Chief in Charge of Operations
painting of Cookie Some lessons I learned from Cookie:

Accept graciously the kindness of strangers - sometimes it's the best way to make a new friend.

One person's cast-off is another person's treasure.

Everyone deserves a second chance.
Photo of Cookie Cookie is the store mascot at Pick of the Litter, a thrift store benefiting Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County. She has captured many a shopper’s heart.

Forgotten Felines is a non-profit organization dedicated to the humane care and control of the feral cat population. Under the 'TNR' (Trap, Neuter and Return) method practiced by the organization, feral cats are humanely trapped, tested for feline leukemia, vaccinated, altered, ear-tipped for identification, and then returned to the location from which they were originally trapped. Here they are fed and watered daily by a caretaker who monitors the health and activity of the feral cats living together in their colony. Cookie was an abandoned pet who showed up in one such colony in dire need of medical care. Her few remaining teeth were rotten and she was dangerously undernourished. That all changed after some dental surgery and a couple of months of foster care. Put up for adoption at Pick of the Litter, Cookie, who has a lion-sized purr, quickly found a home. More than a year later she was picked up by county animal control, and because of her ear-tip, was returned to Forgotten Felines. When attempts to contact her person failed, Cookie was put up for adoption a second time, but after only a couple days in her new home she escaped by pushing out a window screen. When she came out from hiding to greet the people from Pick of the Litter who were searching for her, the message finally got through: Cookie was happiest living at the thrift store.

Cookie now resides permanently at Pick of the Litter, overseeing all operations with a watchful eye. She enjoys patrolling the shop at closing time, making sure her volunteer friends properly complete their daily chores. She frequently accompanies her buddy, Denise, to the dressing room, freely offering unsolicited comments and advice about the outfits she selects. Cookie also welcomes new arrivals to the adoption program, showing them the coziest spots to catch the morning sun and how best to charm the customers.


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All images © Alison Whalen