And for my final day of donating, as I did last year, I’m donating to Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA). VOKRA is the cat rescue organization from which I got my beloved Watson & Crick and I’m happy to be able to support the work they do to take care of kitties and find fur-ever homes for them.
VOKRA has a network of 350 foster homes where kitties live until someone comes along to adopt them. They also have an operations centre for kitties that need more care than can be provided in a foster home. Since they believe that every kitty should have a chance at a happy, healthy life, they spend a fair bit on vet bills, as well as on supplies for cats in foster care and on running the operations centre.
And last but certainly not least in my twelve days of donating is the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue (VOKRA). VOKRA is a volunteer-run, no-kill rescue organization that helps about 1200 surrendered, abandoned, and feral kittens and cats per year by finding them permanent homes (or, for feral cats that aren’t adoptable, through their trap/neuter/return program). While cats are waiting to be adopted, they live in foster homes rather than a traditional shelter. And, of course, VOKRA is where I found my kitties!
While out for a run yesterday, I stepped on an uneven bit of pavement and went over on my ankle a bit. I felt the tweak at the time it happened, but it didn’t hurt and so I continued on my merry way. And I was actually surprisingly merry given that it was a torrential downpour that I was running in! When I got home, I was so wet that I looked like I’d jumped in the river! My socks contained 57 ml of water1! Later in the day, I could definitely feel that I’d done something to my ankle, but it looked fine. I’ve kept off my feet as much as possible yesterday and today, but this afternoon I looked at it and saw it was quite swollen. I’m sitting with some ice on it right now and that seems to be helping.
This just seems to be par for the course for my training this year, which has gone something like this:
went running on Jan 9, then got a really bad cold that kept me from running
went running 3 times in a week (so think I’m really getting my training going) in mid-Feb, then got food poisoning and then before I got back to running, I got zombie eyeball disease
In March, I finally got back into running regularly, but it’s just been… hard. I usually have most of my runs where I feel great, whereas this year I feel like I’ve had at least a run every two weeks that’s been tough. My zone 1 pace (which is where I am supposed to do most of my training – keeping my average heart rate at ~148) has been much slower than I’d like and though it’s improved a bit, it’s not improved as much as I would have liked. Halfway through last week’s 19 km run, my IT band started killing me (though foam rolling this week seems to have helped). And now it’s a week before the race and I have an injured ankle. I was really hoping to do some good little race prep runs this week, but now I think I’ll hold off until my ankle feels better… or until race day comes – whatever comes first.
OK, I think it’s time to switch to a heat pack on my ankle.
So now that spring has sprung in Vancouver and all of the various pathogens with which I’ve been infected appear to have left the building, I’ve gotten back into the swing of things running-wise. I’m really, really slow from having taken so much time off from running1, but I’m confident that if I keep getting out there, the speed will eventually return.
I met up with my BMO Marathon Relay teammates for brunch on Saturday to discuss logistics, and I’m really looking forward to that event, which a mere 20 days from now! Fortunately, I’m training for the Scotiabank Half Marathon and the 13 km I will need to run for my leg of the relay is in line with my training plan2.
And speaking of the Scotiabank Half Marathon, I’ve signed up to run as part of Team VOKRA, which is raising money for the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Organization (VOKRA), which I’m sure you will remember is where I got my kitties from. They do good work in rescuing kitties and finding them safe and loving homes, so I’m happy to help support their work. While VOKRA is run by volunteers, there are lots of costs that need to be covered when it comes to rescuing, caring for, and eventually placing homeless cats in their forever homes such as:
prenatal, natal, and bottle feeding program
trap/spay or neuter/return program
supplying all foster homes with food and supplies
The team has a goal of raising $10,000 through our Scotiabank Half Marathon fundraising, so please consider donating on my fundraising page:
Watson & Crick say “Please Sir or Madam, won’t you donate to help the kitties?”
Not to mention the [redacted number] lbs that I gained over the winter thanks to taking so much time off from running and also Drink-cember. [↩]
I’m scheduled to run 13 km the week before BMO, as it so happens. The weekend of BMO is supposed to be a “rest” week where I go back to 8 km, but I figure two 13 km long runs in a row will be fine. [↩]
As you know, I’m a crazy cat lady. As you also know, I adopted Watson and Crick from the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA). They are a charitable organization that require donations to do their work of rescuing and caring for strays and surrendered cats and kittens, providing them with veterinarian care and shelter, and food and litter for the foster families who take care of them until they are adopted. They have two fundraising efforts going on that I thought I’d share with y’all.
First, you can buy the VOKRA 2016 calendar. And you might just recognize the picture of two adorable kitties in the January 11th square of the calendar1.
Second, you can actual get a donation to VOKRA for free by purchasing gift cards for places that you already shop. Basically, you buy a gift card through them and they mail you that gift card for the amount that you paid (e.g., you pay $100 and you get a $100 gift card). They get these cards at a discount (somewhere between 1 and 10% depending on the store) and that amount is what VOKRA gets. So it doesn’t cost you anything and they get money to do their work. Win-win! There’s a tonne of places you can get gift cards for: Safeway, Save-On Food, Thrifty’s, Shoppers Drug Mark, a bunch of gas stations, London Drugs, some pet stores, Chapter’s, Cineplex Odeon, a hole bunch of restaurants, and even some spas! Check out their website for the full list and how to order (You have to click on their order form to see the list).
Watson & Crick thank you for helping their kitty brothers and sisters!
I tried to get their photo on their birthday, September 24th, but someone had already bought that one, so I went with my birthday instead. [↩]
VOKRA, the non-profit organization from which I adopted my kitties, has put out a plea for help. Vancouver has been experiencing an unusually long, hot summer and they are having difficulty keeping their operations centre – where the most vulnerable kitties (sick kitties, new moms and their kittens, and kitties waiting for a foster home) are – cool enough to keep the kitties safe and healthy. Someone donated an industrial air conditioner to them, but they need to raise $10,000 to have it installed.
At the time of writing, they’ve raised just over 1/3 of the money they need. And right now, if you donate, a generous donor will match that donation, up to $5,000. If you are interested in donating, click here!
Nearly 8 months ago, I adopted my kitties, Watson and Crick, from VOKRA – the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association. VOKRA is a volunteer-run organization that has been rescuing kitties who are abandoned or surrendered – more than 1800 per year! – and finding them safe and loving “forever” homes for 14 years. It takes a lot of money to do this work – they provide vet care for sick kitties, food and litter for kitties living in foster homes while they await adoption, and they had to create a new intake centre because they have so many kitties coming in that they couldn’t keep operating out of the president/co-founder’s basement. Hence, their fundraiser – the 5th Annual Walk for the Kitties – coming up on Sunday. Unfortunately, I can’t do the walk myself, as I’m already double booked that day, but I encourage all kitty lovers to check it out. And even if, like me, you can’t participate, you can always donate!
Watson and Crick thank you for helping kitties just like them to find their own forever homes!