SALE! 2018 MRFRS Cat Calendar is now just $10!

Click here to order your 2018 MRFRS Cat Calendar today — featuring photos of our supporters’ cats (and many MRFRS alums!), plus a retrospective of covers from past calendars, along with photos of some of the original MRFRS waterfront feral cats to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Get one for yourself, and a few for family and friends — perfect for back to school and they make great holiday gifts!

All profits from the sale of the MRFRS calendar go toward our effective and life-saving programs for cats and cat guardians. $10.00 each, plus $3.00 shipping/handling for up to five calendars. If you would like more than five shipped to you, please email us at so we can get you a shipping quote.

Children’s Books About Cats

Cats have always been a popular subject for children’s books, stories, and nursery rhymes, from The Owl & the Pussycat and Puss in Boots, to Tom Kitten and The Cat in the Hat, to modern-day favorites Pete the Cat and the Warriors series. If there are children in your life, there are tons of cat-related books to choose from, including many that teach appropriate behavior around cats, or deal with the topic of a beloved cat’s death.

Here are some great choices for story time:

Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner, a Caldecott Medal-winning tale about a spoiled cat and some alien intruders that is sure to be a favorite for both kids and parents!
The Cat Who Wouldn’t Come Inside by Cynthia Von Buhler, an out-of-print gem that introduces children to feral cats and the idea that not all cats were meant to live indoors.
Tails are Not for Pulling by Elizabeth Verdick is a great primer on how to treat our pets and read their body language. Includes tips for parents at the end.
How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Cats? by Jane Yolen is another great read on the right way to treat the kitty friends in our lives.
The Tenth Good Thing about Barney by Judith Viorst and Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant both address the death of beloved pet cats. Be warned: you’ll want to have the tissues handy for these!
These are just the tip of the iceberg! For even more books on the humane treatment of pets and animals, check out these lists:
or do your own Google or Amazon search for “cat books” – and enjoy the results!
p.s. – If you’re shopping on Amazon, don’t forget to go through so that your purchases will support MRFRS!

Staff Spotlight: Nancy Del Grosso

If you’ve visited our Adoption Center, you’ve likely already met Nancy Del Grosso, our adoption coordinator. Nancy oversees MRFRS’s adoption program and helps keep the shelter running smoothly. Nancy started working at MRFRS in 2015 as an adoption counselor, and was promoted to adoption coordinator in 2016. We asked her a couple of questions to get to know her better:

What’s the best part of working at MRFRS?

I have always been a “cat person” and wanted to work with animals, but the best part of working at MRFRS is definitely my amazing group of colleagues, both staff and volunteers. It is wonderful to work somewhere with like-minded people and be able to see the difference you can make together, both in the lives of individual cats, people and the community.

What does your average day at MRFRS look like?

An “average” day is hard to define, as every day is different! Some days are very busy, with many families coming in to meet adoptable cats. Other days are slow in terms of adoptions, but busy with providing enrichment for the cats in our care. The more time we can spend working with the cats, the better we get to know them so we can make great adoption matches.

What did you do before you came to MRFRS?

I have a varied background prior to working with MRFRS. Professionally I worked in business administration as a manger at a fine violin shop. I also offered consultation services in behavior modification for parrot owners, to help keep these wild animals happy and healthy in their homes. I attended various workshops and seminars in animal behavior and training, learning about Applied Behavior Analysis and positive reinforcement training methods for all species.

What is your proudest moment at MRFRS?

One of my proudest moments actually comes from a situation where I was able to make an impact outside of the adoption program. MRFRS offers [the] Bridge Program, which is emergency boarding for cats while owners are [in tough situations]. We had one very kind, wonderful woman who is a veteran, reach out to us this past year in need of boarding for her bonded pair of cats. She actually drove her cats from New Jersey to the shelter, so she could be reunited once her living situation was resolved. I felt a great sense of pride that I was able to help facilitate keeping this family together in a time of need, especially since she was clearly such a devoted and loving cat parent!

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us!

Many people are surprised to learn about my background working with parrots, since I work at an all-cat rescue. I am not sure I would have realized that animal welfare was my passion at all if it weren’t for Charlie, a paraplegic rescue bird. Caring for Charlie while working at my previous job made me realize the direction I wanted my life to take. I wanted to help advocate for animal welfare and find safe, happy homes for every animal. You can read a little more about my inspiration, Charlie, by clicking here.
Nancy lives in Beverly with her husband Matt and their many loved rescue and hospice pets, both furry and feathered. Be sure to say hello next time you see her at the shelter!

Happy Tails: Kids & Their Cats

Do you remember how you felt when you got your first cat? Picking those best cat accessories, scented litter and super specific food… Whether you were four years old or forty, it’s a moment you’ll treasure forever! Here are some wonderful stories about kids who adopted their kitties from MRFRS, and the joy and happiness it brought them.


Raven was a six-year-old kitty seized from a home because her owner was in trouble with the law. She had no interest in other cats, and was overlooked in the shelter because of her age. When her new owner came in to look, her little boy sat down on the floor and Raven crawled right into his lap!


Billiards was only two weeks old when his litter of kittens arrived at MRFRS. We had to put them in foster care as “bottle babies” before they were old enough to be adopted. The person who adopted Billards was looking for a fun, sociable kitten as the first pet for her two children, ages six and four. “We love our cat Billards, who we renamed Admiral Buttons, and are so happy and lucky he is a part of our family.”


Snowball was found as a stray tom in a feral colony before arriving at the shelter. He had a bit of attitude, and the chip on his shoulder was hard to overlook for potential adopters. Finally, someone came in and fell in love with him despite his hard-edged personality. Now at home, he is a sweetheart with all the kids and grandmother, and even gets along with their other pets!


Bradbury was a stray fending for himself in a feral colony. He was very scared and shy at first, but he had obviously had a home sometime before ending up out on his own. His new family came to MRFRS with their children looking for a sweet cat that would be good with their existing cat, and Bradbury–-now called Mookie–warmed right up to the kids and was rolling over for head pats and belly rubs! Their success story has been posted on sites like for all to see. Strays can turn out to become loving pets.

Barnacle Bill was found in the woods outside a school. The faculty and students fed him until they could trap him and get him some help. This poor fellow had only one eye, and was severely emaciated, due to eating anything he could find to survive (including fabric and sand!). We nursed Barnacle Bill–now Lenny–back to health in our sick room for a while before he was ready for adoption. His new adopters came in with their daughter, and it was love at first sight! He sleeps in the daughter’s room at night and is glued to her side.

How to Teach Our Children to Respect Cats

by Jenny Holt, Freelance Writer
If you do not have pets, but you have children, then a time will come when the demand is made for you to get the former. Sometimes this is just an innate desire, sometimes it comes from seeing movies or TV shows or YouTube videos of cats falling in bins or being scared of cucumbers, or it comes from the social pressure of peers with pets. Whatever the reason, it’s natural for a parent to be wary as you do not know if your kids will respect the cat and how long they will look after it before it becomes one of your duties, not theirs. There are many ways to teach children to respect animals before you consider buying or rescuing one.

Before You Get Your Kids a Pet Cat

The best thing any parent can do when preparing their children to have a pet cat is to set a good example. This does not only mean being kind to cats you see or who come into your garden, but talking well about them too. Kids pick up on a lot of what adults do and say, and they use this to model their own behavior. Move this on to reading books about animals together, include TV shows and movies too, and let them express their interest in animals through art or imaginary pets.

Respecting Animals in General

It’s vital that what they learn is applied to all animals in general and not just cats. This ranges from creepy crawlies up to dogs and beyond. Starting with good examples it could mean humane traps for spiders then releasing them into the garden. It could mean taking children to see animals in their natural habitats, the wild, or observing them in the back yard. It’s up to you whether you consider zoos and farms as suitable places or not. Though one thing which is good is to not take them to see circuses or water parks where animals perform. Explain to them why it’s not good for the animals. Together you can also spend time picking up litter which might harm animals, so they understand the consequences of littering.

Introducing Your Cat to Your Kids

First, it’s important for children to interact with the cat they are going to adopt. A good way to do this is to take them to a shelter. This way they get to meet cats, see their different personalities and learn about them. It is also a good opportunity to teach them how to pet and stroke cats in the right way. Reinforce all good behavior with compliments and praise. They may fall in love with one particular cat or a pair, while knowing a little about them and their past. Hopefully by now your children will have a great respect for your new cat(s), but take it easy. Make sure they keep their responsibilities and allow the cat their freedom to be who they are.