Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Nine Lives Cat Rescue: Cat Lovers Making a Difference

For Nine Lives Cat Rescue, saving one animal won’t change the world — but they believe the world will change for that one animal.
Nine Lives Cat Rescue is a volunteer no-kill shelter for the stray cats of Oxford. Nine Live is a charitable non-profit organization committed to providing medical care for stray cats. They’re focused on finding a home for every cat that comes to them. Started in 2006, the organization has been a haven for needy cats and a great place for cat lovers.
Nine Lives Cat Rescue depends on volunteers, donations, and adoptions fees to care for the cats. “Any money that comes to Nine Lives goes directly to the cats,” said committed volunteer Pat Van Horn. When a cat is brought into the program, Nine Lives makes a lifetime commitment to their care until they find a happy permanent home through adoption. “We keep the cats as long as it takes until they find a home,” said Juanita Boutin, another committed volunteer.

Dedicated Volunteers: Pat Van Horn (Left)  Juanita Boutin (RIght)
Dedicated Volunteers: Pat Van Horn (Left) Juanita Boutin (Right)

In the mean time, cats under care at Nine Lives are provided with food, shelter, spay/neuter services, and love. What separates Nine Lives from other shelters is devotion to each and every cat they receive. “We don’t put animals down for space,” said Boutin. Most cats come to them because their family has moved or the cats are found abandoned in the streets.
Nine Lives Cat Rescue raises money to take care of felines by selling affordable doll clothes for American Girl Dolls at RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Project on The Square. The outfits are hand-made by Van Horn herself, who is also open to answering orders and special requests for the doll in your life.
Also, Kiddie Kat Baby Blankets crocheted by Boutin are sold at Belles & Beaus on the square. Every penny made goes directly to the cat’s cause. “We would rather be dealing with the cats, but I’ll sit and crochet if it makes money for Nine Lives,” said Boutin.
Nine Lives Doll Apparel
Nine Lives Cat Rescue Doll Apparel

Oxford can support Nine Lives Cat Rescue by buying an outfit or blanket or by dealing with a cat directly by fostering one as a pet. “Fostering is a huge, huge need because we have had cats that have been with us for so long that need to get out and into a home,” said Van Horn.
Adoption is the happiest ending for the cats at Nine Lives and for the volunteers. Nine Lives has teamed up with PetSmart to help get more cats adopted. “All of the cats at the PetSmart adoption center are Nine Lives cats,” said Boutin.
Adoption is also the most rewarding feeling for volunteers like Van Horn and Boutin. They find nothing more satisfying than seeing a cat they cared for go to a happy home. “Having the cats go to a family is the ultimate,” said Van Horn. “Were both fanatical cat lovers so to be able to save their lives and then find a home for them is amazing.”  Boutin agrees, “We work our butts off but finding a home for them makes it all worth it.”
Nine Lives Cat Rescue will continue to keep up the good work for cats in need as they strive to build up their volunteer and donation base. “It’s been eiight years and hundreds of adoptions and no one even knows,” said Van Horn.
In a purr-fect world there would be no need for Nine Lives Cat Rescue. “We would love to be out of business,” said Boutin. This lofty dream of a stray cat free world can only start if people are educated about cat care. “Our goal is that people’s consciousness would be raised so much that there wouldn’t be strays,” said Boutin.
Until that ultimate feline friendly world exists, Nine Lives will continue to raise awareness and provide cat care with the help of volunteers who are seriously into cats. “Any one can help us, were glad to have people who are serious volunteers,” said Boutin.
You can help Nine Lives Cat Rescue reach their goals by donating, buying doll outfits and blankets, volunteering at PetSmart or the shelter, fostering, or adopting. If you’re a cat lover and want to help your favorite furry friends, please contact Nine_Lives_Cat_Rescue@hotmail.com or visit their website and Facebook Page.
Maggie Durnien is a HottyToddy.com staff writer. She can be reached via email at mkdurnie@go.olemiss.edu.

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