Starting this week we will be closing at 4:30pm on Saturdays rather than 5pm. We can take walk-in visitors up until 4pm on Saturdays.
On June 2nd we celebrated the first anniversary of the lounge being open for visits! While the nonprofit itself was formed in early 2020, because of covid-19 we did not open a physical storefront until June of 2021. In the year that we have been open we have adopted out 50 cats and kittens and have taken in an additional 29. We are happy to be helping cats and kittens in need and also to be providing a place in midtown Ventura where cat lovers can come hang out with cats. Our second year has started out with foster kitten Montebella’s adoption on June 3rd!
May gave the volunteers at the lounge a chance to step and take charge while I (Jennifer) went out of town for about 10 days for my daughter’s college graduation. A team of about 16 volunteers pitched in to make sure the lounge could remain open as usual, including hosting one of our First Friday events. Cats and humans alike had a great week and it was awesome to know that the organization already has enough volunteer support to keep the lounge running in the absence of its director.
Adoptions were slow for 5-6 weeks but then we had some BIG ones!
Michael – If you’ve EVER come to the lounge then you surely met Michael, our bow-tie wearing tuxedo. He joined us in late May of 2021, before we were even officially open. He was at the lounge for 365 days. But his purrfect family found him. This couple visited the lounge countless times and just fell in love with our boy. He is spoiled rotten now, as he deserves, and they are smitten.
We also found homes for Kiki, Oliver, and Ivy! Kiki has a kitty brother and her new family just loves her. Oliver and Ivy went together to a quiet home of a retired couple who love the kitties and will give them all the space and time they need to feel secure. We are so happy for all of our recently adopted cats.
At the lounge we currently have 9 cats, and in foster we have 18. Rachel has been with us the longest, having joined us in late-August, 2021. Our newest intakes at the lounge are Rose and Mango, both young mamas. Cindy and Coral are still with us and have become SO much more confident and friendly. Same and Steve are young tabby brothers who play hard and sleep hard! Both sets of kitties would make excellent companions and we would love to see them stay in pairs if at all possible. Cassie is our long-haired tortie who is learning to trust people and get along with cats. We know she’d do better in a quiet, predictable home as the only pet but she is still improving here, even with the other cats around and the changes in people coming and going each day.
In late May Four Brix Winery hosted a fundraiser for us at their space here in Ventura. The band that night was Karen Eden and the Bad Apples and they were amazing in their support of us, too. We received hundreds of dollars in food and litter donations as well as over $550 in cash donations from patrons that night. Everyone had a good time and the kitties benefited from the generosity. Upcoming fundraisers include a yard sale on June 25th, a small puzzle tournament late summer, and a silent auction next fall.
Since our last update we have had 6 more adoptions: Bandit, Willow, Phoebe, Simba, Bambi, and Missy! Yes, Missy, who joined us as one of our 4 original cats back in May 2021. She is settling into her furever home and has become quite the little snuggler (when she wants to, of course!). We are so happy for all of the kitties who found their homes.
In the first 3 months of the year we had about roughly 310 volunteer hours donated by nearly 20 volunteers. (That is in addition to the hours that Jennifer puts in.) We had approximately $1700 in food and litter donated, and we had nearly 400 visits! We have started doing First Friday evening events and have had a few visitors during each of those. The next one will be May 6th from 6-7pm, so mark your calendar.
At the lounge we currently have 11 cats and kittens: Michael, Rachel, Cindy, Coral, Kiki, Ivy, Oliver, Jasmine, Cassie, Sam, and Steve. We also have baby Monte in foster and you can see him on Facebook and Instagram under Melt Your Heart Meow’s accounts (Shannon Evans, longtime Greyfoot Cat Rescue volunteer and current Cassie’s Cats volunteer). We also have two young, friendly pregnant cats in foster together with another one of our volunteers (thank you, Gina!). All told we have taken in 59 cats and kittens over the past 10 months.
Looking ahead, we hope to do a community garage sale fundraiser this summer, a silent auction next fall, and a holiday market with contributions from local makers. We are also working on a fundraising event with Four Brix Winery on May 27th!
Kitten season is well underway so if you are interested in being a part of the solution please help out with efforts to spay and neuter community cats in our area.
January seemed to fly by! Here we are in mid-February already. The new year is off to a good start for the lounge. We had 10 adoptions in January alone! Congratulations go out to Snickers and Twix, Blaze and Kindle, Tonks and Fleur, Dear Heart and Sweet Heart, Hedwig, and Hershal. Snickers and Twix had been with us since mid-June 2021 and we were particularly thrilled to see them go to a wonderful home! This month we have had three adoptions so far: Jacob and Sadie, and Brave Heart. To see Jacob and Sadie adopted was beyond gratifying. They, too, had been here since last June, and at their ages (11 and 13) we know it would be harder to find them a new home. We are glad they could stay with us while they waited for their people to find them. Congratulations to all of the kitties who found homes over the last 6 weeks!
We’re currently housing 11 other cats and kittens: Michael, Missy, Rachel, Coral, Cindy, Simba, Kiki, Bambi, Oliver, Ivy, and Jasmine. Of these 11, Michael and Missy have been with us the longest, arriving in May 2021. Rachel has been with us for nearly 6 months now. They each have their own quirks and because they’re also slightly older (4-6 years old) they’ve been harder to place. But we know their purrfect people are out there somewhere! In the meantime, they’re happy and safe in the lounge.
We have a couple of particularly shy cats right now: Coral and Ivy. Coral has accepted full-body pets from a few volunteers so we know she has it in her to warm up and be a sweet little companion. She likes to sidle up to Michael and he seems to let her, and she also likes the company of her sister Cindy. Ivy will let the volunteers pet her but she does not like to come out of her bed while lots of people are in the lounge. She is bonded with her brother, Oliver, who is very friendly and fairly confident. These are not going to be our easiest adoptions but we have faith that we will get them into their purrfect homes eventually.
Bambi is currently our youngest cat. He’s about 5 months old and high energy! We’ve nicknamed him Bam Bam. He had terrible eye infections before he was rescued and while that has led to some scarring and perhaps a slight loss of vision, he acts 100% like a normal kitten. We’ve had him on a medical hold while we sort out some soft stools but fingers crossed he appears to be finally rounding that bend!
Our newest cat is Jasmine who’s at least part Siamese. She’s about 2-3 years old and is very friendly and playful! She had a traumatic birthing experience (thankfully she was safely in rescue by that point) but now that she’s spayed and indoors she’ll never have to go through that again. She has a naturally short tail that was also broken at some point in her life so for the most part it hangs down but so far we haven’t noticed it affecting her in any way.
Kiki and Simba are a sibling pair (not bonded) of sleek black house panthers! They are friendly and playful and would basically create an instant feline family for anyone lucky enough to adopt them. This is an early video of them; they now roam freely around the lounge and love getting attention!
Our feline Valentine fundraiser was a big success! We sold 91 Valentines at $5 each, and it’s been a treat to see so many beloved kitties honored in our front window. We’re already looking forward to offering this opportunity next year.
Speaking of fundraising: We have a couple of ideas already brewing for later in the year. We’d like to try a silent auction, and we’d like to expand our holiday market. It’s too early to move forward on either of those ideas just yet but tuck them away for the future!
We have been tracking food and litter donations more closely this year as well as volunteer hours. In January we received nearly $600 in food and litter donations, and volunteers other than Jennifer contributed roughly 100 hours of socializing cats, helping with cleaning, and assisting guests. We held an orientation for new volunteers in January and will have another coming up in the next few weeks.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! We truly appreciate all of the support we get from our followers and couldn’t do what we do without your moral, financial, and in-kind support. If you’d like to see our current wish lists we have Amazon and Chewy wishlists. We’ve also started a foster kitten wishlist in anticipation of helping out once kitten season gets going.