Cat Town is in first place for the Bonus Challenge of $10,000!!! But we need to keep the momentum going to keep the numbers high throughout the week. Thanks for your help.
July 06, 2016
SMIDGE, THE UNEXPECTED THERAPY CAT
I watch over the animals in the neighborhood, from caring for a feral colony of cats to helping people locate lost pets to pet sitting for my neighbors. So when an animal in distress shows up, my neighbors knock on my door
Several years ago, a neighbor told me that she had seen a sick cat on the street, so I went sleuthing. What I found was an emaciated gray tuxedo cat with very bad breath! Upon taking her to the vet, I was told that the cat had grasses and weeds stuck between her teeth. Apparently, she had been so hungry that she had tried to eat vegetation. All of her teeth were rotting, hence the bad breath, and she needed to have them all pulled. It was going to cost $1,500! The vet, after learning that the cat was a stray, said that the clinic would cover $900, if I could come up with the other $600. Luckily, I still had a little money left over from an inheritance and I wasn't going to let a cat die because of rotten teeth.
It was the best investment I ever made. The cat, who we named Smidge, decided to move in after her recuperation. My son, who has Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum, loves cats, but most cats are a little wary of him. He is loud and makes abrupt, fast movements and just seems to make cats nervous. Not Smidge! She attached herself to my son, making him her person. She slept by his side, sat on his lap when he watched television or played video games, and tolerated his occasional need for space. Smidge became a therapy cat. As a result, my son made huge, amazing strides in compassion, empathy, and personal responsibility. Within months, he was calling people with whom he had had disagreements, admitting that he had not handled his side well, and asking if they could start over, something that is difficult even for people with excellent social skills, something people with Asperger's lack.
Smidge was fortunate that I had the money to pay for her surgery and had a caring vet. Not all cats are that lucky. Even in so-called no-kill shelters, cats are tested for temperament and health. If a cat is very sick or injured or is overly shy or elderly, he or she will likely be euthanized. That is where Cat Town comes in.
Cat Town takes those hard-to-place cats, who would otherwise be deemed "unadoptable," and nurses them back to health until they are "adoptable." Then the cats go to be seen in the first cat cafe in the United States, the Cat Town Café & Adoption Center. At Cat Town Café, one can get a coffee and sit among cats, play with them, or just read a book with a cat in the lap. Cat cafes are very popular in Japan and have taken the U.S. by storm.
As one might expect, medical expenses, cat food, and cat accoutrements cost money, especially the medical expenses, which form the bulk of Cat Town's operating expenses. The cafe serves as the vehicle to get the cats seen in a relaxing and congenial environment that shows these cats off in their best light so they can each find a forever home.
Every dollar donated helps save a life.
Sadly, Smidge passed away in April. However, my son and I will be looking at Cat Town, where the next therapy cat can crawl into his lap.
ABOUT CAT TOWN
Cat Town was started in 2011 by volunteers at Oakland Animal Services (OAS, the city shelter of Oakland, CA) who knew that adoptable cats were being euthanized at a very high rate and had an innovative idea to help fix the problem. We are proud that in just over five years Cat Town has helped over 1,300 cats find fantastic homes and been instrumental in decreasing the feline euthanasia rate at OAS from 42% to less than 10%. We help the cats bloom at Cat Town Café & Adoption Center, where prospective adopters can meet them as their authentic selves.
Cat Town’s mission is to increase the live release of cats from OAS by focusing on cats who would otherwise be killed—the hardest-to-place cats who wouldn’t be made available for adoption at the shelter, nor helped by OAS’s other rescue partners. We primarily serve adult or senior cats that are shy, under socialized, extremely stressed (from shut down to aggressive), and have medical conditions.
The Cat Town foster program that was created in 2011 to support our mission is now a network of over 50 foster homes that are absolutely vital to the success of our mission and the survival of our cats.
We opened the Cat Town Café—our cage-free adoption center and the first cat cafe in the United States—in October 2014. In just one year, our adoption rate doubled!
Saving Pets Challenge
Cat Town is participating in the Saving Pets Challenge, a nationwide fundraising campaign from July 5 to August 4 that seeks to reduce the euthanasia of animals. The organization that raises the most money will be awarded an extra $50,000. This would be a game changer for Cat Town, but the only way we could ever get there is with your help!
Every donation, regardless of size, contributes to our life-saving mission. Please give what you can to help deserving, adoptable cats find relief from shelter stress and put their best paws forward to potential adopters in the uplifting environment of Cat Town Café & Adoption Center.
The cost of caring for vulnerable cats
The significant increase in the number of cats that Cat Town helps means that our expenses have increased dramatically.
For each non-senior cat we rescue, our costs average $285.
Caring for a senior cat can easily cost $1,000 or more. Senior cats often arrive at municipal shelters with untreated medical conditions. To support adopters of older cats, Cat Town covers medical expenses for the life of cats age 10 and older.
Since Cat Town is the only resource to the Oakland shelter for cats that are injured, we also need an emergency medical fund to cover unexpected costs Please help us continue our work to reduce euthanasia rates.