online first. If it works out, we bring the cat to your home and do a home visit. We just want to make sure it’s a safe and secure home for the cat. You fill out the adoption form, and you have a cat.”
Some cats, like Trinity, can be adopted as single cats. Other cats are offered for adoption as bonded pairs, who need to stay together.
Most cats currently available for adoption are adult cats or senior cats, as well as some kittens.
Barrett said there is a special joy in adopting a senior cat, defined as a cat who is 8 years old or older.
“I personally just adopted out my last two fosters,” she said. “I had two seniors, ages 15 and 17 years old. They were adopted by a couple who likes to adopt the older cats to give them a nice, comfortable, loving home for the last few years of their lives. The cats are both quite healthy, so they could live another few years. It’s not fair to adopt kittens when you have these adult cats and middle-aged and senior cats who also deserve a good home. At least, with an older cat, you know what you have. You don’t have to guess. You know what the cat is like. With a kitten, you really don’t know until the kitten grows up.”
Currently, however, Forgotten Felines cannot add any more cats to its program.
“We are definitely looking for foster homes. That’s why we can’t take any more cats in right now. We don’t have any available fosters,” Barrett said.
Trinity is a senior cat who has found her forever home (with this author)