Updated May 2017  

By Marianne McPherson
One has to wonder if cats that experience the loss of a human companion, mourn. In the case of our sweet Leo the answer would unquestionably be yes. Leo a 4-year-old tabby was bonded with his owner Marianne Annibali; a TLC volunteer tragically killed when hit by a car while jogging near her home. Leo suddenly had no idea where Marianne was and why he was back in a cage at the Ten Lives Club shelter.  Marianne’s husband and daughter could not care for all six of their cats. They made the difficult decision to give up two of their beloved pets. Since Leo did not respond to anyone but Marianne, he was sent back to the shelter.  Leo became very depressed and literally made himself sick.  In and out of the infirmary, Leo’s chance at getting adopted looked pretty slim. I didn’t want to give up on him, and thought I owed it to Marianne to find Leo a new home.  I asked to take Leo to the Petsmart National Adoption Weekend. By the end of the show on Sunday night, Leo was one of the few cats left that did not get adopted. I couldn’t bare looking at him lying in the cage with that blank stare on his face.

  As I was packing up the show, I received a call from Veronica (Ronnie) a Petsmart manager.  Leo‘s sad story had caught her attention. She told me she couldn’t stop thinking about him on her 25 minute ride home that night. She asked if she were to drive right back to adopt him, would I wait. I would have waited until midnight if it meant Leo would get a home. There was an instant bond between the two when Ronnie knelt down to talk to him. Just before this picture above was snapped, Leo stretched his neck up and kissed Ronnie on the nose. He knew he was finally going home. Just at that moment a peaceful feeling came over me. In my mind I could picture Marianne’s smiling face.

By Marianne McPherson 
May 2017 
Lette came to Ten Lives Club in hopes of finding a better life. Lette was hit in the head with a baseball bat in one of the most horrific cases of animal abuse. The vet attending her did not think she could be saved when suddenly she started purring. It was then decided to give Lette a chance and try and save her. Lette recovered, but unfortunately her eye had to be removed. Finding Lette a home had to be a perfect adoption where Lette would be loved and safe for the rest of her life. Lette had only been at Petsmart for 2 days when calls started pouring in for her adoption. A Cheektowaga woman brought her 2 teenage daughters into Petsmart and told them they could each adopt a cat after one of their dogs had died. The family had fostered animals in their home before, and all share a passion for animals. The oldest daughter adopted our beautiful Nikki the younger daughter Sammy was interested in one of our kittens. When she saw Lette, she changed her mind instantly.
At first I was hesitant about the adoption. Was this the right home for Lette? It's a difficult decision knowing what Lette had been through. I had also interviewed 4 other applicants that day, but none seemed right. I needed to talk with Sammy to let her know what caring for Lette would be like. She
would need time to feel safe and it may be a long process for her to trust people again. Surely a kitten would be much more fun for this 17-year old girl. Sammy didn't think so. Her mind was made up. She wanted to show Lette a better life. Here was a family where mom is home all day and everyone in the family loves animals. Lette would have a large home to run around in. Knowing the sweet personality of the other TLC cat they were adopting (Nikki), I decided it was a good fit for Lette. We can only hope that this will be a Happily Ever After story for our Lette.
Hopefully  the future will bring tougher penalties for animal abusers so innocent animals like Lette will no longer have to suffer. 

(pictured: Karen undergoing surgery to remove a bullet)
 April is Prevention of Animal Cruelty month which is sponsored by the rescue organization American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Although April 2013 may have started off good for some, one particular rescued cat that came to Ten Lives Club did not have the same fortune. Karen; a female tabby was found wandering the streets on the west side of Buffalo and was brought to our organization for help. When she first entered our shelter, Karen was very timid and scared of people. Upon an examination it was discovered that she had a bb gun bullet lodged in her shoulder. This is probably the reason she was fearful of humans. She immediately underwent surgery to remove the bullet and our vet staff performed a routine spay along with testing and vaccinations so Karen can be adopted. While in our care Karen has learned that there are compassionate and caring humans. She has learned to trust humans and she is now healthy and friendly. Although she is being treated with antibiotics for her bullet wound, Karen is ready to be adopted into a gentle and caring home where she will never need to fear humans again.
If you would like to help Ten Lives Club spread the word to stop prevention of animal cruelty, please consider mailing a donation to: Ten Lives Club, PO Box 253, North Boston NY 14110. Donations can also be made online on our website.
 Lucky Cat Finds New Home
 (April 2013)

What’s so unusual about that? Well nothing unless that cat just happens to be 18 years old. March (His new name ); a long haired black and white male was dropped off at the Buffalo City Animal Shelter because his elderly owner could no longer care for him. For certain he would have been euthanized. It just so happened that TLC’s shelter manager was there that day and heard his loud meows of protest. She seemed to understand that he just wasn’t ready for Rainbow Bridge. March was taken back to Ten Lives Club and given free reign of the  lobby and laundry room. He became a favorite of all. March was so badly matted that he had to have most of his fur shaved off. His favorite place was the laundry room where he would cuddle up in the warm linen as it came out of the dryer. Knowing that he couldn’t stay at the shelter, it was time to find him a home. But that seemed easier said than done. After all who would want an 18 year old hard of hearing arthritic cat? Several days passed and while searching for an escaped kitten, one of the TLC volunteers was startled when she came across his little curled up body in between two blankets on a laundry room shelf. March slowly lifted his sleepy head and let out a loud meow as if to discipline her for disturbing his nap. She immediately fell in love with him. March was adopted and taken to his new home where he made himself right at home. He loves drinking out of his fountain and sleeps in a big rattan cushioned chair. At 6am every morning he lets everyone know that he’s ready for breakfast with his loud demanding meows.If he doesn’t get a flavor of soft food that he likes, he gets very grouchy. So much so that his new owner decided to name him Groucho March. It’s so amazing that this little18- year-old kitty who had the same home for all those years, can still find happiness and contentment in another home. He even joins in play time twice a day with his new brother and sister. This cat certainly found a tenth life thanks to Ten Lives Club!

  Feral Cat Colony Gets Help
    During the summer of 2012 four Ten Lives Club volunteers set out to help a South Buffalo neighborhood get control of their feral cat population. Concerned neighbors pleaded for help after witnessing many cats being run over in the streets, dying of disease, and multiplying at an alarming rate. This is not something Ten Lives Club normally gets involved with as there are other rescue groups in the area that specialize in feral colonies. Because this neighborhood is where one of the volunteers grew up and her mother still resides, she asked other Ten Lives Club volunteers for help. We met a wonderful neighbor named Pat who was looking after the colony by providing food and shelter when she could; especially during the winter months when food is scarce and temperatures drop into the single digits. Contrary to what people think, cats were not meant to live outside in our cold temperatures. Some cats don’t even know how to hunt. It is a cruel and lonely existence for so many unwanted pets.
   We began to trap every few days and when we were lucky enough to find a cat in our traps, they were taken to Operation Pets where they were neutered, given their shots and released back into the colony. All the expenses were paid for by one of the volunteers. One afternoon we noticed two cats sitting on a garbage can meowing at some people on a second floor porch. We could see that these cats were not feral and questioned the people. We were horrified when they informed us “The cats use to be ours, but now they are strays and we don’t want them anymore”. They just threw them out as if they were their weekly trash! What kind of people could do this to their pets and continue listening to their cries for food and entry back into their home? They told us we could have them if we wanted them but warned us that the female was pregnant. Without a second thought we picked them up and gave them a big hug and took them with us. Although our shelter was filled to capacity, we asked our founder Marie and shelter manager Brenda if we could bring them to Ten Lives Club. After hearing their story they agreed and Priscilla and Elvis (As we so named them) became Ten Lives Club cats. Not long after they were neutered they were adopted into loving families.   
   Four kittens were trapped; Stanley, Mavis, Wooly and Moonlight. Because these kittens were so young they could be socialized and put up for adoption. Sadly, Wooly and Moonlight succumbed to the Distemper Virus like so many other feral kittens.  Mavis was adopted to a family at Christmas time and Stanley is still brushing up on his social skills with his foster mom.
 (Mavis and Stanley)
   As we studied the movement of the cats, they led us to an old garage that was literally falling down. This was where they were taking refuge from the weather. It was filled with old wood, glass, and all kinds of junk. We noticed that someone had put blankets inside, probably to provide a little comfort and warmth for the cats. This is where we came upon an interesting cat we named Oliver Twist (character in the Dickens novel); the sweet homeless boy who only wants "a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air." He was living in a small 2’X 2’ compartment connected to the side of the garage. We were told by neighbors that he lived in this space for about four years, rarely ever venturing out. When we were able to approach him we were so excited that he might already be socialized. We had decided to come back the next morning and take him to the shelter. Our hearts sank when we saw that during the night he was attacked by another animal. He had a bite wound on his face and another on his paw.  If only we had taken him the night before. He was very frightened but he allowed us to put him in a carrier. At the shelter Dr. Fisk and Valerie did a wonderful job tending to his wounds. He was in bad shape and his coat was a tangled mess. Much to our surprise he was already neutered. He was probably another victim who was tossed outside by someone who decided that they just didn’t want him anymore. He was such a wonderful boy who still had trust in people. After spending time in foster care he transformed into a beautiful cat with a delightful personality. We can happily report that he was adopted by one of his rescuers, and he will be loved and cared for never having to suffer on the streets again.
 (Oliver Twist)
Another cat we named Stormy had eyelid Entropion. Entropion is a medical condition in which the eyelid (usually the lower lid) folds inward. It is very uncomfortable as the eyelashes constantly rub against the cornea like sandpaper. Operation Pets were so kind to perform the surgery for a small donation. He was released because he could not be socialized but we still found great comfort in knowing that he will not be suffering anymore.
    All in all fifteen cats were trapped. Eight of these cats were put up for adoption through Ten Lives Club. Others were neutered, given shots, and released. We have all gained great admiration for the feral Organizations who help these cats every day. We were tired and grateful that our plight was over. We can only hope we have made a little difference in the lives of some of our furry friends.  
 We were all happy to see Jamey on his way to his new home.(Pictured right front) It’s always a great day when a Ten Lives Club F.I.V. cat goes home or in Jamey’s case , so we thought. The call came in from Jamey’s owners that before they even got him into the house he broke loose from his carrier. It was a cold winter night in Buffalo with temperatures in the single digits and with Jamey being FIV+ and in unfamiliar territory, we were all very concerned for his well being. Maureen got on the phone and started a search party to comb the streets of South Buffalo. Trish made some great flyers and Marc and Mary hung them all over the neighborhood. Dorine questioned neighbors and the search was on. Marianne heard a cat crying coming from a back porch and Stephanie went and got permission to enter the yard to search. Little did Stephanie know that Marianne had already hopped the fence into the yard and located the crying coming from under a frozen pile of snow and ice. They started digging but to their surprise it wasn’t Jamey at all but a kitten who they appropriately named Igloo (Pictured Middle). Half frozen and starving, Igloo seemed happy to see us and welcomed the warm carrier awaiting her. But there was still no sign of Jamey. It was getting late so the search was called off until the following day. It was then that a neighbor told us about the stray Butterscotch (Left Front). We just had to help him too and end his misery on the cold and lonely streets. Finally after capturing Butterscotch we received the call we had all hoped for. Jamey was safe. A neighbor allowed him to come in his hallway and warm up. Seeing the flyer he knew Jamey was the cat we were all looking for.

Since the rescue, all three cats have found forever loving homes thanks to all the efforts of the Ten Lives Volunteers.