Questions For Marion A Cats Protection Branch Co-ordinator

By Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Although there is quite a bit of information about Marion, the long time co-ordinator of Wear Valley & District Cats Protection on this PoC article:

http://pictures-of-cats.org/Cats-Protection-Wear-Valley-Darlington-District.html

..we thought it would be good for visitors to have the opportunity to ask her any questions they would like to, about her voluntary work.

Cats Protection Volunteer Marion

Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Michael created the idea saying

‘Ruth, I’d like you to interview Marion about her work generally. Just five questions and five answers and the article just sets them out’

But having known Marion forever, Babz and I know a lot of the answers already, so it would be nice to have some new input with our PoC family joining in.

Rose has the first question which I’m sure Marion will answer in a comment.

She says:

‘I can think of one right away. How does Marion keep her sanity and her temper when dealing with people like than man who keeps phoning her about taking more kittens into care and then oh he forgot to mention his cat isn’t neutered?’

Now Michael has some questions too:

  1. What got you into cat fostering?
  2. Do you become attached to cats and find it difficult to release them to a new home?
  3. How many cats at one time do you care for as a fosterer and how do you manage?
  4. Do you have cats of your own and if so how do they get on with the fostered cats?
  5. Expenses, how are these covered? Do you buy the things you need and are then reimbursed?
  6. Do you have any special memories of cat fostering?

Marc also wants to know the answer to question no 2 :

Yes – how does Marion ‘let go’ of the ones she cares for?

Over to Marion for her answers …………….

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Comments

Questions For Marion A Cats Protection Branch Co-ordinator — 50 Comments

  1. What a nice, positive and informative poster, Ruth. Thank you. I await Marion’s response with interest. The whole process interests me. Cats Protection is very well known and high profile in the UK but I think a lot of people don’t know what really happens behind the scenes.

    Also quite a lot of Americans visit PoC so it might be interesting for them to read about one of the UK’s most important cat rescue organisations – actually I believe you are the most important.

    Are you the biggest in the country? I think you must be by far.

    • Thanks Michael, there is such a lot more to Cats Protection than people realise so it was nice to have the opportunity to write this article and design the poster for anyone interested to find out more.

  2. Well I will start by apologising if I miss anything and for type errors as i tend to speed read and type 🙂
    CP is the largest charity in the UK dedicated solely to cats.

    1)I keep my temper with idiots purely to help the cats as i know if I don’t humour the people then I wont get access to either take in or neuter the cats, frankly I don’t like a lot of the people much.
    I am not the easiest of person to get along with and upset quite a few people along the way haha

    2) I got into cat fostering by chance, I had rescued for years and at the time had 8 cats when one went missing I advertised high and low but she was never found this was back in 1991 before micro chipping. A lady who found a cat which was nothing like mine had seen my posters absolutely everywhere and she thought ” this woman really cares about her cat” and in her mind I had lost one maybe I would take a found one. Of course what she didn’t know was how many I already had and that this young un neutered tom couldn’t just step into my house as I had a young queen with a broken leg who was due to get spayed when leg healed. She told me she had a friend who volunteered for cp and that she would neuter this tom. Lady from CP came to see me and straight away asked if I would foster for them, and so it started, in my first year I homed 189 cats/kittens how I wish we could do that from one fosterer now. So my knowledge began, an avid reader I have always said I may not know everything but what I don’t know about cats I study till I do. to many rescuers are all heart and not enough head so I try to make sure I use both.

    Which leads nicely to next question how to let go, well its simple mathematics the more I home the more I can help so as one goes to a loving home I am happy knowing that another one is now going to be able to be saved. its helps to of course that the homes are well checked and people vetted. As years progress you learn more and more social skills enabling question to be asked without seeming like question in conversation it is possible to find out a lot about people attitudes.

    Of course i haven’t let them all go a few over the years have stayed 🙂
    more later 🙂

    • Thankyou for answering my question Marion so who cares if you upset a few people but I see your point about humouring some in order to help their cats.
      Do you mind if I ask how do you wind down from the stress of it all?

    • Thanks a lot Marion. You seem like a very practical minded person, which I guess you have to be to do a good job at cat fostering. I bet you have become skilled at knowing whether a person is going to be a good cat caretaker or not.

      I have a two follow-up questions. Sorry.

      In your first year you rehomed 189 cats/kittens. What is the rough average for fosterers? And does CP work with the RSPCA sometimes. Because the RSPCA seems to have slightly different role and you could work nicely together. I know that since CP was founded one million cats have been rehomed. Awesome.

      • in the past we worked closely with rspca and would even have inspectors personal nos an communicate well but over the years this has changed and we like everyone else would ring main nos but CP as an organisation and RSPCA have regular meetings and discussions on the various issues of neutering and education.
        I actually applaud the RSPCA for what they do and think we should be grateful they exist and its sad they get so much bad press for non action and for having to PTS so many animals but really that isn’t their fault as they can only do so much and i expect have to make some very difficult decisions 🙁
        I do find them and often other charities wary of us and each other I think they presume we don’t agree with them 🙂

    • Marion. Sorry another question..; ) How much time per day or week do you give over to Cats Protection work? I hope that is not confidential. I ask because eventually I may apply to do the work myself, if a place becomes available.

      • well to me its a way of life so I am always cp orientated but I would guess average volunteer time is from a couple of hours a week if they admin to a couple hours a day if hands on cat work with some days a lot more of course. Fosterers give time up for people visiting cats and kittens for adoption as well as the every day care of the cats. Trapping can take hours.

      • I’d love to volunteer – I’d would actually ideally reduce my job to 4 days a week and not 5 and do a full day working directly with cats, socialising them and cleaning their litter boxes and brushing them if need be. I think every cat needs personal human attention if they are feral or unsocialised and even if they aren’t – they need company. Everybody knows that. I’d love to do that though. I’d love to spend time with the cats and play with them and make sure they are fed and watered and their amenities are cleaned. I think I could manage on a day less of paid work per week, I don’t have a fancy lifestyle at all and don’t need money for fancy dinners or holidays and I’d be alot more useful that way. It bothers me that out here I can’t do that albeit due to the rather nice fact that there are too many people willing to volunteer that it’s a bit of an endless waiting list in a sense.

    • Thanks for taking the time to answer all our questions Marion. I know when one is busy it’s just not easy to sit down and think and write so thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. I have one more question Marion. I want to fund the sorting out of this problem with these kittens and cats you mentioned in the comments a couple days ago. How much do you think it will take to catch them all, neuter them all and look after them until they get adopted? I don’t even know how many there are. Don’t worry – I have been saving up for something like this so nobody is allowed to object. I can’t stand the idea of this repeating next year. Lets neuter the mama cat as well.

    Just let me know how much and how to send you the money and I will do it pretty quickly. I may need to transfer money to my card depending on how you take the payment. But less than a week and I can sort it all out I promise.


    From Michael: I think this is Marion’s comment that Marc is referring to:

    We spent hours at a place yesterday where due to various problems that the people have the cats were breeding, it astonishes us that these people when carefully questioned divulge that they have had cat since kitten (oh not a stray then) and even have her registered at a local vet the vet which is the most expensive in the county! same vet they have told us they have booked to come and put to sleep the kittens, unfortunately we didn’t even see cat or kitten but by description have ascertained these kittens more like young cats now, its a cats paradise there no traffic lots of hunting and odd houses to feed them so we are working on TNR and don’t believe for one second that vet will spend all the time needed to catch these cats to PTS so that’s an empty threat as we also know if they wont pay to neuter they wont pay at all.
    Thankfully we were able to wade through the lies and speak to other locals and a plan is in action 😉

    • we are hoping to get 7mth old mum and kittens this weekend, they are under a shed but starting to come out now so he is going to try get hold of them and ring us soon as he has he has promised to take other cats to vets next week but biggest hurdle is the 8yr old which he says isn’t around at minute, I am sure she must be either pregnant or have kittens somewhere and that is why he suddenly isn’t seeing her. but we are keeping on it till she turns up, trouble is they never there when we can just swoop and collect so we rely on him to get them late night early morning.

  4. I only foster a few at a time now as haven’t the room so rely on spare bedroom and one outdoor pen as well as occasional tlc in lounge 🙂 I always say anyone can do what I do and its true it just takes good organisation and time management, mind sometimes I do wonder like times fosterers are on holiday and I have kittens in every room if I can continue to manage much longer;-0

    I do have cats of my own and can honestly say all the years and all the cats i have never had a problem with cats getting along, sometimes it may take longer than others but if there is plenty room and places for them to have their own space and plenty of food water resources dotted about they will nearly always find their niche.
    We don’t routinely mix foster cats with own but it does happen especially with kittens darting in and out of rooms and with older cats being so nosey they have to explore kittens.

    Expenses well there aren’t any as such as Branch purchases and provides fosterers with all food litter and cats go to our vets so that expense is direct from vet to branch, of course there are the hidden costs of fostering which we all put up with for love like replacement curtains carpets etc and every fosterer I know always buys treats and extra toys for cats and kittens but really they are just added extra as branch does provide all these too its just fosterers like to spoil their charges a little and we are every big in enriching the cats/kittens environment especially if they in a cat chalet.

    memories of fostering later 🙂

    Re unwinding have you ever read the three stages of rescue by douglas fakkema? well I have gone through all those phases including the turning to eating but not drugs and alcohol 🙂
    nowadays I tend to swear a lot and have rants to like minded friends 🙂

    • Oh great – you can get my email from Michael or reply here – anyway it makes me nervous that a person would threaten to have kitten PTS so ideally this situation can be stopped so no more threats like that can be made again next year.

    • Marion, if you or anyone at CP want to use PoC to advertise or find a home for a cat please feel free to do what you like on the site. If you take up the offer (no obligation, obviously) I can provide you with an email address which would let you publish direct to site.

      I have not tried that system before but it may suit you or just email me and I’ll do the work.

      mjbmeister[at]gmail.com (change [at] to @)

      I love the work that CP does and would be pleased to help. It is about cat welfare at the end of the day. One cat rehomed is a good thing. It is about a better life, contentment in contrast to discomfort and misery. That is very important to me and the PoC regulars and many others actually.

    • Marion, could you add some pictures of your cats – the ones you call your own and perhaps a picture of one of your fostered cats? You can add them to comments using the “browse” button below. Just select the picture from your computer and press “Post Comment” and wait a bit.

      I would love to see your cats.

    • Oh wow…lovely ginger George. I like red cats. He is a red tabby and white technically. They are good characters! That’s what I think from my reading about cats. Nice photograph too. Thank you Marion very much for taking the time to show us George.

  5. Hoping to raise some more funds for Marion’s good work and get some good PR for our CP branch too but sadly too far away for PoC family to come. I will write an article and pics about it afterwards.

      • Thanks Michael. It’s a bit of fun on the day too after the work of preparing for it, maybe we won’t raise much in 2 hours but we might get some interest in the adoptable cats and kittens poster and in CP work generally, just hoping it’s a fine day as it’s going to be outside.

    • Thanks Rose yes we will put this poster up and hope some cats get good homes as it will be all animal lovers there on Monday.

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