Dear Cat Lovers,
Well, October came and went in the blink of an eye, didn’t it? The cats are super-enjoying the catio, now that the weather is a little cooler. They’ll lay out there even when it’s 100 degrees and they can’t move due to the heat, but now they’re playing, and people can sit with them without passing out, so the cats enjoy that, too. We put them into The Cat Club at night, and in the morning when I open the back door, it’s like a stampeding herd. The fast ones jump over the slower ones, but everyone makes it out to survey the weather. Then most of them mosey on back to the feeding area, because they know I’m going to refill their bowls, but we love our morning ritual.
The biggest event at The Cat Club as I’m writing this newsletter is our upcoming Halloween Party, which we plan to make an annual event, and which will be held at The Crescent City Cat Club, 1021 Marigny St., NOLA 70117, from 7-11 PM, Wed., Oct. 31. There is no cover charge, although any and all donations will be gratefully accepted. There will be a professional face painter, and The Krewe of Crazy Cat Ladies is preparing several types of ghoulish libation, and a ghastly spread of eyeballs, brains and rats for consumption (lasagna and salad, cheese and crackers, deviled eggs and brownies). Costumes are encouraged, especially of the feline variety, and we will have an informal costume contest, the winner to take home some of our cat shwag. The cats are preparing to host you again. They DO love to party, although it will be interesting to see how they react to the costumes.
This week also marks the first year anniversary of the opening of The Crescent City Cat Club. Over the past year, we’ve adopted out 55 cats, so about 1 per week. We’d love to see that number grow, of course, but that’s 55 kitty lives that have been changed for the better. We keep an album of photos of the adopted cats and their new families, and it really is heartwarming to look through it to remember each cat, and each human(s) who claimed their new best friend(s).
Like the starfish parable that is popular among rescue groups, we know that we can’t save them all, but for the ones that we can help, it makes a world of difference to those individuals. (The story is of two people walking down a beach strewn with starfish that have washed up on the shore and are in danger of dying. One of the people is picking up one at a time as they walk and throwing it back into the waves, to safety. The other one says “You can’t save them all” and the first person says “Yeah, but think what a difference it makes to the ones I DO help”.)
Obviously if you think about all the homeless cats in New Orleans, let alone the world, it can be overwhelming, and one could become paralyzed, just thinking about it. What’s the use? you might think, but again, to the ones who find new homes, it’s everything. You can’t do everything, but you have to do something.
There’s another thing along these lines that I think about, and that is that we tell people that they must be prepared to be their cat’s forever home. I think that may scare some people who can’t GUARANTEE what they’ll be doing in, say, 5 years. Of course we want adopters to take the responsibility seriously, but who, really, can say what will happen to them in 5 years? If you are able to take a cat for the foreseeable future, I think that’s what we should be looking for. If, in 5 years, or even 2 years, you have to give the cat up for some reason (think illness or overseas travel, who knows?), you responsibly rehome the cat, and that’s 2 years of a loving home that s/he might not have had. Your contribution may, in fact, save that animal’s life at that moment. We at The Crescent City Cat Club tell folks that our adoptions are never final, and that if they ever have to rehome them, to bring them back to us, and we will rehome them.
This is NOT the policy of most shelters; they rightly want to impress upon people that adopting an animal is a serious commitment. But I wonder if it doesn’t backfire and scare people away who would make excellent pet parents, exactly because they are so conscientious and don’t want to make a commitment that they’re afraid that they can’t keep? I would guess in at least half of those cases they WOULD end up keeping the animal forever. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? We’d love to hear from you. Again, I am just throwing this out for discussion. As per the shelter’s directives, we are looking for forever homes for their animals, but as I say, I wonder if this is still the best way to go about it.
So…. this last weekend we had more than 50 visitors (thank you, VooDoo Fest!). And we rented out our guest cottage for 25 days in October, which is also a milestone. We recently started listing with AirBnB, as well as VRBO, which are both rental platforms for short-term rentals, at the suggestion of one of our younger visitors. Hopefully that will help keep us who want to support a good cause while staying in a really nice, totally renovated cottage in a great location for exploring the city, send them our way. It’s a win-win.
I like to think that we are finally reaching critical mass and that we show up in enough internet searches, and on enough people’s doorsteps (in the form of rack cards that we hand distribute), and word-of-mouth, that it’ll just keep getting better. That’s what all small businesses hope, I suppose. I know that we have to keep putting forth the effort….that’s why we’re planning on having an event every month, and continuing with the outreach that we’re currently doing. Please let everyone you know about us, especially if you hear that someone is looking to adopt a cat. If you have a bulletin board at your work, or school, or gym, or wherever, please let us know and we’ll get you some rack cards to post, or hand out, if there’s an event.
We will be at Pet Fest in Freret Park, on November 25, which is always amazing. It is put on by The Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter, and all the rescue organizations in the area participate. There are hundreds of animals for adoption, and a lot of give-aways, and pet stuff for sale, just in time for Christmas. Last year it was a beautiful day, and lots of folks bring their pets, too, so if you like visiting with animals, and want to see what’s going on with the pet welfare organizations in the area, and catch a couple of animal/owner costume contests, and some music, and good food, check it out. It’s free, and fun.
BTW, we are going to apply for a grant to start a Senior-to-Senior program, which would pair shut-ins (mostly seniors) with senior cats, including weekly visits. If anyone is interested in helping with this effort, please contact us.
We still have 2 kittens available for adoption: Collette, a tortoiseshell, and Ozzie, a tabby. They have been hand-raised and are as sweet and funny as can be. Their take-home date is Nov. 10, by which point they will have been spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and flea-treated. Our adoption fee is $65, or 2 for $100. If you’ve been thinking about swinging by, now is the time. The other 4 have already been spoken for. And, of course, if kittens aren’t your cup of tea, we have 16 assorted adult and adolescent cats for adoption. Their take-home day could be today!
All the best ‘til next month! We hope to see you on Halloween and at Pet Fest, and any day that we’re open (Thurs. – Sun.)