It was not a good day today as we finally had to put Rudy down.  We knew it was coming but there were many times when he defied the odds.  We had an X-ray today and he had lung cancer. 

He was a great kitty who had about three years here.   We used to bring him upstairs at the parties and he loved to have people hold him.  We didn’t bring him up last summer since had had recently had a seizure and we didn’t want him to get over-stimulated.  Pat, our 86-year-old volunteer cat cuddler, visited him four days a week and held him for 1-2  hours for at least the last two years. He did have a lot of good times here after a rough life. 

When we first got him he was covered in cobwebs of lice, was FIV positive, needed dental work, had a urine leak, developed kidney disease, had poor circulation and could not walk a lot.  He had a great disposition and with treatment a lot of his problems were solved or at least controlled.  He declined gradually and then suddenly became much worse with no hope of treatment so we had to allow him to leave us by going to sleep peacefully.


Rudy Oct 2014.jpg


This will be long because many of you know Rexy who was our first rescue in my home. (Also, Olivia was here, an old Tabby, who was sponsored by Wendy Lee (our third Board Member) who came to visit and pamper her as Olivia had only a short time ahead due to thyroid and kidney disease. When I (Linda Holton) started Helping Homeless Cats with Donna Ratcliff nine years ago she brought Rexy to my home. He was a feral kitten several months old, the age where the window of domestic possibilities may be lost. His main "territory" was the master bedroom and en suite with many windows. He liked other cats and was a champ when new ones would come and go. Sometimes he was too friendly too soon - and would be startled if another cat rejected his advances of friendship which included following them with his nose glued under their tale as they explored the new territory. He bonded with my cat Max (tuxedo in our picture at top of this page). Tina the Tortie is jealous of Max's male friends so she and Rexy have had skirmishes for the last 9 years.

One day, as sometimes happens with indoors ferals in a quiet home, he enjoyed petting and discovered that he could trust humans. He became interactive but would startle easily at the slightest sound or fast movement. He could also strike or swat if taken by surprise. Stephanie and Bjoern, two of our supporters, met Rexy a few years ago and began sponsoring him. They liked his personality and called him "Rex" which he liked. For a long time he remained "unadoptable" and with sponsoring he was able to stay here as a foster. The bedroom was named "The Rexy Room".

Over the years Rexy became gradually calmer with people and then, in spurts, downright affectionate. I have an early video of me petting him. Then he would seem more feral - like two steps forward and one back. Finally he was well-adjusted enough to take over the whole house and have more people interaction in the living room - hanging out with Max and having stand-offs with Tina. When we had old seniors in the room he was fine with them.

Then one day a lovely woman Catherine sent us a memorial donation in honour of a dear cat she had for many years - an orange kitty. I wrote to her that the donation would be used for Rexy's upcoming dental surgery. She asked for photos, fell in love with him, and came to visit. With a new person Rexy is a bit wild but she understood. We then planned a trial adoption.

Rexy had his own home! And with a wonderful woman who loved him. He hid under a dresser immediately. At first she could pet him under the dresser and offer his favorite treats. He would not come out until she left the condo or was asleep. Then he regressed and would strike as she reached in. As much as she would have given him more time to settle in, we all agreed it would be best to bring him back here. There were two factors we should have considered but we were all too happy to stop and think ... 1. Here he had other cats. As a feral, he likes other cats and has always been around other cats. 2. Here in the country it is quiet and there is near silence except for the sounds of chirping birds. His new trial home was a lovely condo in the heart of downtown Vancouver...very noisy. We are still glad he had that chance. This woman was a person any rescue would love to have as an adopter. (PS She did adopt a scrawny little black cat with a flea allergy and missing hair from a cat cafe in Vancouver - Felix - and they are a great match.)

So Rexy, back "home", trotted around to the litter boxes, then hid for 5 minutes, then came out and made one circle of the living room and was back to being his comfortable self - wanting dinner. We had our usual talk: "I love you, but the goal is not to live here. We want you to have your own home, That was such a nice, patient, and loving lady. We will miss you but we want you to go out on your own in the world and have your own person." As always happens in these situations with cats, he looked at me with that expression that says, "What are you talking about? This IS my home."

In the past couple of years Rexy had developed Kidney and thyroid disease. With some, such as Sugarfoot, we send them for the radioactive iodine injection but Rexy's personality didn't easily fit that treatment. He did well and took his medication.

Then I noticed him drooling quite a bit... He had a dental one year ago. I thought maybe he needed another dental or had stomatitis. Last Friday I took him to Dr. Stacey at SVVH and he showed me Rexy had a hole in his lower jaw between two teeth and he suspected a mouth tumour. However, there was a very slim chance it was something else so we tried antibiotics over the holiday (not so fun...) weekend. By Tuesday it was worse. We gave it one more day and then I took him in this morning. It looks like bone cancer. Where the hole is in his jaw, there seems to be a fracture. There is a very risky surgery by a good doctor in Vancouver that would be a grueling experience for the cat (I'm assuming) and there is no guarantee that he would start eating after that. It is the type that is well over $4000 and risky as to the outcome . We suspect he also has other cancer. And then there is also his kidney and thyroid to put into the mix.

This morning before going to the office, Rexy came over to the sofa and we had a big cuddle session. He was his old affectionate self again - tapping my face with his nose, licking my hand, cuddling and enjoying petting. Such a very good friend. I did tell him how much we all love him. Then we had to go to the vet and stop his suffering. He had been on Medicam over the weekend which helped. He really enjoyed eating his Performatin Trout Bisque, Salmon Fancy Feast, and Merrick Chicken pate. At the Saanichton Village Veterinary Hospital both Dr. Stacey and Amy the vet tech know Rexy and are very good with hi. Although very busy today, they didn't rush and were very kind and compassionate.

Running a rescue we need to do this often, but it is always excruciating. We may need to then dash on to the next responsibility with little time to mourn, but it is still as painful as losing any friend - furry or human. Having a vet and tech who know and understand you and your kitty is so important. We are lucky to have vets Phil and Angela and techs Amy and Femka providing our kitties' medical care.

Rexy 1 April 2011.jpg
Rexy 2 May 2010.JPG


2017 update:

Pandy had several years with us here at the rescue.  He was FIV positive, hyperthyroid, and at the end of his life had kidney disease.  He was comfortable and liked his life here but was most comfortable with his feline friends who he loved.  He did well for a long time and then his kidneys rapidly worsened so he did not have a prolonged illness.  We adored Pandy and so did his kitty friends.  He had scars on his forehead from the attack years ago which must have been quite terrifying.  He did enjoy brief times of human company if treats were involved.  We will always remember Pandy with much fondness.

Bio in December 2011:

My name is Pandy Bear.  I like the name because someday when I’m feeling better I think people will want to hug a Pandy Bear!

I was living out in Sooke in a nice new house and life was good.  Then suddenly I found myself abandoned and left to fend for myself.  I don’t mind telling you I was terrified!     I roamed from house to house in search of food and it’s too humiliating to even tell you how badly I was treated by people who didn’t want me around.  Then I searched the rocky construction area behind the houses but found nothing but trouble.  I got into a few scrapes with unneutered ferals (which later led to an FIV positive diagnosis!).

Finally I stooped to the low level of raiding garbage cans and I hope I will never ever have to do that again!  I lived like this for the whole summer…

One night this fall, unfortunately for me, some starving raccoons were attempting to find food in the same garbage cans and to get rid of me they launched a brutal attack.  My forehead was cut open and I sustained many gashes to my whole body.  I limped away, not knowing if I would live or die.

When the raccoons were gone I made a valiant attempt to sneak into another garbage can.  All I could find was a moldy piece of rye bread but at least it was food.  That’s when the miracle occurred!  A nice couple in the house heard me and came out to investigate.  I cowered in fear, but they disappeared and then returned with a big bowl of kibble – real cat food!  They stepped back so that I could eat in peace. 

I returned every night at midnight and found food there!  However, my head wounds were getting infected, my right eye was closing up, I was covered with lice, and I felt awful.  When the people got close enough to see my condition they emailed some cat rescues.  It was Thanksgiving weekend and the Helping Homeless Cats lady came out to Sooke (with her friend from Broken Promises rescue) and they brought a trap to try to get me.  I avoided it until they were gone but it was really loaded with great stuff, including sardines, and I went inside.  Wham!  The trap came down and I was really scared. The couple came out to put towels over me and reassure me things would be fine.

At midnight they got the call that I was trapped and they came back up the foggy road to Sooke to get me and the next morning Helping Homeless Cats took me to their kitty doctor for emergency treatment.  They cleaned the big cuts on my face and the vet sneaked in something called neutering!  The huge lice covering my body even jumped on the vet tech – sorry about that but those lice were uninvited guests.  It was no picnic that day, but compared to what I’d been through it wasn’t  much worse…At least it was warm and dry.  (Some bad news is that my teeth are a wreck from eating all that garbage and later I will need a lot of them removed, but first I must build up my health and strength.)

I am very stressed and not sure whether to trust humans but I am trying very hard.  I have a roommate named Archie who is FIV positive.  We also had a roommate named Rudy but he passed away.  We were great friends so it was quite a loss. 

I am letting people touch me if they have treats, but I am much more comfortable when they leave and let me relax with Archie.  I hope they let me stay here as I feel safe. 

Pandy close-up.jpg


Petal was a feral from one of our feeding stations years ago.  When that area was being “cleared” Petal had no place to go and was not physically up to relocating.  Petal came here along with her daughter Blossom (who became tame enough to get a great adoptive home).  Petal loved the other cats and loved to head-butt any she came near.  She did not like human attention or petting but did become relaxed around us after awhile and enjoyed her “retirement” here.  Petal’s long years outside had compromised her health and she had several health issues which over time took their toll.  We are glad we were able to give her a little retirement period at the end.  We miss Petal’s cute little face and mannerisms.  

Petal with tongue out.jpg


Morrie was a really charming old gentleman who we were lucky enough to have for a couple of years at the end of his life.  He was deaf but that didn’t stop him from socializing and having a great life.  He greeted everyone at the front door and was very fond of all people.  Morrie had thyroid and kidney issues.  He also had some neurologic problems and saw a specialist in Vancouver.  As I recall he had a couple of pellets lodged in his head!  Morrie had a temporary foster home but peed on a bed and was back here where he never did it.  He just wanted to stay here so he did and we gave him his meds and subcutaneous fluids.  We were so sad when his time ran out.  We love to rescue the old kitties and at least we can make sure that their final months are comfortable and happy.

Morrie and the catnip.jpg


Sugarfoot was quite exceptional.  Sugarfoot was the world's most gentle, affectionate and playful senior.  He loved all people and would circulate among them and socialize with all.  He liked to lean on people and cuddle in bed.  He loved petting and especially tummy rubs. He was Mr. Sweet Personality!  Sugarfoot had one white foot and white whiskers on one side and black whiskers on the other side.  He was adorable. Due to a few issues, it took over four years for him to get a permanent home.  He adored his "mom and dad" and had a fabulous life.  He did well after the radioactive iodine treatment for his thyroid and was stable on his insulin.  Then after 9 months cancer struck in the form of a terrible mouth tumor and he had only two more weeks... during which time he was given 24/7 love and cuddles.  Sugarfoot was probably our most popular kitty and the most lovable.  We were all quite fortunate to have him in our lives.  We are so happy that after his long wait he did get his own home where he was treated like royalty and finally got as much love as he gave...

Sugarfoot close-up.jpg


Manny was one of our favorites.  Such a nice big lanky old gentleman.  He had a mind of his own but was very loving.  He got along with the other cats but let them know he was boss and not to be messed with.  He greeted people at the door.  As with so many, he had kidney disease.  We monitored his condition closely and made sure he had as long as possible.  What a great kitty – always in our memory.

Manny close-up 2013.jpg


Matheo came from a home where he had been left by a roommate.  He was a beautiful and very sweet senior kitty.  He had a loving home in our senior program where was a devoted companion to his “mom” for a few years.  He then developed kidney disease as so many do and eventually his time ran out.  Many people have fond memories of this nice old gentleman.  His “mom” then welcomed into her house a cat whose “mom” passed away.  Matheo’s picture is on her wall and she speaks of him often.




Denzel was a rescue from the Pound.  He was blind and a bit bitey but very lovable.  He had a wonderful home with one of our senior foster moms who had a great relationship with him.  He was quite brave and athletic and was able to get around quite easily – even on and off the bed.  Sadly, he developed a mouth tumour and had only a short time.  He will never be forgotten.



Mitzi was a lovely girl who had a wonderful home in our senior foster program.   She brought much joy to a couple who adored her.  Unfortunately, her gastric issues worsened and with an ultrasound we discovered devastating cancer.  She will be remembered with much love.


Smokey Bear

smoky bear walking in grass.JPG

Smokey Bear passed way in April 2018.  The day before that I took him for a nice romp in the grass before going for his exam and blood tests. There was a slim chance he could have improved, so he was hospitalized for the night but his kidneys crashed this morning and we had to accept that going to sleep immediately was the only option. We are glad he had that nice 30 minute walk through grass and under the trees where he was able to overcome his problems for a brief enjoyable adventure. I checked and was surprised to see that we had him only 5 months. We had hoped to have a year or more but his kidneys didn't agree... He will remain forever in our memory. Smoky Bear was such a lovely old gentleman with his yowly voice, wonderful personality, and distinct walk

Buddy Bear

Buddy on cat sofa January 2016.jpg

Buddy Bear was a lovely 20-year-old senior.  He was a very sweet and lively old gentleman.  Even with his severe arthritis and kidney disease, he liked to trek around the house.  He had an interesting personality and was well loved the two years we had him at the end of his life.  He was truly one of a kind!

August 2017 update:  Buddy Bear passed away from Kidney disease at age 20 (or 21 maybe!).  We had hoped we had a lot more time ahead with our dear dear Buddy. I think he was with us about 2 years.  He was a very sweet old gentleman.  He had coped well with his arthritis and being nearly blind. He was a brave little guy and we will always have very fond memories of him.


Molly red carpet 2.jpg

Molly had a great life with two of the seniors in our program.  She was a devoted companion.  It was a surprise when she was diagnosed with diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and soon after pancreatitis.  This very loving kitty was very dear and will be missed who all had the privilege of knowing her.


In Memory of Tremain

July 2017


 It is with great sadness that we tell you that Tremain had a malignant tumour which was inoperable.  Tremain, a senior around 14 or 15, had been a lovable, feisty, and truly unique cat all his life and his foster mom was with him today when he went to sleep and passed away quietly.  We brought him from CCAR when we left to start our new rescue in 2009.  He had a fun foster home with a dog, then two more homes from which he was returned, and then found his true love foster mom who provided his dream-come-true forever home.  They had a strong bond and a wonderful life together. Tremain mellowed out in this relationship and even joined her for "Quilting NIght" in her apartment building where he let the others pet him.  He had many cute personality traits.  He was affectionate but could strike out if overstimulated and this had decreased with age (except when he had to go to the vet!).  His tumour came on suddenly and escalated quickly so he had only a short bad time and had a pain patch.  Luckily we got the results today so he did not have to suffer.  We only make this excruciating decision when a cat has a condition that cannot be cured and he would suffer.  In this case, we did not even have a bit more time to provide.  He had a wonderful retirement the last several years and now his mom feels he is at the Rainbow Bridge.



About Tremain

Tremain was only hours away from being put down when we got a call from the vet who thought we might want to take him under our wing. We did indeed! He was another nice fellow who went absolutely crazy when trapped and caged and gave the appearance of being wild and un-adoptable. Once presented with a comfy sofa he was a tame kitty!

Tremain is a lovely orange boy who is quite congenial. He gets along well with other cats and dogs and seems to enjoy the indoor life. He is friendly and affectionate without being mushy or dependent. Once Tremain trusts someone, he does enjoy sitting in their lap. He loves a nice pat on the head and scratch under the ears.

A nice big fuzzy bed in a sunny window is Tremain’s favorite hangout. He naps awhile and then watches the yard and street. He loves his food and is easy to please. Tremain is probably best around adults and not small children, as he can get very frisky at play time!

Tremain would do well in an apartment where the person went to work every day as he is easily able to accept long hours of quality alone time in a nice sunny window. He would be happy to greet you at the door in the evening and spend the night being your companion. He would also, of course, be fine with someone who is home all day and would probably follow them from room to room. He’s a great cat and we hope he has a great life ahead.

Tremain is currently in a foster home with a dog and doing just fine, but needs a permanent home of his own.





Update June 2012

Tremain is now in a permanent home in our Senior Foster Program.  He is doing really well and loves his "mom".  He is affectionate, follows her everywhere, and is being a good boy (learning not to bite!).  It took four years but Tremain has found his perfect match for a permanent home!


Update May 2012

Tremain now has a permanent senior foster home where he adores his "mom".  They have a great relationship and his long years of waiting for the right home are now over.  His mom loves him very much and understands him.  It was a perfect match worth waiting for!


Update February 2012

Tremain is now alone in his room which he greatly prefers.  He is very affectionate and sweet when there are no other cats around him.  He likes a lot of cuddling, including a desire for intense "kneading", and then likes to take a nap on a person he knows well.  However, at some point he goes off on his own and entertains himself with his toys. Tremain would do well in a quiet home with one person who is at work five days a week.  


Update May 2011

Tremain is relaxing here and getting along fairly well with everyone.  He still enjoys his alone time more than sharing with other cats.  Sienna (in the Cats in Care section) does like go to in his room which he allows a bit begrudgingly.  He likes petting but is not as demanding as in the past.


Update April 2011

Tremain is back with us and awaiting a foster or permanent home.  He can be a bit feisty, especially around other cats or if over stimulated.  He could be happy with a single person or couple and is very affectionate but can be demanding and wants attention frequently when the people are home.  He is a special boy who needs a special home.  He has had many homes and we hope he can find one where he can stay forever.



I'm a survivor though I may not look like one - yet. About 3 weeks ago I was first spotted on a farm looking for food. Life was tough and getting tougher. Something was making my ears itch so badly that I scratched till I was bleeding and still I itched. Food had been scarce for a long time, and many of my teeth were broken so even if I could catch something, I couldn't eat it properly. I found some old rained-on dog food at the farm and I ate it but I was still hungry. I hung around and found that the people there left little bowls of dry food out but I couldn't eat it very well because my teeth were hurting so much and it was hard.

I was desperate so one day I called out to the lady on the deck. She put out some great smelling food only it was in a metal wire box and I was scared to eat it so I went hungry again. The next day she put out fish but I was still too frightened of that box so I went hungry. Then she put out some other food that smelled so good and I was so hungry I went in the box to eat it. And I was trapped. I ate the food and then tried to get out but couldn't. When the sun came up again the lady came out and put a cover over me and I hissed at her. I wanted help but not like this. Another lady came and put me in a car and took me to a terrible place where it smelled like medicine and there were strange people looking at me and trying to poke me with something. I fought as hard as I could but they got me and I fell asleep.

When I woke up I was in a big metal wire box they called a “pen” and it had warm blankets over it and a comfy place for me to rest. I felt awful but there was food and lots of it and water, and a soft dry place to sleep. The new lady comes and puts more food in (she says it has antibiotics in it) and I hide in the corner because I am scared but maybe it isn't too bad if there's food and I feel a little better each day.

The lady who "trapped" me named me Cheddar because she read a book where a cat named Cheddar survived a fire, and she says I'm a survivor even though the doctors thought they couldn't save me as I was too far gone they said. This is me now, but soon I will get strong and well again and be beautiful like in the past.

And maybe one day my teeth won't hurt so much and I will be free and able to hunt again – or maybe I’ll get to have a cozy home indoors with a life of luxury someday. I'll keep hoping.


Update January 2016

Cheddar had a fabulous home where he really came out of his shell and enjoyed life to the fullest. He is a very special kitty who has left us now but with us forever in spirit.


Update December 2011

Cheddar, now renamed Murray, is our success story of the year.  He was adopted by a wonderful woman who understands his gentle soul.  He is progressing rapidly beyond our greatest hopes.  For many months here in the beginning he wouldn't even lift his little head and now he actually comes up to greet his new "mom" and loves cuddling and sleeping with her.  The adoption of Cheddar is the most heart-warming event of our year of 2011 and he was adopted on New Year's Eve.


Update November 2011

Cheddar is now very affectionate and loves being held and petted.  He is nervous for a few minutes around strangers, but then warms up quickly.  He has come a long ways!


Update August 2011

Cheddar has had his dental surgery and is recovering nicely.  If approached slowly and gently he now enjoys lots of petting, even including tummy petting.  He is making huge advancements!


Update July 2011

Cheddar has recovered from his injuries but is still exhausted from a long time on the ground.  He is beginning to gain weight and eats well, although he still awaits his dental surgery.  He is not strong enough yet for the required sedation, but we hope he will be up to the surgery in a couple of months. At that time he will need some kind donations so he can go through this last step in his recovery.  Cheddar is a nice cat who is beginning to accept petting and trust us more each week. 


Chi Chi Louise

     Chi Chi Louise got the loving home she deserved.  However, in less than a year she was struck with a devastating illness.  She had all vet care possible and losing her was devastating to her family.  Many of us will have good memories of Chi Chi and are glad she did end up in a loving home even if she did not have a long life.  This is a photo of Chi Chi Louise in her home.

Update May 2016

Chi Chi Louise, after a very long wait, has found her perfect forever home with a wonderful couple who will give her a lot of love.



About Honey

November 2018 update: Honey had an ultrasound after she had become ill. It showed she had extensive cancer that could not be cured. It was sad to say goodbye to her as she had been in our senior program for 11 years with her foster mom who just turned 99. Honey was a wonderful and beautiful kitty and we miss her very much.

Honey is in a Permanent Senior Foster home and is doing exceptionally well. She loves her mom and spends all of her time by her side. Honey is a very smart cat and does amazing things every day! Honey is a very sweet and beautitful girl who has her "mom" very well trained. Honey, of course, is royalty!

June 2018 update

Honey has now been with her foster mom (now almost 99 years old) for over 10 years! Her mom adores her and Honey adores her mom. Her mom swears Honey is the smartest cat who ever lived and she has lots of proof. Honey is an amazing kitty and looks younger than her teenage years. She recently gave us a scar with not eating, but after testing and X-rays was found to be okay and bounced back the next day. She just wanted to keep us on our toes. She does need eye ointment now and then when her eyes are inflamed but they improve quickly. She and her mom have a daily routine and are super happy. When I go to cut her nails she hides in obvious places and then resigns herself to the task. Honey’s mom is able to donate for her needs which is a huge help. We simply provide support and are a back-up for when Honey’s mom is gone for a rare day or two. We hope both Honey and her mom have many more good times ahead!




Ziggy had many good years here at the rescue. He enjoyed his visitors and his kitty friends. For his last several months he had a very special visitor, Pat, our senior volunteer. Ziggy greeted her at the door and stayed by her every time she came. We all miss Ziggy very much.



We had the pleasure of knowing Anna Lise for about a year and a half. She had been fed for 10 years by a woman now nearly 98. We took Anna Lise to visit the woman every few weeks. Anna Lise had pancreatitis and kidney and thyroid issues. She was a very sweet elderly kitty who enjoyed her retirement indoors. She liked her visits to the senior who had helped her and would sit in her lap for petting. Finally, after a few hospitalizations, Anna Lise’s kidney totally failed and she passed away peacefully at the vet’s office. She was a very special kitty to all of us and will be greatly missed.