In 1995, I noticed the plight of stray cats in the inner city of Boston, where I lived at the time. I lived happily with one cat back then. I thought all that I had to do was call the Massachusetts (MSPCA), and they would help with finding homes for stray cats. But then I called Alley Cat Allies, an organization that supports the rescue of homeless and feral cats, and they told me, "You're it!"

Jane_DeMartinoI never realized how difficult the cat situation was. So I started trapping and neutering the kitties one at a time. Since I am in a wheelchair due to a plane crash, which resulted in a spinal cord injury, I asked neighbourhood kids to get involved. Some of them are still my close friends.

We neutered almost the whole colony of cats. Then we released the feral cats, found adoption homes for the kittens, and I kept the most godforsaken ones with me.

I had no idea how in the world I would do this work. I always say that I was poor, depressed, and weak. But through the power of the cat, I soon found out that I was rich in spirit, happy to help, and stronger than I ever imagined possible.

When I lost one cat family to feline leukaemia, I made a promise to the universe that I would always help any kitty who came my way. That was fifteen years ago, and I have kept that promise.

Miracles have happened along the way. In 2000, I moved to New York State to be closer to my family. I have much more space here so I got involved with a wonderful rescue group called Anima Lovers of the Capital Region by becoming one of their foster home volunteers.

I told them I would take their most godforsaken kitties because I believe, as Angel Animals Network does, that all life is valuable. Other people wanted to help with kittens and healthy cats, but I wanted the worst possible cases.

Colby came to me with a hepatic shunt. He was a very sickly kitty. By some miracle one of my other kitties, Dr. Bernie, knew whenever Colby was having a seizure. Bernie was Colby's doctor for nine years.

Bernie was a wounded healer. He had all kinds of chronic health problems but was so compassionate to other sick kitties. Colby and Bernie lived here for nine years. It was nine years longer than the veterinarians thought these cats would survive. Both Colby and Bernie died a few months ago.

Because of my special calling, I wanted to start my own nonprofit organization, C.A.T.S., Inc. (Caring about the Strays, Inc.) In 2006, I was able to do that because of the kindness of strangers, and some that weren't so strange, such as my family and friends.

In 2001, Animal Lovers of the Capital Region gave me their Humane Services award. In 2004, the American Red Cross honored me as a Hometown Hero for my animal rescue work.

I was nominated for the Jefferson Award. In December 2008, there was an article about me in CAT FANCY magazine. But the greatest award I get on a daily basis is helping a scared or sick kitty find comfort and love. I am so blessed to witness amazing stories all the time.

OliverOur two most recent rescues, Oliver and Rocky, are doing miraculously well. No other rescue group would take them. Because of my promise, I never say no and brought them home. Oliver had a severe spinal cord injury. I learned to express his bladder, and he is recovering wonderfully. Oliver brings so much joy to my special needs kids who come here to volunteer.

Rocky survived a major surgery after being abused. He is on the way to recovery too. We are soRocky happy about the both of them. C.A.T.S., Inc. survives on a wing and a prayer, but we don't give up

Donations are always needed. We believe in miracles.

I believe we are all a part of the beautiful web of life, and if one strand is weak, we are all compromised. This is why I love Allen and Linda Anderson's books. They have given me great comfort through the years of all this animal rescue work. The Angel Animals books strengthen that strand of love for the animals.

Animals are truly our angels and masters. Peace and purrs.


Jane DeMartino is the President of a 501c3 non-profit organization called C.A.T.S. Inc. She survived a plane crash that left her paralyzed and in a wheelchair. She has a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and sells her pet portraits to further her cause of helping the most godforsaken animals. Many of her volunteers are special needs people who feel the healing power of helping these animals. Jane has been awarded several humane services awards and continues her work helping animals in Schenectady, NY.

Donations are always welcomed at CATS Inc; because so many of the cats have ongoing health problems, money is always needed for the huge veterinary bills. Bedding, especially dog cots which are raised off the floor so that older animals can lie in comfort; spare food – anything that would help Jane to help the animals in her care will be gratefully accepted.

Jane said she would love to receive Gift Certificates from: as she is able to get vaccines, some meds and cleaning supplies from them.

Go to her website to see how you can help/donate.

A Cats Prayer

Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.


Sponsored Advert