I am proud to have been a part of the Happy Cat legacy

— Photo from Tracy Stark

Oregano is one of six cats Tracy Stark fostered for Happy Cat Rescue and sent pictures of. “Clearly, no one was starved or tortured; in fact Jackie and Oregano were on the plump side,” she wrote. “If I saw any signs of what the rescue was charged with, I would have reported it myself!”

To the Editor:

It was quiet and lifeless as I stood in the rescue for the first time since it was shut down. An overwhelming feeling of emptiness filled the room, instead of the familiar feeling of hope. I could feel the warmth of all the happy souls that once stayed here until they found their forever homes, but I was also saddened for the souls that will never have a chance now.

I was a volunteer with Happy Cat Rescue since August 2018 and what a rewarding couple of years it was. I was able to experience the ins and outs and ups and downs of a true rescue. I saw mothers and their nursing babies, cats rescued after being dumped on the side of the road, others saved from New York City high-kill shelters, strays trapped and brought in to be neutered or spayed, elderly cats surrendered by their loving owners who were too sick to care for them, and the list goes on and on.

As a volunteer, I fostered a total of six cats in my home within the last two years. Blackie, Bella, Clear, and Oregano were rescued from death row in Manhattan, while Jackie and Joey were found as strays. 

These six particular cats had one thing in common: They were overlooked at the rescue when people came to adopt because they were shy and unfriendly and hid in the back of their kennel.

When I asked Marcia and Chuck who I should foster, these cats were hand-picked because of their need to become socialized with the hope of being adopted. It took a little time and patience but, after a short stay with me, all of my fosters are now living out their lives in their forever homes.

In addition to fostering, I helped at the rescue over the summer. Being a teacher and having the summer off allowed me more spare time to dedicate to the rescue.

I was there one or two times a week this past summer. I worked side by side with Chuck in the morning, cleaning kennels and litter boxes, changing blankets and bedding, providing food and clean water, and always finishing up by making sure each cat had a toy.

It usually took about an hour between the two of us to get to all the kennels. Chuck didn’t always have someone to help him, and it was a time-consuming task, especially alone, but he always managed and made sure those cats and kittens were cared for daily.

Countless lives were saved because Marcia, Chuck, and so many volunteers worked together with the compassion and dedication needed to run a rescue. It was so eye-opening to witness firsthand just how much the community needed and relied on Happy Cat Rescue. With that being said, I am forever grateful for Marcia and Chuck and I am proud to have been a part of the Happy Cat legacy.   

Tracy Stark

Happy Cat Rescue Volunteer


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