Two cats at the Nine Lives Foundation Cat Clinic San Francisco

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.

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