Hi Cat Lovers,
We’ve written to you before asking for help and you came through big time. Today, we are facing some serious hurdles. Due to the rising costs we’ve all experienced this past year, Catoro is struggling to stay afloat. We know that we provide a valuable community service not only for animal rescue but also for animal therapy. But to put it plainly, we are having a hard time keeping the lights on. We weren’t able to get rent relief during COVID-19 closures over the past two years and have been struggling to catch up to the debts we took on to keep our cats healthy and our staff paid. We urgently need your help.
We are sadly considering closing our doors for good and you are our last resort. We hate having to ask this, but we need help. Since we opened in 2019, we have faced so many obstacles. On top of the regular hurdles of running a small business, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are long-lasting and we have to admit, we haven’t fully bounced back.
Like many other small businesses around us, operating costs have increased significantly while profit margins shrink. We currently care for around 30 adoptable rescue cats at any given time. Some of them have been with us since early this year. A few have ongoing health concerns and their care comes with increased medical and labour costs.
I want to take a minute to tell you about Mr Bones - a cat who made a big impact on our staff this year, even though his story didn’t have a happy ending. Mr Bones came to us as a seemingly healthy three year old cat - big and all black with bright golden eyes and an old soul vibe. The only notes in his paperwork were that he was a picky eater. He was shy and avoided the other cats but liked human attention and had a loud, rumbly purr. He really bonded with our team member Daniel and would follow him through the cat forest, sticking by his side all day.
After a few weeks, we started to notice some changes in Mr Bones - he was pickier with food than ever and he was starting to lose weight. His undercoat was fading to white. If you have ever owned a black cat, you know that can be a sign of serious health issues. Our team moved quickly to get Mr Bones the best medical care we could - our friends at Hastings Animal Hospital examined him and quickly realized something was very wrong. The vet diagnosed him with kidney failure, liver disease and abdominal masses. The prognosis was grave and we learned that this sweet cat had limited time left.
We decided that Mr Bones needed a calmer environment to spend his last days so Daniel volunteered to take Mr Bones home as a palliative foster. This is far and away the hardest type of foster situation. Over the next few days, Mr Bones showed an increased appetite - in fact, he was absolutely passionate about food. He would gobble down his meals with joy and beg for more treats. He became a snuggly lap cat and would drape himself across Daniel’s lap whenever possible. He loved a soft, warm spot to lay out and nap.
However, his mobility started to rapidly decrease and he began having trouble scrambling up on the couch. He walked with a noticeable sway and sometimes his legs couldn’t support his weight and he would struggle to get up. He became more lethargic and spent more time sleeping. After about three weeks at Daniel’s house, he could barely stand. He couldn’t make it to the litter box anymore and began having accidents around the house. He was in a lot of pain and the very tough decision was made to discuss euthanasia.
One frosty winter morning, Daniel and his girlfriend hand-fed Mr Bones his last meal - a delicious, organic steak - and brought him back to the Hastings Veterinary Clinic. The staff were kind and gentle. Daniel held Mr Bones and comforted him in his last, peaceful moments. Finally, this sweet cat wasn’t in pain. It never felt fair to us that this loving and snuggly cat didn’t get a long, happy life. He was here for a good time, not a long time. And no matter what kind of life he lived before he came to Catoro, he got to spend his final days knowing love.
That’s why Catoro is so important. There are millions of other cats, just like Mr Bones, all across Canada. These cats all deserve a warm, loving home. We provide a safe, loving environment for cats to decompress, socialize, adjust to the good life and finally meet their forever families. Our rescue partners work tirelessly to not only get cats off the cold streets but also to give them the best healthcare possible and spay/neuter them. The work they do is so valuable and without them, we wouldn’t be able to offer the benefits of animal therapy to our amazing customers.
If every visitor who came through our doors this year gave us $10, we would be able to keep going. If you think Catoro is doing some good in the world, we need your help. If you don’t have $10 but still want to help, you can share this campaign on your social media. Tell your friends and family. Spread the word to your coworkers. Every drop in the bucket helps us save more cats like Mr Bones and give them good lives with people who love them.