By Carol Christensen

Woman holding fluffy grey cat
Carol and Birmie, the cat

I have been an Oregon Humane Society foster parent, volunteer, and donor for many years. I want to tell you about a very special cat that I fostered, and adopted, named Birmie.

Birmie was one of 114 cats rescued from a house in Oregon in June of 2015. In my role as a volunteer driver, I transported 95 of the rescued cats, including Birmie, to OHS. Birmie and his three brothers came to my house for foster care to recover from their ordeal.

Almost immediately, Birmie got along with everyone. He was a wonderful big brother to nearly 300 fosters.

Birmie became a great ambassador for OHS—appearing at events, on billboards, and in ads.

Birmie helping to care for a litter of 13 foster puppies
Birmie helping to care for a litter of 13 foster puppies.

Birmie became ill in January of 2022. By early February, the vet’s prognosis was that Birmie had a few days to live. But Birmie’s fighting spirit surprised us all. For the next 11 weeks, I administered daily medications, and held him at every possible moment. 

Animals have always been an essential part of my life. I was taught early to provide care and love to all animals, so when I was entering retirement, volunteering at OHS was a perfect fit. I became a foster parent and quickly realized how my time and financial support saved animals.

Deciding to make a planned gift to OHS was easy for me. My family knows my desire to help control pet overpopulation and prevent animal suffering. I have worked long hours and made sacrifices to help animals throughout my life. I want that to continue even after I’m gone.


Birmie with another foster friend
Birmie with another foster friend.

On April 18, Birmie passed over the rainbow bridge. His absence leaves a hole in my heart. He also leaves so many loving memories with the knowledge that I can help cats just like him long into the future.

As we near the end of the year, it’s an ideal time to reflect on how we can protect what matters most. I hope you will join me in leaving a legacy gift to Oregon Humane Society.

Contact Kathryn Karr at or (503) 802-6743 to learn more.