A Volunteer Life

Meet the Awesome Volunteers of King Street Cats


Elizabeth M. on the rewards of long-term fostering a senior kitty

Pretty little Myrtle, who is around12-years-old, brought tears to everyone’s eyes when she first arrived in November. She was someone’s pet once but had been taken into an area shelter as a stray. She weighed less than 5 pounds, her long fur was falling out, she was so weak she fell over as she tried to walk, and she needed to learn how to eat again.

When we got Myrtle back to KSC and she resignedly put her face on the back wall of the cage, we knew we had an emergency situation on our hands. If Myrtle didn’t get into a foster home we did not think she would make it through the night.That is when one of our fabulous fosters stepped up…Although, as she tells us, this was initially a “reluctant foster” case: “I had been putting off fostering because I thought my office needed clearing out first; I already have 2 cats; I might not have enough time; it would mean an extra litter box… But all those thoughts disappeared when I was taken into the intake room at KSC and saw Myrtle. I have honestly never seen a more emaciated cat. She was obviously in bad physical shape but the haunted look in her eyes told me she needed help. Now. She wouldn’t mind the mess in my office. I took her home that night.

Fast-forward 3 months and Miss Myrtle has become quite the Diva. She has put on weight, and demands Temptation Treats and pets in equal order.  She loves her beautiful, soft fur to be brushed. She is now my office mate when I work from home.The thing is…”saving” Myrtle’s life was easy; it turns out that an extra litter box and some food is nothing compared to the joy I get from seeing the bright look in her eyes now!  And, now I know the routine, once Myrtle finds her forever home it will open up space for another KSC Super Senior foster.”

The Green Family

The Green's — Foster Family

Our family fostered kittens for the very first time this summer. Wheat, Barley, and Rye spent two months with us from the time they were rescued until they were big enough to go to their forever homes. All of us and many of our friends really enjoyed playing with three little bundles full of energy and love, watching them grow, and seeing their very different personalities develop. Our 13 year old daughter in particular took great responsibility in taking care of them- weighing them each day, giving them medicine when needed, and cleaning up after them. And although it was hard to see them go, we were so happy that the brothers, Barley and Rye, were adopted together, and Wheat was adopted shortly thereafter to a home with another cat. We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to doing it again.

Andrea C

Andrea C. — Foster Parent and More

I have been fostering with KSC for almost a year and absolutely love it! I have been able to help rescue all of my fosters from a feral colony. It has been an absolute joy to see the kittens grow over time and develop their own little personalities. I have also fostered adult cats as well and have been able to see them develop trust in humans over time which is very rewarding. I would highly recommend fostering to others who are not ready or able to adopt.

Meridith S. — Adoption Counselor

I found King Street Cats when I was looking to adopt two cats. I loved the shelter and the volunteers were very nice. I had never been in a free roaming shelter before and, if you love cats, there’s something amazing about over 30 cats running around! I wound up adopting my two kitties from KSC (a bonder pair of 
sisters), and later decided to volunteer as well!

I’ve been volunteering as an adoption counselor at KSC for about two years. I also do vet runs when my schedule permits. I chose to be an adoption counselor because I remembered how great the volunteers were when I came looking to adopt. Knowing you’ve made a difference in both the adopter’s and the cat’s life is incredibly rewarding.

This shelter is so incredible because you know all the cats are well taken care of and loved until they find a forever home. No matter how long it takes! I’m not a crier, but I will admit I cried when Patches, our longest resident kitty, got adopted last year. What a great moment! I’ve also had a few friends who adopted from KSC and getting regular updates on those kitties has been great! I can’t say enough good things about this organization and all the volunteers who make it possible.

Girl with kittens

Jen M. — Kitten Fosterer

We are delighted that one of our fabulous foster mom’s Jen M. is sharing her story about fostering kittens for KSC.

“We have fostered about 13 kittens to adulthood and have found each experience so meaningful. I never thought I could replace my Norwegian Forest Cat of 19 years and decided to test the waters by fostering. To know that these kittens were eventually going to a great home made it easier to let them go than we thought it would be, a couple tears. Then we found it so much fun to compare each new litter and their different personalities to the last, a sort of sociology lesson for my daughters 5 and 7. Then we had a litter that had some special needs, and my daughters developed so much respect for life, health, personal responsibility to animals, a veterinarian's skills… and then seeing the kittens finally thrive with great care and attention! Yeah! What a feeling when they were all adopted so fast.

We did have a difficult time with losing a whole litter born under very dire conditions that we knew on the front-end, but my daughters were introduced to the circle of life in in a most natural way. It has eased the way for conversations about other sad and more complicated things in our world. Sharing the loss with friends at church and school helped them to explore a whole new aspect to friendship and stressors and managing stress in a healthy way by advocating for their own emotional support—which was never really needed—but appreciated. The focus is on my daughters but also what proactive role they can play in this great big world, even at their age—through kittens! Better humans, better kitties! A win all around! They are excited to host more kittens at some point this year.”

Volunteer Sue Dodge

Sue D — All-Rounder

When my business was winding down, and I was looking for volunteer opportunities I saw an ad in the Alexandria Times and thought it would be perfect for me. The last of my two elderly cats had passed away and my husband and I weren't ready to adopt more cats. Volunteering for KSC provided a regular "cat fix" when I needed it most.

Over the last few years, I have helped with morning cleaning/feeding, provided short-term foster homes for Silver and later for Mindy. I was thrilled when both of these cats were adopted soon after returning to the shelter. I have also done some adoption counselling and now I am volunteering graphic design services, as needed, for KSC flyers and posters.

Today, I have two cats of my own but still enjoy working at the shelter. Each time I'm there, I fall in love with a kitty or two but find it so gratifying when they go to their forever homes.

Volunteer Teri F.

Teri F — Taking pictures

Teri began volunteering with KSC in 2011. She tells us: “I enjoy getting to know all of the cats and helping them choose their forever families. It’s nice to work with people, to help them decide which cat will be the best fit for their home. I love to take a lot of cat photos; I post many of the photos to Facebook and Instagram, and maintain the Photo Gallery on the website.

Volunteer Stephanie S.

Steph S — Comforter

Stephanie joined KSC in January 2013. She tells us one of her favorite KSC stories is that of Mittens: a long-term resident who volunteers would hold and pet, only to find that when she seemed most relaxed, she would suddenly turn on them. But KSC folks hung in there with Mittens and continued to love on her for more than two years, until someone fell in love with her and she fell for him, too. He understood her nature and loved her for it, adopting Mittens and renaming her Etta after the late Etta James—another fabulous diva.