About Jennie Richards

Welcome to Homeless to Housecats!

Hi, I’m Jennie Richards—with encouragement from my girlfriends and daily inspiration from my many amazing rescue cats, I finally begin my new blog!

I have been in cat rescue formally since 2003 when I joined Friends of the Formerly Friendless (FFF) in Concord, California, to foster cats and support cat adoption. I joined Community Concern for Cats (CC4C) three years later in 2006 and have been with CC4C ever since trapping and rescuing abandoned cats, spaying and neutering, medically rehabilitating  and fostering, and getting my fosters adopted by screening and interviewing to find the most suitable and best home for each cat.

But prior to this, I had adopted an abandoned cat in 1998 that was truly “homeless in Seattle,” and named her Pumpkin, as well as another cat, Red, in 2001 who had been dumped at the Oakland Airport where he lived a very frightened life until we adopted him. They are both longer stories that I will save for later.

About Jennie Richards
Our Last Christmas Together

When my husband and I bought our house in 2003, we thought with the step-up in size, we would adopt one more rescue cat, which quickly turned into two! On a hot mid-summer day, we went to the newly opened, state-of-the-art Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in Walnut Creek, very close to where we live. We walked through their doors interested in adopting “the cat that no one wanted.” They ushered us to their spacious cat rooms, and to “Gracie” and “Dusty.” Both were extremely shy and frightened, had been returned twice, and had lived at ARF for 2-3 years. Difficult choice! We went back and forth spending time with each one, unable to choose only one cat. We finally looked at each other, and after much contemplation and petting, said “we’ll take both!” At the time, of course, we thought that was it! No more cats, we were done, we said.

Until one fateful day a year later, when we walked into Pet Food Express to pick up some needed cat food, and decided to walk to the back of the store where cat adoptions were held to visit the cats. That led to meeting the director of the cat rescue organization (FFF) who in talking, said she was in desperate need of a foster for new mama cats and babies at our local animal shelter. There were flooded with new mama cats. We both looked at each other, thinking no way! And went home. The next day, Sally called and said “have you thought about it? There are six mamas with kittens that need adopting, it’s their last day!” We looked at each other hearing her desperate plea, and said “ok!” The next day, a beautiful young, all-black mama cat arrived with four newborn kittens in a carrier together. We designated a bedroom as the “foster cat room” and that was the beginning of a new phase of our life and a life-long commitment to rescuing, fostering, and caring for the well-being of many of the cats in our area—from that fateful day forward.

Cat Hospice Care Extends Senior Cat’s Quality of Life

Sometimes miracles do truly happen. Or maybe they are simply second chances. My cat Pumpkin definitely got her second chance with giving her daily hospice care, which is keeping her alive and comfortable. Here’s her story.

Cat Hospice Care Extends Senior Cat's Quality of Life
Pumpkin Lived 1.5 Years Longer with Hospice Care


When I last wrote about her in November 2012, she was literally on death’s doorstep. Although she is a 19-year-old cat, she had previously been very healthy up to last year. She rarely had anything but “annual” or “bi-annual” routine vet visits. But early last year, we noticed her mouth smelled and learned she had Stomatitis, which was followed by dental surgery to remove several teeth, and she was put on the steroid Prednisilone to treat the Stomatitis inflammation. Continue reading Cat Hospice Care Extends Senior Cat’s Quality of Life

How to Adopt an Adult Cat

Adopting an adult cat through a foster-to-adopt arrangement is often a great option to make sure the cat is right for your home. Adult cats come with fully developed personalities and temperaments, they are mature, trained, better behaved than kittens, and know they’ve been rescued and will be forever grateful to you.

There are so many reasons to adopt an adult cat over a kitten, but in cat rescue, it’s often the kittens that get all the attention and get adopted, leaving the adults behind. But it’s the adult cats—the ones who have often been abandoned, are homeless, or have lived through loneliness, suffering, and maybe illness—that need the unconditional love of a committed home. Continue reading How to Adopt an Adult Cat

Rescuing a Cat With Special Needs – A Story of Transformation

Rescuing a cat with special needs is gratifying, but when you see their transformation to health and well being, there’s no better feeling.

I remember the night well. It was winter—another dark, cold, rainy and windy night. But this night was different. A new cat appeared at our back patio doorstep—a big orange tabby male was hungrily eating our feral’s food outside. When he lifted his head from the food bowl, he saw me, and quickly ran away. Or more accurately, hopped away. I could see something was terribly wrong. But he was gone. He returned the next night for more food, and again I came to the window to see him, and as he was hopping away I saw that he was missing one of his hind legs. The leg was completely deformed and twisted backwards, and he was severely handicapped. Continue reading Rescuing a Cat With Special Needs – A Story of Transformation