Thank You For Being a Friend

Mews News: Thank You For Being a Friend

By now, you’ve likely heard of the Betty White Challenge — a viral fundraising effort to honor the legacy of Betty White, who was a lifelong animal lover and outspoken advocate for animal welfare. On January 17th, which would have been her 100th birthday, fans were encouraged to donate to animal shelters and rescue groups in her name. We are so grateful to our supporters, who donated over $5,000 to Nine Lives Foundation as part of the Betty White Challenge. If you didn’t get a chance to donate, you can do so with our gratitude via our PayPal or Network For Good donation sites.

Take Me Home Tonight!

Last week we welcomed the feline Betty White, a beautiful ten-year-old kitty who was surrendered to Nine Lives after her owner became too ill to care for her. Betty White is sweet and gentle, enjoys chin scratches and mouse toys, and would love nothing more than to keep your lap warm.

Can you give this golden girl a loving home to spend her golden years? Come by our Adoption Center this week and meet her!

Liam’s Corner

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone in the Nine Lives community. During a year of considerable change and uncertainty, your steadfast support allowed us to stay focused on our mission to save as many cats as possible. Before continuing to look forward to 2022, let’s celebrate the successes of the past year. We performed a whopping 3,336 spay and neuter surgeries! Providing low-cost spay and neuter surgeries is one of our main tenets — it reduces the overpopulation of homeless cats in our community, and is the key to ending the senseless suffering and euthanasia of so many cats and kittens each year. We are grateful that our amazing veterinarians allow us to provide this desperately-needed service to the Bay Area community. Our wonderful veterinary team also administered thousands of low-cost vaccines to local cats and kittens at our weekly vaccination clinic, enabling them to have healthy pros-purrr-ous lives for years to come. We placed 480 cats into loving forever homes! Every cat that comes to Nine Lives is examined and provided with a variety of much-needed medical care, from vaccinations and dental extractions to live-saving surgery. Once our kitties are healthy and ready for adoption, our onsite adoption counselors match them with their perfect forever families. Our amazing volunteers donated over 4,500 hours of their time! Our hard-working volunteers are a driving force behind Nine Lives Foundation, and without their efforts, we would not be able to give so many kitties the care they deserve. We are so proud of the variety of talents they bring to our organization. Volunteers provide cat care and socialization, adoption counseling, fundraising support, day-to-day operational management of our facilities, and more! We established fantastic partnerships!

Since joining Nine Lives Foundation, I’ve made it my goal to build and foster (pun intended) relationships with neighboring rescue organizations — particularly under-resourced, overwhelmed, and underserved shelters — so that we can rescue and re-home as many cats as possible.

Picking up kitties from Tracy Animal Shelter earlier this month.

In the last few months alone, we’ve established fantastic relationships with Oakland Animal Services, Stockton Animal Shelter, Tracy Animal Shelter, Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, Animal Rescue Relief, San Jose Animal Care and Control, and Los Banos Animal Shelter.

Animal rescue takes a village, and we are happy to join the ranks of these amazing shelters as a trusted resource for helping cats in our community. Let’s look forward to another fantastic year. This year, we strive to increase our spay and neuter services, increase our rescue efforts, and further expand and strengthen our rescue network. In order to provide care to more in-need cats and kittens, we are always looking for new dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in joining the good fight, please follow this link to apply! In addition to volunteers, we would also love to increase our foster network so that we are able to keep more cats off the streets, out of shelters, and on their way to recovery. If you are interested in fostering for Nine Lives, please fill out our Foster Application. Once again, we thank you for all that you do! Let’s continue to save lives together. Liam Montgomery Executive Director, Nine Lives Foundation

Extended Adoption Hours

We extended our adoption hours! The Adoption Center is now open every Thursday through Sunday from 12:00 to 6:00 pm. Please know that we are monitoring the situation with COVID-19 and will continue to follow all guidelines from the San Mateo County Health department. We are implementing temperature checks at entry and asking all staff, volunteers, and visitors to self-certify that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and have not had direct contact with any confirmed cases of COVID-19. Additionally, although we are not requiring appointments at this time, we are limiting capacity inside the Adoption Center. If/when we reach capacity we will ask parties to wait outside until space opens up. We hope that our extended hours will allow everyone hoping to find a furry friend the time and space to do so, safely.

A Home For The Holidays

The Nine Lives cats are dreaming of finding a home for the holidays! Come by our Adoption Center this week and meet our new arrivals, including Cuddles, an adorably floofy black and white kitty who was found as a stray by a good Samaritan in Daly City. True to his name, Cuddles is incredibly snuggly and affectionate. He loves being held, lounging on laps, and tummy rubs. He shows his appreciation for his human friends by unleashing his rumbling purr and making biscuits with his big fluffy paws. Cuddles would make a wonderful addition to any family!

Cuddles, an affectionate five-year-old kitty from the Daly City area

In addition to cats that are waiting to find their forever home, we also have several kitties that would benefit from a short-term foster home. These include cats who need extra medical care, are struggling with life in a cage, or require a little more patience to help them find their confidence. Here are just a few: Lucky is a very sweet 5-year-old boy with lots of love to give! He was adopted from Nine Lives as a kitten in 2017, and recently returned to us because his adopters were no longer able to care for him. Lucky is currently being treated for conjunctivitis (eye inflammation) and is receiving topical eye medications multiple times per day. He needs a foster family that is comfortable administering those medications and can monitor his weight and appetite. Lucky’s anticipated length of foster is 2-3 weeks.

Lucky, a loving five-year-old orange and white tabby

Sally is an adorable 7-year-old tabby with the world’s cutest blep! She is very sweet, gentle, and easy-going. She just needs a soft place to nap and someone to love! Sally arrived at Nine Lives over a year ago. Since then, she has been treated for various medical conditions, including ringworm, anemia, and stomatitis, which required a full-mouth extraction. She is now healthy enough to be adopted, but is having trouble finding her perfect match and could really use a break from shelter life. Sally is a picky eater, so she will need to be given a “buffet” of different kinds of food to choose from. We would also like her foster family to monitor her weight and appetite, and give her lots of love! Her anticipated length of foster is approximately one month.

Sally, an adorable seven-year-old tabby from the San Jose area

Lana is a 3-year-old tuxedo kitty with magnificent whiskers. She enjoys neck and head scratches, and will use your legs as a rubbing post. She loves people and can be very sweet (and is a lap cat!) but gets agitated in certain situations, especially around other kitties. Lana could really use a break from the stress of shelter life (and other cats). We hope spending time in a quiet home environment, away from other kitties, will bring out her more relaxed side, making her more attractive to potential adopters. Lana needs a cat-savvy foster family who can become familiar with her body language and understand her triggers. Her anticipated length of foster is approximately one month.

Lana, an outgoing three-year-old kitty from the Gilroy area

Giving these cats even a temporary home will help them on their journey to finding their forever families. If you are able to provide them with a safe space to thrive, please fill out a foster application on our website or contact us at

Liam’s Corner

I first want to extend a Happy Holidays to everyone in our Nine Lives family! ​​We are truly blessed to have the support of such a devoted community, unwavering in its commitment to saving cats’ lives. As we prepare for the holidays, Nine Lives strives to responsibly accept as many in-need cats from across California (and beyond!) as possible. Last week alone, our intake included cats from local good Samaritans, rescues from Los Banos, Los Gatos, Stockton, and Sacramento, and even some gorgeous community cats rescued from behind our very own Adoption Center. I also want to extend our gratitude to an incredible group of young students from Footsteps Child Care. This dedicated team planned fundraising projects for various organizations and picked Nine Lives Foundation as their first local charity to support.

Last Wednesday, December 15, eight of their Interact Club members went on a field trip to our Adoption Center, where they presented Nine Lives with a $300 donation and joined me in folding laundry and providing the nurturing care and socialization that our cats truly deserve.

Dedicated donors like Footsteps allow us to continue our mission: rescuing at-risk cats and kittens and matching them with loving forever homes for years to come. Thank you, Footsteps! To all of our cherished supporters, I extend the warmest wishes for a happy and healthy New Year. Liam Montgomery Executive Director, Nine Lives Foundation

The Purr-fect Gift

It’s not too late to get the cat lovers in your life the purr-fect holiday gift! Nines Lives Foundation 2022 calendars can be purchased online, by phone at (650) 368-1365, or in person at our clinic or adoption center. Want to save yourself a trip? You can have them mailed to you for a $5 shipping fee. The calendars are just $15 plus tax and your purchase helps us save the lives of so many more cats and kittens!

Remembering Smurf

We are deeply saddened to share the news that last Saturday, our beloved Smurf, namesake for the Nine Lives Foundation Smurf & Wanda Adoption Center, passed away peacefully after a short battle with lymphoma. Smurf arrived at Nine Lives in December 2015 as a 7-week-old, 1.75 lb kitten. He was covered head to toe with purple fabric dye, had multiple deep bite wounds and lacerations, and was struggling with infection. Doctors Desai and Rudiger provided much-needed emergency medical care and surgical intervention to aid in his recovery.

Shortly after his arrival, Smurf was introduced to an abandoned, emaciated, sick, and blind 9-week-old kitten named Wanda, and they quickly became best friends. It’s not hard to imagine that Smurf and Wanda captured the hearts of everyone at Nine Lives, our local community, and beyond.

Several weeks after arriving at Nine Lives, Smurf and Wanda went to their forever home — together — where they found extraordinary love, a safe environment, and the freedom to flourish and become the remarkable beings we know and adore.

The incredible bond between Smurf and his mom Jessica began at their first meeting and grew stronger every day. We are forever grateful to Jessica and her family for giving Smurf their unconditional love and for sharing him with the rest of the world. In Jessica’s words: “He was the kindest, most innocent boy, with the purest of souls. It is an honor to be your mama, my baby boy.”

It’s All About The Cats!

The Nine Lives cats are taking over Giving Tuesday! Coming up on November 30th, Giving Tuesday is a one-day global effort to do good by giving wherever and however you can.

We’ve renamed it Giving Mewsday because, after all, it’s all about the cats! Nine Lives works hard to put a good roof over their heads, give them medical care, and socialize and nurture them so they can thrive — and find them loving homes. On behalf of the cats in the Bay Area who rely on Nine Lives, we ask you to make a donation on (or before!) November 30th. Each and every dollar makes a difference — so please make their day count!

Adopt a Senior Pet!

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Celebrate the occasion by bringing home a cat with experience! Anacapa is a beautiful 11-year-old brown and white tabby who first came to Nine Lives in 2015. After spending several years in a long-term foster home, she came back to our Adoption Center in mid-June.

Upon her return, one of our veterinarians identified a mass on one of her hind legs, which was then confirmed to be cancerous. Less than a week later, she had the leg amputated at our clinic and began settling into her new life as a tremendous tripod. Since recovering from surgery, Anacapa has been waiting to find her perfect forever home. In the meantime, our medical team has been working on a behavioral plan to address Anacapa’s occasional aggression due to overstimulation and territorial conflicts with other cats.

Anacapa has responded well to this extra attention and has learned to enjoy short petting sessions and the hand-fed treats that come with it. We think she’d progress even more outside of the sometimes-chaotic shelter environment, so hope to find her a cat-savvy adopter or foster family with a lot of patience. She will need to be the only cat in her new home so she can bond with her new family without distractions.

Donation Spotlight

We’re thrilled to announce a significant donation to purchase a digital dental X-ray system for Nine Lives. So many cats come to us desperately needing a wide range of dental care, especially those suffering from feline stomatitis, an extremely painful condition in which the body’s immune system overreacts to plaque on the teeth and develops widespread inflammation in the mouth and throat. Imagine your worst sore throat and multiply it by 100!

When Nine Lives supporter Christal Bemont learned that Nine Lives’ cats could benefit from having a dental X-ray system on site, she stepped up and immediately donated over $15,000 to cover its complete cost and installation! Christal shares her home with two former Nine Lives cats, Arly and Kyle.

The X-ray system allows our medical team to take sharp, detailed images right on site — leading to a more complete evaluation of a cat’s oral health. These detailed images help our veterinarians quickly pinpoint problems below the gum line and target treatment more effectively. With stomatitis, for example, full-mouth tooth extractions are often needed. Dental x-rays are critical as they allow our vets to ensure that not only the tooth but also the often hard-to-detect tooth roots have been removed.

This minimizes the need for additional surgery, infection, potential trips to specialists — which can be very costly — and the additional stress these can all cause for a cat. We’re humbled by Christal’s incredible generosity. Thanks to her, we can provide more comprehensive on-site dental care for our cats. Nine Lives kitties Tulip and Angus have already benefited from having the X-ray system — both received full mouth extractions this month and are on the road to recovery! Thank you, Christal!

Introducing our Executive Director!

We’re excited to announce that Nine Lives has hired Liam Montgomery as our new Executive Director! Liam will be responsible for the overall management of Nine Lives, including daily operations of the clinic and adoption center. In this role, he will be working very closely with the medical, administrative and facilities teams; volunteers and the Board of Directors; and other rescue organizations throughout the Bay Area. We’ve needed the day-to-day administrative leadership at this level for some time. In order for Nine Lives to grow — and help more cats! — we realized we needed someone to fulfill this role full-time and on site. Before coming on board last month, Liam wrote to the Nine Lives team: “I would like to express how delighted I am to join your fantastic family. I am thrilled to be working alongside such talented people and Nine Lives supporters who have such a dedication to saving lives and advocating for the best quality of life for our feline friends.”

Originally from the UK (Wales), Liam worked in London for nine years as a large-scale event/operations manager before moving to San Francisco five years ago. He has extensive administrative experience in the veterinary field, first serving as a manager of San Francisco Veterinary Specialists, which at the time was the only full-service, multidisciplinary 24-hour hospital in the city. Most recently, he was a regional director for Curo Pet, overseeing 15+ veterinary hospitals on the West Coast. While there, he led large-scale projects to unify independent practices, and also created and introduced best-practice initiatives and protocols. Please join us in welcoming Liam to the Nine Lives family!

Feel the Petco Love!

Nine Lives Foundation is honored to announce the award of a $5,000 grant from Petco Love, an organization that since 1999 has served as a leader and valued partner in animal welfare, always focusing on one thing: Creating a better world for animals and the people who love and need them. This grant has allowed Nine Lives to acquire and install Shelterluv, an electronic medical and adoption record-keeping software system. As a result of Petco Love’s generosity, Nine Lives has moved from a cumbersome manual system based on paper records to a more efficient electronic method that automates processes and reports. We also have purchased laptops so vets and vet techs can enter medical records rapidly and in real time. Thanks to Petco Love’s investment, Nine Lives has improved continuity of cat care by allowing us to keep information on individual cats all in one place; to provide automated reminders for preventative care, such as vaccines and flea treatments; and to consolidate surgical and medical records, such as post-operative care and medical issues management. It also means Nine Lives can provide a streamlined adoption process and enhanced customer service for adoptions.

Because of Petco Love’s open-hearted support, Nine Lives can focus less on paperwork and more on what we do best: lifesaving, nurturing care for cats and finding them the permanent, loving homes they so desperately deserve—like Butterscotch and Nellie, among the cats whose information was entered into the new system!

Nine Lives is proudly supported by Petco Love, which is helping us help more cats in the Bay Area. We’re grateful beyond words @PetcoLove!

The 2022 Calendars Have Arrived!

The Nine Lives Foundation 2022 Calendar is now available! Calendars can be purchased online, by phone at (650) 368-1365, or in person at our clinic (3137 Jefferson Avenue in Redwood City). Want to save yourself a trip? You can have them mailed to you for a $5 shipping fee. The calendars are $15 plus tax. They make great holiday gifts and your purchase helps us save the lives of so many more cats and kittens! For those of you who submitted photos in the calendar photo contest, you will get your complimentary copies soon.

It’s Spooky Season!

It’s spooky season, and you know what that means — it’s time to break out the pumpkins, throw on a scary movie, and celebrate black cats! October is Black Cat Awareness month. Outdated superstitions around black cats bringing bad luck may be a thing of the past, but studies show that black cats spend more time in shelters than other cats and have the highest euthanasia rate. So, if you’re thinking about adopting a furry friend this month, consider changing the luck of one of our black cats by giving it a forever home! Butch is a 5-month-old purry love bug that just wants to be around his favorite people. Sweetie is a 2-year-old biscuit-making house panther that lives up to her name. Both are currently available at our Adoption Center and would be a purrfect snuggle buddy for those cold and spooky nights.

2022 Calendar Update

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2022 Calendar Photo Contest! Your votes and photo submissions helped us raise over $30,000, which will help us continue our life-saving efforts and find loving forever homes for more cats — like our 2022 Cover Cat, Chunky Monkey. In celebration of Chunky Monkey’s win, we’re sharing some throwback pictures from his time at the Nine Lives Adoption Center. Chunky Monkey was a volunteer favorite and although we still miss his cuddles and head butts, we are thrilled he’s happy, healthy, and thriving in his forever home.

Don’t forget — you can also support Nine Lives by buying a 2022 Calendar. They will be on sale soon, so stay tuned for more info!

Celebrating Our Staff

October 17th – 24th was Vet Tech Appreciation Week! We took that opportunity to celebrate our valued Registered Veterinary Technicians and Veterinary Assistants, who play a vital role in furthering the mission of Nine Lives. As a small token of our appreciation, we bestowed them with a series of small gifts and goodie to brighten their special week. To Robert, Everett, Macie, Alejandra, Alyssa, and Curie: we are so grateful for all you do. Your compassionate dedication to your life’s work is our great fortune!

Rescue Report

At the end of the summer, we rescued eight cats from a hoarding situation in the Stockton area. These kitties, and almost a hundred more, were left behind after their owners were evicted from their property. A couple of these kitties were healthy enough to be made available for adoption right away — and found their forever homes almost immediately! However, the other six kitties were suffering from a variety of medical conditions, including malnutrition, dehydration, ear mites, gastrointestinal parasites, upper respiratory infections, and dental disease. Two of those kitties, Basil and Tulip, pictured here, received several weeks of treatment at our clinic for malnourishment, parasites, and chronic upper respiratory infections. A few weeks ago they found a foster-to-adopt home where they could continued their recovery. They are both eating well, gaining weight, and enjoying the security of a loving, attentive home.

Azalea, another rescue from the hoarding situation, a gorgeous five-year-old gal. Upon arrival, she was under-socialized, depressed, anemic, dehydrated, and suffering from a painful dental condition. She was immediately given fluids, x-rays, and an array of laboratory tests, and then received multiple dental extractions at our clinic a few days later.

Several weeks later, Azalea is still being treated for chronic ear and upper respiratory infections and soft stool. Although she has made lots of progress, and has gained over 40% of her initial body weight, she still has a ways to go. We are now continuing her treatment from the comfort of a caring foster home so she can get the extra love and attention she deserves.

Nine Lives’ Next Top Model

Now is the time to get those photos out of your phone and into the 2022 Nine Lives Foundation Calendar! Who doesn’t have at least one picture of their cat — or more likely, a few hundred photos — displaying their cat’s top model potential, zen-like tranquility, or amazing acrobatic skills? If you love taking photos of your cat and want to help us save lives, this contest is for you! Here’s how to enter:

Submit your best cat or kitten photo for a chance to win the prestigious honor of the 2022 Calendar “Cover Cat,” one of twelve “Cats of the Month,” or featured on the calendar’s inside cover or back page. Vote for your favorite photos and ask your friends, family, and co-workers to do the same! Enter and vote as often as you like through September 6th. This is a fundraiser, so every $25 submission and $5 vote benefits Nine Lives Foundation and supports our life-saving mission.

The Nine Lives Calendar is all about your cats! Whether you recently welcomed a kitty into your family, or have had your cat for 10+ years, your photogenic feline deserves a spot in this year’s calendar.

Adoption Highlight: Ellen and Portia

Ellen and Portia are adorable “teenage” tortie girls who came to us via one of our rescue partners in the South Bay. Prior to arriving at Nine Lives in mid-June, this bonded pair delivered 10 beautiful babies — 5 each — one day apart. They even helped each other with the deliveries and nursed and cared for each other’s kittens as one big, happy family. After co-raising their litters, it was time for Ellen and Portia to find a forever home of their own, together. Earlier this month, that day finally came. After a few weeks at our Adoption Center, these sweet girls captured the hearts of their newfound forever family and made their way to their new home, where they will get all the love and attention they deserve.

Ellen and Portia are just two of our many momma cats that have found their forever homes in the past few months. As we’ve previously mentioned, we do take in momma cats if they’ve finished weaning their kittens. We typically don’t take in the kittens of mommas we rescue because we don’t have the resources to care for them properly — a temporary situation — but we work with other organizations to place them in loving homes.

Take Me Home Tonight! Trill Edition

Trill is a playful and cuddly one-year-old kitty that is looking for a foster home, or better yet, a forever home!

Trill is experiencing a couple of litter box issues which we hope to get under control so she can be adopted. We believe she has an underlying neurological disorder that causes her to occasionally pee outside the litter box, as well as megacolon, a condition where large amounts of feces build up in the colon. Despite these challenges, she is a super-sweet cat who loves people and other cats, and just needs a home for a few weeks while our veterinarians work on her medications and diet.

Trill’s previous foster parent, Erik, took Trill home for several weeks and worked with her to address her urination issues. She now generally uses the litter box except when she’s anticipating her lunch or dinner, when in her excitement she occasionally pees on the floor. (Similar to a puppy, except Trill won’t chew your slippers!) Erik has found the best prescription diet for her (which Nine Lives will provide), as well as the litter and litter box that work best for her, and her issues have gotten a lot better. Check out the video below to get a feel for what fostering this cutie would involve. If you can offer Trill a loving home for a few weeks (or more!), please contact us at

Behind the Scenes

We’ve started this column to give you insight into what’s happening behind the scenes: a look at the work we’re doing to support our mission moving forward, and where Nine Lives stands on certain issues. Changes We’ve heard some rumors. Some of you may have, too. Either way, we want to address them for everyone — things like “Nine Lives is facing financial trouble” or “It’s not the same place.” Well, one of those is true. Nine Lives is not the same place, nor should it be. We’re building on a hard-fought foundation and trying to keep and improve on what worked. The old ways aren’t always the best; the newer ways aren’t always bad — they’re just different. To remain vital, no organization can stand still. It’s possible to embrace progress without letting go of the heart of what makes Nine Lives the only organization in the Bay Area dedicated to offering low-cost spay/neuter services and rescuing at-risk cats. Finances Now let’s talk finances. Nine Lives is NOT in financial trouble. For three years now, Nine Lives has worked hard to pay its backlog of debts/bills, to institute stricter financial controls, to collect payments way in arrears for the services we provide… in essence, to account for and manage every penny. This was no small effort. And while it is not as compelling a story as those we bring you about the cats that come through our doors, we couldn’t help those cats without a sound financial footing that keeps the doors open, the lights on, the supplies stocked, and the clinical and administrative staff on board. As our longtime, respected Board President mentioned at many board meetings and before his planned departure in May, Nine Lives has never been in better financial shape. Does that mean we don’t need donations? Of course not! Nine Lives relies on the generosity of its supporters, and always will, to care for cats and ultimately find them forever homes. But it’s time we expand that to incorporate other sources of funding — like grants — and we’ll have some exciting news to report to you on that front soon. And we’re excited to have a special event this October — COVID willing. More details to come on that front, too. Foster Program We’re currently asking people to step forward and apply to foster specific, special-needs cats (like Trill, who we highlighted above!). Before we more broadly expand our foster program — which we want to do! — certain situations must be resolved. For example, we have to determine how many Nine Lives cats are currently in foster homes, particularly our long-term ones (e.g., FeLV+ cats). Many cats were placed in foster homes with good intentions over the years, but we know there are likely some with no paperwork on file. Next, we are rolling out a new system that will accept online foster volunteer applications (and adoption applications), and that information must be reviewed before a foster volunteer can be matched with a special-needs cat. Our veterinarians will work with foster applicants on a case-by-case basis to ensure there is a good match for the cat and the foster volunteer. Again, these seem like small administrative details, but they matter. In essence, we need a dedicated foster coordinator to address these and other issues. In the end, we have to ensure we have the veterinary resources to care for these foster cats when they need it — potentially for the rest of their lives — as well as the administrative resources in place behind the scenes for each cat placed in foster homes. We appreciate your patience as we do so and will keep you up to date with developments in this area.

A Golden Milestone

As we’ve previously shared, in the first half of this year alone, Nine Lives performed more than 1,400 spay/neuter surgeries. We are excited to share that we’ve now surpassed 1,500 spay/neuter surgeries! Meet Golden, a big cuddly cutie from Hayward, who has the distinct honor of being this year’s Spay/Neuter #1,000.

Spaying and neutering cats like Golden helps reduce the overpopulation of homeless cats in our community, and is the key to reducing the senseless euthanasia of so many unwanted cats and kittens each year. We are committed to serving the Bay Area community by offering low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for rescue groups, trapped stray and feral cats, and privately-owned cats in the area. You can find more about spay/neuter and the other clinical services we offer on our website.

Take Me Home Tonight! Max Edition

Max is looking for a warm spot in the sun to live out his retirement. Could your home be the perfect place for Max to hang up his hat? Max is a 7-year-old orange tabby who had a rough life on the streets before being rescued and making his way to Nine Lives. His days of chasing the girl kitties and getting into fights as a stray tomcat have left him looking a bit beaten up, but we like his rugged look! Once Max was neutered and experienced the indoor life, he realized the joys of dozing on a warm bed — and that’s pretty much all he wants to do nowadays! Max is FIV-positive. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a common infectious disease that attacks the immune system, leaving a cat vulnerable to other infections. Although there is no cure for FIV, cats with FIV commonly live normal, healthy lives. They can also live safely with non-FIV cats, as long as they are in stable environments with other cats who do not fight. Because FIV-positive cats may become immuno-compromised, we recommend that they be indoor-only. Luckily for Max, he’d be more than happy to never get off the couch!

Max is a sweetie who loves long pets and chin scratches. He also likes dogs! As a free-roamer at the Nine Lives clinic, he was often found sharing a bed with Makayla, the front desk dog. If you’re looking for a quiet, mellow, gentleman companion, perhaps big orange Max would be the perfect cat for you. If you’d like to meet him and our other wonderful kitties, come by our Adoption Center! We are open Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 – 6:00 pm and welcome walk-ins. Our kitties look forward to meeting you!

Bonita’s Journey

Nine months ago, a kind cat lover in the Fresno area spotted a fluffy little calico kitty with a badly mangled paw in her backyard. She was finally able to trap the kitty last month, and then kept the newly named Bonita in her garage for a few days while she sought help. Bonita’s leg had since healed and didn’t seem to cause her any pain, but she walked in the most heartbreaking way. In addition to her broken leg, the muscles on her right side were practically non-existent. She clearly needed medical care. This good Samaritan put out a cry for help to see if any rescue organizations might be able to help sweet little Bonita. She was worried that with shelters so full of kittens, Bonita might be euthanized. Fortunately, thanks to a partnership with dedicated rescuers in Fresno, Bonita made her way to Nine Lives. In fact, she was flown into San Carlos by private plane, thanks to one of the wonderful volunteer pilots from Pilots N Paws!

After arriving safely at Nine Lives, our volunteers and staff quickly learned that Bonita is a super-friendly girl who craves attention and loves to be cuddled. Unfortunately, it was also discovered that Bonita had severe nerve damage to her injured leg and would need an amputation. Dr. Jones performed Bonita’s surgery three weeks ago. A few days later, Bonita went to a foster home to recharge her batteries and heal. During the next two weeks, Bonita adjusted to tripod life like a champ. When she wasn’t soaking up the warmth of the sun from her favorite spot on the cat tree, she enjoyed playing, climbing, and exploring.

Late last week, Bonita completed her recovery and made her way to our Adoption Center. Two days later, she captured the hearts of her forever family. We are thrilled that Bonita is now happy and healthy, and will be able to enjoy a life filled with unconditional love and sun-drenched naps. If you would like to support our rescue efforts and help us save more cats like Bonita, please consider making a donation.

Ask us Anything!

Since we established a dedicated email for your feedback, we’ve received several thoughtful comments and questions. Keep them coming! We want to hear from you — we value your suggestions for how Nine Lives can do better and continue to grow. Send us your questions, comments, and suggestions to

Fundraising Update

We’d like to extend our sincerest gratitude to everyone who donated to our Mid-Year Fundraiser. We are thrilled to report that we met our goal of raising $30,000 by July 1st! Your support will go a long way in helping us cover significant expenses for vital equipment upgrades and replacements — some recently purchased over the last few months and some we plan to get soon. If you haven’t donated yet, it’s not too late! With your help, we can rescue more cats, provide life-saving treatment to more cats, and find loving, forever homes for more cats. To the entire Nine Lives Community, we are so grateful for your unwavering support. Thank you for being a part of our journey.

Mews Flash: Keeping You Informed

As promised in our latest Mews Flash, we want to provide our supporters and the rescue community an update about our activities and the current state of Nine Lives Foundation.

After the pandemic hit and our founding veterinarian made the difficult decision to retire, some said Nine Lives should close altogether. For many of us, this was unthinkable — what would happen to the at-risk cats and kittens in our community who so desperately needed our help? We were, and remain, determined to keep Nine Lives going, and to build on its original foundation for an even brighter future.

Our primary aim, as always, is to keep Nine Lives a positive force in the Bay Area by rescuing cats and kittens and finding their forever homes, as well as providing low-cost spay/neuter services for feral cats, cats from other rescue groups, and cats in the community-at-large. Here is where we stand in our efforts.

By The Numbers

We’re proud to say that in the first six months of this year, we’ve already performed low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for more than 1,400 cats. On top of that, we still have a wait list of more than 300 cats and kittens needing spay/neuter surgeries. Other spay/neuter clinics in the area are similarly overwhelmed — many are booked through September — which highlights the enormous demand for spay and neuters. We are grateful that we are able to serve the Bay Area community by providing this critical service.

In addition to offering these important clinical services, we are committed to rescuing and finding forever homes for at-risk cats in our local area and beyond. Our Adoption Center remains open, and we’ve placed over 200 cats in loving homes so far this year. This is admittedly far fewer than this time last year. However, we’ve been ramping up our rescue efforts over the past couple of months, and recently expanded our adoption hours. There is much more work to be done, but we are moving forward!

Medical Care

We are less than six months into this new phase of Nine Lives. Our priority first and foremost has been obtaining veterinary coverage for the medical care of our cats, and that’s where we’ve focused our attention in the first half of this year. While we haven’t yet hired a full-time veterinarian, we are excited to have assembled a group of wonderful part-time veterinarians who have formed a critical team. They provide care for our cats in the Adoption Center and Clinic, they enable us to do rescue, and they provide desperately needed spay/neuter surgeries for cats and kittens in our community.

We’re also working to adopt a framework of best practices to ensure that cats waiting to be adopted get optimal care. We’re working to streamline operations, like ordering medical supplies in a systematic manner, and establishing consistent protocols for various treatments. These systems benefit the cats and make things run smoother for our veterinary staff that are covering different shifts in two locations.

All of this makes it possible to meet our mission while we take the time to recruit the right full-time veterinarian for Nine Lives — a process that began almost a year ago but has proven challenging in this region.

Hours of Operation

We’ve received questions about whether we offer 24/7 medical care for the cats at Nine Lives. We have veterinarian coverage five days a week, along with veterinary technicians caring for our cats seven days a week. Our medical staff works together as a team, and often on their days off because of their dedication to the cats. They keep each other informed about changes in the health status of cats under our care and collaborate on treatment plans.

For cats who need medical attention beyond our normal coverage, we’ve formed relationships with two local veterinary practices to provide urgent care when our veterinarians are not immediately available. This network of medical coverage ensures that Nine Lives cats receive proper care for their health needs in as timely a manner as possible.

Where Are The Kittens?

Some people have asked whether we’re doing large-scale fostering and adoptions of kittens. The answer is: not yet, but we hope to soon! While we build out our medical team and get our feet under us, we have decided to focus initially on rescuing at-risk adults, who are less likely to be saved and adopted.

In the meantime, we are collaborating with other local organizations who rescue moms with litters. They foster and adopt out the kittens, and we take the mom and find a home for her — and, of course, make sure they all get spayed or neutered.

Since we can’t do everything right away, this approach seems like the best way for us to make an impact in the bigger ecosystem — filling a niche where there are few resources available. Animal rescue takes a village!


We want to assure our donors that Nine Lives is in a solid financial position. We’ve tightened financial controls and are closely managing our funds in a standardized way. As a result, your hard-earned dollars make an even bigger impact on the cats and kittens in our community.

Feedback: Talk To Us!

We understand that this transition is hard for many of our supporters. It means change, and change can be uncomfortable. To build a Nine Lives that remains increasingly flexible and adaptable to the needs of cats in our community, we’ll hit obstacles. There will be concerns and different points of view. People who truly want to save cats are passionate about the cause and sometimes don’t see eye to eye on how to do so. So starting now, we invite you to ask us anything. What does this mean? We want you to send your comments, suggestions and thoughts directly to us at We’ll do our best to provide a timely response. We’ll discuss your ideas and answer your questions to the best of our ability. That’s our commitment to our fellow cat lovers. Finally, we pledge to keep you posted on what’s happening at Nine Lives more frequently — through Mews News, our website, and social media.

The Bottom Line

We’re working hard with our staff and volunteers to enhance our services and continue making an impact in the community.

The Board of Directors is just a small group of dedicated volunteers doing their best to save cats. We want Nine Lives to do more, and be more, so we can help more cats. We welcome your ideas. We need your involvement. This work is hard and it takes all of us pulling together to make the greatest impact!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Please know that we’re grateful beyond words for the steadfast support from the entire Nine Lives community — all of our donors, adopters, fosterers, rescuers, volunteers, and staff. You keep us going. Most importantly, you give the cats who cross our doors a shot at a much better life. Thank you for being a part of our journey!