Message from the Director
Happy 2023 to you and your family! Things are lively and dynamic here at CFF as usual. We opened Cat Key, our newest cottage at the front of the property. Many thanks to Jeff and Linda Wayne for funding it. Jeff worked closely with our jack-of-all-trades-and-hero-to-all, Paul Wardley, to complete the interior and turn a bare-bones shed into a kitty palace. Its inaugural use was to house 8 cats from Okeechobee as they awaited transport up to Massachusetts for adoption at MSPCA. Those kitties have left, and now our own residents are freely moving in and out determining if it should be their new home. We see lots of cats comfortably lounging on the large front deck…looks like rave reviews are coming in!
Dr. Lynnly Miller, our on-site vet on Wednesdays, and Ashley Toussaint, vet tech, have just past their 1-year anniversary of working with us. It has been such a success that we are beginning to plan for repurposing the other side of the Care Center to better support their veterinary efforts on behalf of our residents. Stay tuned…more details when we get things finalized.
After a brief lull in kitten intake, things are in swing again. We welcomed 2 moms and their 9 kittens recently and have sent them out to foster. We have an incredible crew of foster families, but we can always use more. Read more about what it takes and what you’ll receive in return later in this edition of The Scoop. We provide unparalleled support for our fosters, so don’t be reluctant to join our group because you are worried about being successful. The most common reason people give is that they feel they would want to keep the kittens….we have support to help you through that as well!
And, finally, we have lots of fun events in the planning stages. We are having an Open House on February 11 from noon until 4 with entertainment (we hear Elvis might be making an appearance), refreshments, raffles, vendors from whom to buy your sweetie something fun, sanctuary tours, and general merriment for all ages. Artist Mallo Bisset is collaborating with Polly Campenni for an event to benefit CFF on April 23. The details have yet to be finalized, but mark you calendars as more than a few of Mallo’s artistic colleagues will be contributing original work for your bidding pleasure. Hint…the theme is cats!
Until next time,
Board of Directors
Featured for Adoption
A lively young 3 year old who raised her kittens with us in 2021. She will do best as an only cat as she is not really interested in sharing her family with any other feline folks. She has a bit of “tortitude” which manifests itself by letting you know that she prefers some quiet alone time by a gentle swat…and, don’t we all need a little solitude once in a while? This beauty would make a fine and loving companion for an experienced cat owner who finds her copper eyes as spell-binding as we all do.
This sweet girl was owned and loved by her dad. His life circumstances changed, and he surrendered her to CFF. She is sweet-natured and quiet but reluctant to shower you with affection until she knows you…which could take a little time. Many of our regular volunteers have befriended her, and in return she provides lots of purrs and head boops so we know she has the capacity to love and be loved. She just needs a kind and patient person to take their time with her.
This stunningly beautiful girl is about 7 years old. She is a classic tortie with a distinguishing ginger left front paw. She loves everyone she meets and will happily gaze at you with her mesmerizing green eyes. She would most likely adapt to one other cat in the household as she lives happily with her group, but a multi-cat household would probably not be ideal for this gal.
Unsung Heroes - Denise Horvath
Visitors always ask us about the person who takes our kitten photos for Facebook…they are just amazing! Longtime volunteer, Denise Horvath, is our resident photographer. Over the years, she has enhanced the process and has recruited a very talented team of folks who assist her each week. And…capturing kitten photos takes a lot more ingenuity than you might think. While some are docile and snuggly, many more are lively, active, and completely uncooperative. But you would never know that from the photos that get posted!
Denise’s love for cats started when she was a kid growing up in Ohio in rural settings…first in northeastern Ohio where she found her first kitten and brought it home. Later, her family moved to Athens, OH, where she lived on a farm with many feline companions. Denise attended college at Ohio University, graduating with a BFA in Photography.
Denise moved to Stuart in 1992 as her family had transitioned to the area. She bought a business, which is where she met Donna Loew another cat aficionado and CFF foster volunteer. Over time, Donna convinced Denise to “give fostering a try.” In 2016, Denise brought home her first foster kittens and has fostered 67 others since then.
When adoptions were done from PetSmart, Denise would decorate the cages every Friday to make the dreary space more inviting for adopters. While waiting for potential adopters at PetSmart, she started taking some simple photos of the kittens with the hope of helping them find their forever homes. The simple photos now have evolved into weekly photo sessions in the conference room at CFF. There is a crew of 3-4 wonderful assistants that help make the magic happen.
A delightful photo of a kitten can steal your heart, put a smile on your face, and make you feel so good. Most importantly, however, is that the photo helps get that kitten adopted into its forever home. And…that’s the goal for all of us!
Kitten Fostering at CFF
We have many partners who work diligently to make spay/neuter services readily available to help curb the birth of unwanted kittens. But inevitably, springtime rolls around, and we begin receiving calls from other rescue groups, a citizen who has found a mom and kittens under a porch, a person who has found an abandoned litter, and other equally sad stories.
We help as often as we can but only within the confines of the resources we have available to responsibly care for them. The resources we need to bring kittens to CFF are money and people. Money can be raised through various fundraising activities and from generous donors. The people we need are foster families.
There are many reasons why sending kittens to foster homes is so important. For example, being in a foster dramatically reduces their likelihood of contracting upper respiratory illnesses. Their immature immune systems make illness much more likely even when there is no evidence of illness among the other cats in the area. And, if multiple litters are housed within close proximity of one another, one infected kitten can share the illness with all of the others in the area. Fostering also introduces kittens to living in a home environment with all the noises, people, etc. that they will encounter once adopted.
So, what is involved in fostering? With the support of 2 Foster Coordinators, the Sanctuary Operations Manager, and the Executive Director, foster families will provide the care and nurturing for their assigned kittens until they reach at least 2 pounds, the point at which they will return to CFF for their spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations, microchipping, flea meds and adoption. We work closely to match the kittens sent out to the preferences of the foster family. Some want to take a mom with her whole litter while others prefer to take just 2 so they can give them lots of attention. Others enjoy bottle-feeding neonates who would otherwise not survive as they are too young for food.
CFF provides a foster handbook, an orientation, and lots of one-on-one support so that foster families gain confidence and find the experience rewarding and fulfilling. We provide all the supplies needed to care for the babies…..food, litter, playpen, scale, thermometer, flea comb, toys, litter pans, etc. All we ask is that the foster families keep us informed about the progress of the kittens and that the foster family has fun with the little balls of fluff. During the course of most years, we have about 400 kittens who come to CFF so you can see why we always need foster families.
The first step in the process is to complete the foster application available on our website or by calling Polly Campenni, Foster Coordinator, 772-341-7454.
It is the experience of a lifetime….let’s get started!
Hi everyone! My name is Aussie, and here is the story of my amazing journey.
It was August 26, 2021, a beautiful Saturday morning. I was out for a walk, and when crossing a busy street, I was hit by a car. I was able to get up and run to the backyard of a nice man. He discovered me being “guarded” by his two Pit bulls. He wrapped me in a towel and took me to the emergency veterinarian.
The emergency doctor ran many tests. The doctors discovered I had a head injury and collapsed lung. They made me comfortable and treated my injuries, but I had to stay in the hospital until Tuesday morning.
I was picked up by the same wonderful man. He took me to his automotive repair shop. There, I was fed and shown so much love by the humans. I was kept quiet and comfortable. After 6 weeks, I was feeling better and ready for my forever home. I was taken in to be neutered and to be vaccinated. While having surgery my heart stopped twice, but I was determined to come through the rest of the surgery without an issue and I did!
I arrived at Caring Field Felines on October 29th to a warm welcome by the staff and volunteers. Wow, I met so many other cats and lots of people showing so much love…it was like heaven. But I still knew I wanted a home of my own with my own folks to love. And guess what? I went to my forever home on November 26th!
My besties are a young boy, his golden retriever and his calico cat. But the best part is that I will never have to walk the streets again.
How You Can Help
Are you looking for the perfect kitty companion to brighten your life? We have open adoption hours on
Friday, Saturday and Monday from 11am to 3pm
with adoption counselors on hand to introduce you to
our kittens and cats.
Other times are available by appointment (772-463-7386).
The adoption fee is $70 for one and $125 for two.
Any adopted cat/kitten must be in a carrier to leave the property for the animal’s safety.
As you might imagine, we need lots of supplies to care for 150+ adult residents and anywhere from 20 to 80 kittens in foster homes. Our list is also available on Amazon.com.
Friskees canned food
Fancy Feast kitten canned food
Purina One Healthy Kitten dry food
Purina One adult dry food
Scoopable cat litter
Dawn dish soap (blue)
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our Sanctuary.
Without them, we could not care for our residents, provide foster homes for our kittens, hold fundraising events, maintain our social media presence and our website, etc.
Volunteer and Foster applications are available on our website. Please complete and submit the application, and we will be in touch!
Mark Your Calendar and Support CFF!
Save The Date
Sunday, April 23 at the Cultural Courthouse on East Ocean in Stuart. Local artist Mallo Bisset and some of her fellow artists have a wonderful event in store. Hint…the theme is cats, and you could end up with an original piece of art for your home!
Mark your calendar for Saturday, December 2, 2023.
We are reimagining the event…stay tuned for the exciting details!