CASTLE PINES, Colo. – Cats are diverse creatures. Theirlooks and personalities are as varied as the names humans give them.
“I've got Marco. I've got Polo, Jet and Quinn. I’ve had several Sassys, Midnights and Oreos,” said Jayma Wessling, one of the founders of Front Range Freedom Rescue.
Wessling says she has been bringing stray cats home since she was a little girl, so it just made sense to start a cat-focused rescue with some friends she met at another organization. Since 2019, they’ve rescued nearly 4,000 cats from Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Illinois. They have also recruited about 40 families to help foster the cats until they are ready to go to their forever homes.
“I foster because it's great for our family's mental health,” said foster mom Jen Iversen. “It's kind of hard to be mad when you come home and you sit on the floor and start playing with kittens.”
While herding thousands of cats has been a group effort, everyone involved says when it comes to pure dedication to the cause, Wessling is the one who goes the extra mile more often than not.
“I would say of the of the three of us, Jayma is definitely the heart of the organization,” said fellow FRFR founder Carol Kuzdek. “Jayma will be the first one to drive to Pueblo, wherever she needs to go to pick up kitties.”
Iversen and Kuzdek also say Wessling is also known for taking in cats they refer to as “fospice kitties.”
“[Those are] kitties that are fosters, but they're in hospice,” adds Kuzdek. “And she will take care of them for however long they have left.”
For Wessling, rescuing cats is just the right thing to do. And she believes there is a home for every cat – although sometimes you have to be patient.
“You know, you think, ‘Oh, this one's never gonna get adopted,’” she said. ‘And there is always that person out there. There's always that right home. It's just finding it and being honest and accurate about their personality and what their needs are. And boom, you can find a home.”
This story was originally published by KMGH in Denver, Colorado.