May 18, 2017
BENEFITING: CAT TOWN
ORGANIZER: CAT TOWN
I am raising money for Cat Town in honor of Leo and Bella. This is their story.
The day my new foster kitties were set to arrive, I woke up with the giddy anticipation of Christmas morning. I readied the transition room where they would start out, put on my favorite lipstick and waited for a knock at the front door. "Cat delivery" said the young man holding two cat carriers. This was my first experience with the Oakland nonprofit Cat Town. I knew the cats were newly rescued from the shelter and needed a quiet place to recover. But I had no idea how traumatized they were.
Leo and Bella came to me after their longtime guardian died and they were surrendered to the shelter. "Is she feral," my husband wondered when he first laid eyes on Bella, a big, orange cat with a comically dainty name. Bella hissed anytime I came near. Leo, a petite tabby with a toothless smile, cowered in fear.
What happened over the next few days, weeks and months was incredibly eye-opening. These scared, stressed, cats slowly but surely blossomed into the most loving pets I have ever known. It took weeks of actively earning their trust. The first time Bella walked into a room and sniffed my hand felt like a miracle. Leo became a biscuit-making lap cat. And eventually so did Bella. Their fear had melted away. They purred if we even looked at them.
If I hadn't experienced this complete transformation, I would not have believed it was possible. These were not simple cats. And it was not a quick process. But what I saw -- and what Cat Town's dedicated staff knew was possible -- made me a true believer in the mission of rescuing shy, senior, and undersocialized cats.
Bella and Leo were once someone's loving cats. In the shelter they had become untouchable -- hissing, swatting, hiding. In my home, they became affectionate, loyal, happy lap (!) cats. There is no other organization that would have saved them.
Let me emphasize, these were not simple cases. And as our time together went on, we learned they had serious health issues. Ultimately, we found out they each had medical conditions that needed to be tended to until Leo and Bella passed away. The thought of them dying alone in cages is almost unthinkable. These cats deserved better. And Cat Town invested incredible amounts of time and energy and money for vet bills to make sure they got to live out their natural lives in the comfort of a home.
The reason I am fundraising and why I continue to volunteer with Cat Town is in part because of what I saw during my time with Leo and Bella. This small organization makes a huge impact. No one else is doing anything quite like this for our pets. (See statistics below.)
I have found so much meaning and joy in fostering with Cat Town and as a volunteer working with special-needs kittens and cats at the innovative adoption center in Oakland. This has given me a front-row seat to Cat Town operations, and I can say that this is a truly deserving nonprofit. The team makes every dollar count. Please join me in supporting this life-saving work.
Here's my ask: $10 from 100 people. Will you help me make this happen?
More from Cat Town:
Starting as a foster-based program in 2011, when the euthanasia rate for cats at the Oakland shelter was 42 percent, we focused solely on cats who had no other chance: cats who hid in the back of their cage or tried to bite anyone who came near; seniors who were devastated to find themselves in a tiny cage after their caretaker died; shy cats who were plenty lovable, but too scared to show it when surrounded by the sound of barking dogs.
In the six years we have been operating, we’ve helped more than 1,600 cats and helped reduce the euthanasia rate at the Oakland shelter to 14 percent. With your support, we can give every shelter cat a chance!
Through innovative programs, like opening the first (and only non-profit) cat café in the United States, our In It for Life Program (for senior cats), and Forgotten Kitten Project (for older kittens who had no human contact during the time they are easy to socialize), we have proven that many cats who seem unadoptable in a shelter just need to be in an environment where they feel safe.
We are weeks away from opening a new cage-free adoption center for cats who need an engaging but quiet space to feel safe. It’s the first of its kind, and one more step toward ending the needless killing of cats in our local shelter. At the same time, we are creating a replicable model for others to do the same in their communities.
With over 100 cats in our care on any given day, your contribution will give needed medical care to sick and injured cats, provide lifesaving medication to cats with pre-existing conditions, and give all of Oakland’s adoptable cats a chance to get out of a cage and on with their lives.
Please help Cat Town save more at-risk shelter cats.
If you’d like more information about our organization, please visit www.cattownoakland.org. Thank you for your support of our mission!