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Confessions Of A Cat Rescuer #5 - A Chance To Care

Updated on July 8, 2011

I Confess: I care too much. I really do. My heart is bigger than my wallet. Here I am, trying to take care of me, my wife, our home, and thirty-some cats on one part-time job and a weekly unemployment check. My wife also works part-time, but between her one job, my one job and the unemployment money, there is very little to go around.

But I must make another confession here: If I had a million dollars, I would give it Puffy Paws Kitty Haven in Englewood, Florida. Why? For one thing, God manages to provide all that I need. I have learned to depend on Him. And yes, I do hope He will send some more help our way. But until He does, we will manage on what He provides.

But the main reason I would give one million dollars to Puffy Paws is because they do so much good for the cats, and the cats really need the funds. Puffy Paws rescues on a level only a few cat rescuers ever reach. According to the Puffy Paws website:

“We care for kitties with feline leukemia, FIV (feline aids), blind kitties, feral cats, epileptic kitties, kitties with only one eye, senior kitties, kitties that do not use their litter box, kitties with thyroid conditions and more - basically unwanted and un-adoptable kitties that would be euthanized elsewhere.”

Puffy paws bills itself as “The World’s Greatest Cathouse” and I believe that they are deserving of that title. Puffy Paw’s mission is to provide hospice care for special needs cats, including quality healthcare, food, water, shelter and most of all, love to all the cats in its care until they cross the Rainbow Bridge. And this they do, day in and day out, for over 230 cats!

Now you would think that Puffy Paws would have a stream of volunteers to manage the massive task of caring for so many cats. But the truth is that Puffy Paws is ran by just two people! Chrissy and Rick Kingston run Puffy Paws from their home, and struggle daily to raise the $250 a day it takes to take care of the kitties, as well as do the majority of the cat care.

What does it take to care for 230 cats? Chrissy, who does most of the cat care, dishes out 78 lbs of wet cat food and 36 lbs of dry cat food a day! As most cat rescuers know, for every pound a cat eats, it seems that two pounds come out. Chrissy lugs over 660 lbs of litter every day to keep the boxes clean, then has to take care of the house as well. Cleaning supplies are over $25 a day.

Rick Kingston does much of the fundraising work. Puffy Paws has a “donation center” that is billed as “Englewood’s Strangest Store.” People donate goods to Puffy Paws. Shoppers can then select an item and get it for a donation to Puffy Paws. Puffy Paws has just started selling on EBAY, and under Rick’s efforts, Puffy Paws uses every opportunity to help the cats under their care. Rick manages to get some help with the donation center, sometimes from people working off community service. But between the donation center, EBAY, running the Puffy Paws website and blog, and dealing with the media, Rick has a full plate as well.

Now, why am I telling you all this?

First, I want you to understand why I would give Puffy Paws a million dollars if I had it. They deserve it. They deserve a break from the daily stress. They deserve to have just one day where they do not have to worry about if the cats will have enough to eat, or enough cat litter, or if they can stay in operation one more day. You see, because of the economy, donations are down, and Puffy Paws is almost always just one day away from closing. It’s not Rick and Chrissy’s fault. They have done everything they can. And they know that if they close, the cats will have nowhere to go. Remember, most of the cats at Puffy paws will never be adopted out. If they are turned in to a shelter, they will be killed. They really need some people to step up and help them. That’s why I would give them a million dollars, so they could keep on doing the work that very few people would ever do.

Second, I want to give you, my readers, a chance to care. I am asking each of you to do just three things:

1. Pray for Rick and Chrissy and for Puffy Paws.

2. Decide today to send them a donation. The website is

3. Challenge everyone you know to DARE TO CARE by also praying for AND sending a donation to Puffy Paws!

Here is my challenge: I challenge you to get this article out to as many people as you can, to donate at least $1 to Puffy Paws, and to dare your friends to do the same. Do you know the quickest way to raise one million dollars? Simple, have one million people send you one dollar! I want to see how many people will actually dare to care by making a donation to Puffy Paws, sending this article to everyone they know, and daring them to do the same.

Don’t be surprised if you only get a few responses. Most people I know really do not care about cats or about the people who rescue them. But know this, if YOU dare to care, and show others that you do care, then maybe other people will start to care too.

And maybe Rick and Chrissy and the cats of Puffy Paws can have a peaceful night, knowing that people really do care. Thank you Rick and Chrissy, for all you do for the kitties!

Paw-Paw John


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    • Paw-Paw John profile imageAUTHOR

      Paw-Paw John 

      5 years ago from Greenville, SC

      Thank you for your comment and for sending Puffy Paws a donation. They do great work. I will update the post as soon as I can get some new info. I have been away for a while and am trying to get back on Hubpages. My health is not always good, and my kitties are about all I have been able to handle lately. But I really feel for the folks at Puffy Paws. They handle cats that most people would kill. Thanks again for your support. I know they appreciate it.

    • profile image 

      5 years ago

      Hi - I will post this to fb since it has been quite a while since your artice, years, and they are now living day to day and ssending out emergency alerts for help with food- including their own at times! I just sent a smll donation myself towards a large bag of dry that they n eed to get before the store coses at 7:00 p.m It is 6:18 now--will they make it? I hope so but we need some updated info to go out and make people aware of Puffy Paws, of the needs of the kitties, before it is too late.

    • Paw-Paw John profile imageAUTHOR

      Paw-Paw John 

      7 years ago from Greenville, SC

      Thank you Lucky Cats. What a great ministry you have to the kitties. I wish you all the best. Among my kids are three little one-eyed Jills, a cat who has to have meds for seizures, a senior cat (we estimate around 15 years) who was exposed in her home to the chemicals used to make Meth and has terrible skin boils because of it, and one cat with cancer in remission. They will be with us until the Lord calls them home.

      Thanks for helping out with Puffy Paws, and thank Al for buying the cap. I love mine too and always get looks when I wear it out around the town.

      Thanks again for all you do for the kitties.


    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi PawPawJohn...what an unselfish and kind thing to do...and I know why..because you love the cats you know and the cats you do not know...and those few, wonderful people who care enough to give their all to save the lives of unwanted, unadoptable, 'thrown away' cats. We also have a blind kitty, HoneyBear, two on special diet because of urinary tract problems (5 surgeries combined), 2 Feline Aids toms, 5 Feline Leukemia kitties, and more...but, I ONLY tell you this to underscore and underline how much Al and I understand this situation and the comittment, financial and emotional and physical, loving fabulous felines requires...and we do so willingly and without a second is our life, as it is yours and, now that we have been introduced us to Puffy Paws I have shared this hub on FB and Liked...we shall use the link to help a little bit and BLESS YOU!!!!

      BTW, PPJ, Al bought a "Real Men Rescue Cats" cap and he loves it.

      I love you....for being the kind soul you are.


    • Paw-Paw John profile imageAUTHOR

      Paw-Paw John 

      7 years ago from Greenville, SC

      Thank you Chatkath and 1maybaby for your kind words, and for your support of Puffy Paws. I can't imagine the burden of caring for so many cats, especially when you know that many of them are either sick and going to die, or will never be adopted because of other problems. I wish you both health, and thank you again for praying, sharing, and giving. God bless you.

    • 1maybaby profile image


      7 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      My baby sister has "hounded" me for about 3 days to read your blogs. I won't bore you with the details of why I am just getting here but suffice it to say that I am glad I did. My sister and I both are on Disability; we laugh and say that we got wonderful parents but a not-so-healthy gene pool! I would bet the farm that she has already sent the $1.00 and I have already placed mine in an envelope as well. I will also put this on my FB page and see how much that will solicit. My sister and I have rescued a number of dogs and cats. She has four cats and 2 dogs and I have 5 dogs. We take in strays and find them homes rather than turn a blind eye and hope someone else will.

      I always get a "warm and fuzzy" when I read stories like yours. You have quite a bit on your plate and very serious health issues yet you care and are concerned about Rick and Chrissy. That speaks volumes about what kind of a person you are! Thank you for enlightening the rest of us. Consider yourself, your wife, Rick and Chrissy prayed for!

    • Chatkath profile image


      7 years ago from California

      I can sure relate to what you are talking about Paw Paw John - when I moved about a year ago I found so many homeless kitties, I couldn't help myself, I couldn't ignore what I was do you ignore a hungry sick kitty? Here I was on unemployment feeding every homeless cat on the block. Since then I have turned my garage into a rescue facility and like you, if I had a million dollars, I would probably donate it to helping cats and animals. I will check out and share puffy paws too, I am so thankful to find others that feel the same way I do, although it would sure be easier to not care so much. Bravo!


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