Helping Hands: A Place for Cats in Need
Cats will find plenty of love and care at Helping Hands Feline Rescue Society
You & Me BC
February 28th, 2022
Boundary Helping Hands Feline Rescue Society is a happy place for the cats of Grand Forks, BC. Here they are showered with love and support as they await their forever homes.
We talked with Helping Hands founder Kimberly Feeny about why she started Helping Hands, and why having a cat in your life is such a special thing.
How did Helping Hands start?
Kimberly: I moved to Grand Forks from Kelowna in September 2019. I've always been a huge cat lover, and did some volunteering with them in Kelowna.
Once in Grand Forks I moved into an RV park. I saw a lot of strays hanging around, so I started taking them in and then bringing them to cat care programs like Critter Aid. Eventually, I had so many with me that I began sleeping on my sofa while they slept on my bed.
With so many cats, I purchased a small kitty RV to house them next to my place. More and more people began to hear about it, so more cats came in - including a 'colony' of 24. We also began to get help from the community.
A city councillor contacted us, and the city lent us a house for the cats. We now have a space set up, around 50 volunteers, and a foster care network for our cats.
Cuddles with Puddles - Puddles, now adopted, was one of the furry friends at Happy Hands
Why so many cats in Grand Forks?
Kimberly: Grand Forks is a rural area, so people use barn cats and sometimes they don't want to pay for spaying or neutering.
There also hasn't been an SPCA or animal rescue here in 10 years, so people have had nowhere to send cat, and just end up dumping them.
That's why we focus on education - to change the whole concept around care for barn cats, and cats in general.
Volunteering at Happy Hands (left) and the cats visiting seniors in the community (right)
How many cats does Helping Hands care for?
Kimberly: We've had over 300 cats in our care, and adopted out most of them. This year alone we've taken in 32, which is double what we'd taken in this time last year, so it's definitely gearing up to be a busy year.
How can people give the best possible care to their cat?
Kimberly: Spaying and neutering is the #1 thing. There are so many benefits - it's much healthier for the cats and will also make your life less stressful with them not pregnant or spaying.
Also remember that if you want your cat to be a playful little thing, you gotta play with it! if want it to be cuddly, you have to be loving to it. Cats give what they get.
Some of the cuddly cats who have been adopted from Happy Hands
If a non-cat owner asked why they should get a cat, what would you tell them?
Kimberly: There's this idea that cats don't show much emotion or affection, but that's wrong.
The more love you show them - the more you talk and hang out with them - the closer they'll get to you.
Each cat has its own personality and is full of love. Look into their little eyes and you won't be able to say no to them. I have seven of them at my place, all who've come to me from one situation or another. My most recent little gal has autoimmune disease and she's just the sweetest thing.
They're so grateful for the love and attention they're receiving, and it's a great feeling to give them a second chance at a wonderful life.
Anything to add?
Kimberly: Especially when it comes to adopting a cat who's been living rough, in the system, you have to give it a chance.
When you adopt a rescue cat, it's not just for you, it's for the cat. And that's why it's so rewarding when they do come around and give cuddles, but you need to put in time, love, and dedication.
To get in touch with Spencer van Vloten, editor of You & Me BC, please send an email to email@example.com