Thursday, December 29, 2011

King Street Cats in Their New Homes

Meet Emma and Lydia, two of our St. Croix kitties!  
As you can see, they have a great bond.  
Read what their Mommy has to say about them...

“We have two new wonderful additions to our family of five. Emma and Lydia make seven. These cute kitties came to us from King Street Cats. Our whole family has fallen in love. These sisters from St. Croix are so lovable and friendly. They fit right into our family. The kids adore them. Thank you King Street Cats you have changed our lives for the better.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Year-End Donations of Many Types Appreciated!

In 2011, KSC was able to find homes for over 210 cats and were able to rescue even more this year than in previous years, all thanks to the help and support of volunteers and sponsors. Since the shelter is run purely on donated time, money and the occasional tears (happy and sad), the following items would greatly help the cat rescuing cause.

We are always appreciative of these items that are in constant demand in our shelter:
  • Bleach
  • Paper towels
  • Large trash bags
  • Disposable large gloves
  • Small sandwich baggies
  • Canned kitten or cat food (Wellness and Pro Plan are preferred)
  • Cat litter (Feline Pine and Fresh Step is preferred)
  • Clean towels and linens
  • Unused cat beds & scratching posts (please, no carpeted cat trees)
Items can be brought to 25 Dove Street, Alexandria, VA
(1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends).

We cannot stress enough
the importance of montary donations.
Vet bills were upwards of $89,000 for 2011,
 and even with Ft. Hunt Veterinary Hospital's kindness,
it was a very expensive year.

If you participate in the CFC,
please donate to the following location:
Combined Federal Campaign number is 39069

 Or use the link below to safely donate online:

You will be sent a receipt of your online donation for your 2011 tax purposes!

All of us 2 legged and 4 legged beings thank-you
for all you have provided this year.
We couldn't have made it this far without you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Online Merchants Giving Back to King Street Cats!

We're all busy finishing up our holiday shopping.  Stores are promising we can order today and still have our gifts arrive in time.  PHEW!  Well how about about you make the deadline AND have a portion of your sale go to the kitties at King Street Cats?  Win win!  

Adopt A Shelter has worked with many merchants so that you have a wide variety of choices.  They've even negotiated with some travel sites, since many of us will be traveling over the next week.  These are some of the participating merchants: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Orbitz, Petsmart, iTunes, Petco, Lowes, Walmart, Walgreens, Target, etc.  Check out the extensive list!

Click the link below and purchases made from there will benefit the kitties at King Street Cats!

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Pudders, Meet Pudders/Puppers...


'Tis the season where a new cat in the house sounds like a wonderful idea! Who doesn't love a new pet for the holiday season? HOWEVER, keep in mind those who love pets have grandiose ideas of how things should go when they bring in a new kitten or cat into an already established pet's territory and it doesn't always work out the best of ways! I would love to have pets who snuggle together and play nicely and follow in around the house in tandem. Alas, if my two cats are in the same room peacefully (AND they are litter mates!), I count myself fortunate.

In order to keep things as stress free as possible when introducing a new cat into the home, keep these ideas at the top of your list:

1) ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION! Spread it around like cheese whiz on crackers. All over and in plenty supply for both the new pet and established pet. Spend one-on-one time with all involved to help keep jealousy and territory battles at bay.

2) Have a separate room where the new pet can relax and the established pet(s) can sniff under the door. In this room, purchase some new items for the new cat like water and food bowls, litter box, blanket and toys. This helps them make their own scent in their own space to bring about comfort levels. Let the new cat/kitten relax here for at least 24 hours. Travel can be stressful, especially for pets!

3) After the 24 hour waiting period, switch the pets. The new cat will go into the space where the established pet was and vice versa. The established pet will be a little upset with the new smells in a stronger concentration but allow them time to adjust (an hour or so). Its all about the odor and sniffs.

4) For the first week or so that they're together in the house, leave them in two separate spaces while you're out of the house, but bring them together when you're home. While you are at it, spread some cat nip or treats around while they are in the same room. This allows them to experience positive experiences when the other is around. Who doesn't love to play and eat together??

5) Ignore hissing and growling, but intervene if a physical battle breaks out by dangling a towel between them. If they do seem to tolerate each other, even begrudgingly, praise both of them profusely.
The introduction can take from two hours to six months, so don't be discouraged if your cats don't seem to get along well at first. Keep in mind realistic expectations. Some pets love to snuggle together and others... not so much.

Factors to Consider
  • If you are thinking of getting a kitten to keep an older cat company, you might want to consider two kittens. They will be able to keep each other company while the older cat learns to love them.
  • If you already have more than one cat, use the "alpha cat" for preliminary introductions. Once he/she accepts the newcomer, the other resident cats will quickly fall in line.
  • Lots of snuggle-time and attention is indicated for all cats concerned during this period. Remember, the prime goal is to get them to associate pleasure with the presence of each other.
  • If possible, ask a friend to deliver the new cat to your home, in her cage. You can act nonchalant, as if it's no big deal, then later let your resident cat(s) think it's their idea to welcome the newcomer.
All in all, good luck to you and yours and happy holidays!

**Artwork available in Dancing Cat store on

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

King Street Cats in Their New Homes

We wanted to keep you updated as we hear back from our Kitties' adopted families.  
This is Monkey and here is the update from his Mommy!

"Monkey is doing very well now! He's finally acclimated and eating better, and hasn't had any "accidents" in 2 weeks! He's still a little weird though--begs like a dog for ham and cheese EVERY day (and it must be Boar's head--NOT KIDDING!!!) and whenever I come home he lays on the floor and waits for me to scratch his belly--and oh yeah, must sleep on warm comfy blankets and the more the better! He's such a king :)"

Monday, December 12, 2011

What Can I Do?

'Tis the season for sharing, caring, loving, and stress. Wait, no, I meant to say trees... just typed it incorrectly (suuure, you say). After spending some time this past Sunday at the KSC fund raiser which included Stella and Dot jewelry, wine, nibbles and treats, I realized how much blood, sweat and tears go into this organization by all the amazing volunteers. Even when they are on their own personal time, they are thinking about the cats and what they can do to help them in every way they can. One volunteer opened up her lovely home and laid out an amazing spread of human treats to encourage donations to cover whatever KSC expenses may arise. A second volunteer carries around pamphlets and cards in her purse to hand out or post in various stores at random interval opportunities. Another volunteer carries around a kitty harness, cat treats, catnip and a small blanket in her backpack so if she sees a cat outside, she has ways to bring them to a warm space at any given moment. This same volunteer also treks out with her husband in tow to place cash donation boxes all over the Old Town area and lovingly talks store managers to help KSC in their own small ways. A fourth volunteer journeys over to total stranger's houses to clip sharp kitty nails in pursuit of donations. Yet another patroness waltzed into the party in all her glamorous splendor and handed over a significant check. Ladies and gentlemen, I am in total awe in their ingenuity and determination to make KSC what it is today and even better tomorrow.

All in all, there are three main ways people can help King Street Cats: Time, money, or connections. Some volunteers have the money to help while no time to do so.  Others have time but little money.  The third group has the connections to bring about all three categories. We truly appreciate all three in each and every way possible. If you would like to know how you can help KSC, please feel free to post questions or comments. If you can think of ways to help KSC, feel free to post as well! A more significant listing of volunteering opportunities will be posted some time in January so keep an eye out for it!

Once again, I am in awe of all our volunteers for all they do. Thank you.

Interested in volunteering your gifts to King Street Cats? E-mail us at or click here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Power of the Internet in Animal Rescue

We all know how powerful and far-reaching the internet can be.  Through venues like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, etc., our messages can be mass reproduced in a short amount of time and with little to no cost.  Do you ever wonder the effectiveness of your cyber-posts?  Here is a heart-warming story of 2 soon-to-be-homeless-or-worse kitties from New Orleans, LA, that have somehow found their way to King Street Cats in Alexandria, VA.  Just one cyber connection after another falling into place to rescue these kitties.  This story came from a blog called Covered in Cat nice of them to promote King Street Cats.  We're all fighting for the same cause...don't miss new posts on either blog.

That very cute kitty pictured above is my Jake.  I'll spare you his complete name lest you think I am OVERqualified in the crazy cat lady department.  No doubt he is surfing Facebook where he and brother and sister share their own page.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meet the Board of King Street Cats!

From L to R: Helen, Alyson, Dawn, MaryBeth, Vivien

We decided to do a brief interview with the Board Members of King Street Cats (KSC), just to allow you to get to know them a little better.  They are such a great group and put in a great deal of hours, many of which are behind the scenes.  Let’s see what they had to say in response to the following four questions:

1.  What brought you to KSC and when?
2.  What's your real job...the one that covers the mortgage and kitty litter expenses?
3.  How many cats rule your home (feel free to tell us about them as much as you'd like)?
4.  What's your funniest KSC memory?


1.   I learned of KSC from Christina Montana, who is a pet communicator. After one of my kitties passed away in 2006, I came to KSC to adopt a companion cat for Pookie...and the rest is history!
2.   I am in commercial real estate.
3.   I have 6 of my own and currently 3 fosters running around my house - and they are ALL KSC cats!
4.   One time a potential adopter was filling out the application and when he got to Spay/Neuter part of the application he put down "yes I am neutered!".


1.  I started working with Vivien because we were, and still do, use KSC as a resource to help WHS with some of our shelter cats. WHS reaches out to local cat rescues in the area to help re-home our shelter cats, as we try to find them homes as well. There is a new person now who is in charge of cat rescue, but at the time, I just knew of KSC because I live in Alexandria and had heard of the great work they do. I was asked to join the board the following year, so I guess I got to know Vivien and KSC early in 2010.
2.  I work for Washington Humane Society (WHS) and I am a program manager in charge of CatNiPP, the feral cat program, plus the cat foster care program.
3.  My husband and I have 4 cats and a dog. Our cats are all rescues; 2 were trapped as feral kittens (that I socialized), one was a foster from a rescue group out in near Louray, VA, and the other was a failed WHS foster. Our dog is a failed foster too.
4.  Not sure of a funniest KSC moment, but I enjoyed my visits to the cattery. I used to transport cats and kittens back from the WHS spay & neuter clinic, after surgery. I always love pulling up in the evening and seeing all of the cat faces peering out the front door of KSC. Plus I enjoy watching them all go crazy as the caregivers/volunteers get wet food ready for them.


1.  I came to KSC back in 2009 when the news broke of Michael Vick’s dog fighting scandal.  I could either express my anger by protesting football games, or direct that energy in a positive manner by volunteering at King Street Cats
2.   I am in government relations.
3.   I have my one very special kitty, Jasmine.  She’s a tortie (enough said).  I adopted her because she was an older kitty and I wanted her to have a loving home in which to live out the remainder of her life…which seems to be longer than anyone expected.   I also foster kittens for KSC regularly.
4.   At one point in time, I was fostering Broccoli, Potato, and Bobby.  I let them out of the guest bedroom (their residence) and they all made a bee-line to the bathroom where I keep Jasmine’s litter box (they had 2 litter boxes in their bedroom, mind you).  Broccoli jumped in and Potato decided she needed to use the box right then as well, crawled under Broccoli, and suffered the consequences of being in that location.  Bobby was smart enough not to jump in the box as well, but he was seen doing the “potty party” dance outside the box until it was clear (and safe) for him to go in.


1.  I came to KSC in 1997 - a friend of mine was working at Unique when the Albert Foundation (KSC predecessor) was just opening its orphanage at 213 King Street.
2.   I am a SVP for meetings and events at the Urban Land Institute.
3.   2, two year olds.... From KSC of course. Booker and Fraser.
4.   Creating cat "art" with the kittens.


1.  I came to KSC 13 years ago.  I was a small, local business owner, and Ethel, another small, local business owner came to visit me.  Apparently she pegged me as a cat person and told me about King Street Cats, being housed in her business.  I started as a feeder/cleaner 1-2 nights a week (in a room containing 60-70 cats…you can imagine how big of a job that is!).  
2.  I am the store manager for Decorium, located in Old Town Alexandria.  I also do pet sitting on the side.
3.  That varies, depending on the number of fosters I am housing, but all my kitties are from KSC.  Gracie has held a very special place in my heart.  I met her when I first started volunteering and she was a feral kitty.  I made her my “project” for the next year, seeking her out every time I went to KSC.  She eventually came to trust me and I adopted her.  She still doesn’t like being picked up, but she’ll “allow me” to lend her my lap, on her schedule, of course.
4.  Several years ago Melissa (another KSC volunteer) and I used to sit outside on the sidewalk and "beg" for money for KSC at 213 King Street (where the cat room used to be).  We had a cat called OREO in the room who was a very thin, sick tuxedo female cat with HUGE eyes. She LOVED people so we used to take her outside in a cage and with her putting out her shaved paw to anyone that passed by and looking at them with her huge eyes, and she was our champion fundraiser (Yes, we did anything to get money.). Oreo lived another year defying all the odds!!  The next year we took her ashes to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located in Angel Canyon, UT, so she could be buried in their pet cemetery. Well the next year we visited her grave site AND there was money on her headstone!!!! Where did it come from???  Last year it was the same thing - more money on her grave and this is the only grave with money on it out of the hundreds in that cemetery. Is she still fundraising for us???????

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What About Me?

Remember the kitten I am fostering? Well, the super cute yet super messy Archie (SURPRISE! IT'S A BOY!) got me thinking about the great debate on whether people should adopt a kitten (under 1 yr) or an adult (1 yr +). Let me present a case for the older category. Kittens sure are cute! They are also messy, high energy, and their personalities haven't quite formed yet. They want to climb drapes, scratch (mark) their territories and use your couch as an Indy 500 race track at all hours of the night. Did I mention the chewing on everything as their teeth develop? However, adult cats can still be playful, loving, calm and grateful for being in their "fur-ever" homes. These lovely older cats were given up for no fault of their own. Most of the time, they were given up because of owner illness, divorce, death, they wandered too far from home and weren't micro-chipped, and even the occasional overly nervous new parents of human babies (as crazy as that sounds). Here are talking points to encourage older (even more shy) cat adoptions:
1) Older cats are usually litter box trained. Adult cats don’t play in their box as much and understand the true purpose so will usually cooperate with your efforts to keep theirs tidy.
2) You avoid most of the emotional turmoil of being worried that you are going to step on the tiny moving fur-balls in the middle of the night since they haven't learned the meaning of personal space.
3) Since you didn’t raise the cat, you don’t have to take responsibility for the cat’s shortcomings. Instead, you can blame the former owner and play the role of saint for tolerating their antics.
4) Older cats generally are more quiet and sensible than kittens and generally need less supervision. Instead of becoming bored and needing to let off steam in your absence they are more likely to doze, leaving your furnishings, drapes, etc. intact.
5) An older cat is fully grown so you can see what you are taking on - large, medium, small, long-haired, semi-long haired or short-haired, placid or active. The cat's previous owner or shelter volunteers will provide details of its character, allowing you to select a cat that suits your own needs and lifestyle.
6) As cats grow older, they are more home-oriented and settled. If you enjoy pampering your cats, an older cat will be much more appreciative of this attention than a kitten. Cats are at their most companionable in later years.
7) You’re saving a life - The simple fact of the matter is that older cats are harder to adopt out, because people naturally gravitate toward the kittens in all their over-the-top cuteness. It is unfair to these cats that have already lost their homes should live out the rest of their years in a shelter, even one as nice as KSC where the volunteers love and coddle them as if they were their own, this is no replacement for a real home with a human to call their own.
8) Less of a commitment - When adopting a kitten, few people consider that this feline will be a part of their lives for possibly 16 to even 20 years. Adult cats aren’t at a shelter because they are defective or worn out. They may have simply outlived their former owners or been unable to join them at a hospital, nursing home, or new apartment.
9) Kittens are like human babies: everything goes in their mouths. Whether teething or just exploring bits of the world around them, kittens can be destructive little bundles of fur. Adult cats typically chew less, if at all because they tend to save their energy for more important activities, like window squirrel/bird hunting.
10) It might be their last chance. Separated from their loved ones, surrounded by other strange cats, confused and sometimes frightened, many are emotionally devastated by their misfortune. Kittens will always be popular, but for the abandoned, forgotten, and heartbroken adult cats, you just might be their last chance to have the love and warmth of a home where they can live out their years in comfort. When cared for properly, cats can live well into their late teens or early twenties. Typically, they will remain active and playful throughout most of their lives. Some may need a little extra patience while adjusting to a new home, but once they feel safe and secure again, most will give you years of faithful companionship and unconditional love.

King Street Cats has a special spotlight on "What About Me" cats this December. These cats are sweet, loving, adorable, adult-like and looking for a special person to cuddle up with during these chilly nights. Please consider opening up your hearts and home to an older or more overlooked cat.

What About Me TM is an ongoing campaign of King Street Cats focused on helping ALL of our kitties find homes.