Category Archives: About

About Jennie Richards

Welcome to Homeless to Housecats!

My life really took an abrupt right turn when I became involved in cat rescue and fostering. I lived a fairly normal life with one cat, then two (adopted one for the first cat), then adopted two more, but everything really changed dramatically when I started fostering cats and keeping the unadoptables—the blind, the shy, the abused, the timid, the feral, the sick, and a few foster failures along the way.

I have been in cat rescue officially since 2003 when I joined Friends of the Formerly Friendless (FFF) in Concord, California, to foster cats and support cat adoptions. I joined Community Concern for Cats (CC4C) three years later in 2006, and have been with CC4C ever since—trapping and rescuing homeless and abandoned cats, spaying and neutering, medically rehabilitating and socializing, fostering, and getting my fosters adopted by screening and interviewing to find the most suitable and best home for each cat. I even screen every adopters’ home for my foster cats, as one last part of the screening process to find the best forever home for each one.

Prior to 2003, it all started when I had adopted an abandoned cat in 1998 that was truly “homeless in Seattle.” I named her Pumpkin, and she moved with me a year later back to San Francisco. Within a month, I met the man I was to marry, and together we adopted “Red,” in 2001–a fearful, extremely timid, abused cat rescued from the Oakland Airport  where he lived a very frightened life until we adopted him.

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-summers day in August, 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 nodded like they knew exactly the cat, and ushered us along the many spacious cat rooms to “Gracie” and “Dusty.” Both were extremely shy and frightened, had been returned twice, and had lived at ARF for 2-3 years.  We went back and forth spending time with each cat, unable to choose only one. 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. We had our cat family, and that book was closed.

Until one fateful day six months 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 to check out the cats up for adoption. 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 kittens at our local animal shelter. Apparently, they were flooded with new mama cats and kittens. 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  upstairs as the new “foster cat room” and that was the beginning of a totally crazy, new phase of our life as well as a life-long commitment to rescuing, fostering, medically caring for, socializing, keeping and adopting out –  so many cats in our greater area. That was the fateful day that literally changed our lives forever.

Sometimes we don’t “choose” our life path — it chooses us. There’s a higher calling for each of us. A higher purpose. One that taps us on the shoulder and says, “we need you!”

Homeless to Housecats – Stories About Cat Rescue

It seems every day I learn something new about my cats, how to care for them better, improve their health, improve their quality of life, understand them better, and appreciate their unique gifts and personalities.

My cats have taught me so much over these last 20 years, that I wanted a way to share what I have learned. I love my cats so much that I’m constantly pursuing new ways to provide them with the best of everything — veterinary care, nutrition, comfort, contentment, safety — and yet with a multi-cat household this can be a challenge and there are big hurdles, but you just have to be willing to spend the time and make the commitment.

Continue reading Homeless to Housecats – Stories About Cat Rescue