Nina Ficca first learned about Alley Cat Allies in a local news report in 2014, and was inspired by our lifesaving work. She had just adopted her first kitten, so she was eager to get involved in anything that helped cats.

She donated to us, and in the process learned about one of our annual Boardwalk Cats Project cleanups. She joined in and, while there, connected with our Atlantic City Program Manager, Kim Kean. Curious about how else she could help the boardwalk’s cats, Nina asked if she could start feeding as well. Alley Cat Allies is always excited to add more dedicated volunteers to our Boardwalk Cats Project team, so Kim was happy to train Nina.

Ever since, Nina has spent her Mondays after work monitoring, feeding, and maintaining the homes of Boardwalk Cat colonies in two locations. Over her time as a volunteer, she has been thrilled by how many Atlantic City residents and visitors have expressed their love for the cats. Sometimes people even thank her personally and give her donations for cat food!

“The kindness and generosity of the community is amazing,” says Nina. “There are so many cat lovers on the Atlantic City Boardwalk!”

Nina gives her time every week for one simple reason: she loves the cats. Her personal favorite was Wonder, who passed away in 2016. But when she needs a boost in her day, Nina says she “still thinks of Wonder, the amazing cat on California Avenue.”

Going out to care for the Boardwalk Cats is Nina’s ‘me-time’—no matter the weather or challenges. It’s a feel-good routine, and her way of giving back to the cats who have given her so much joy.

“Any stress and tension from the day dissolves when I begin my journey to the boardwalk,” says Nina. “When I am of service to the cats, I get back double of what I give. It’s a principle of the universe.”