December Newsletter

1 Dec, 2020

December Newsletter

November 28, 2020 Dear Cat Lovers, If you’ve noticed that you haven’t heard from The Cat Club for a while, don’t think it’s because we forgot about you! This last month (and the one before it, and the one before it…) has been crazy. Here’s what’s happened: We had to cancel our Halloween Car Rally and Birthday Party due to Hurricane Whatever knocking out all the power in the neighborhood that week, which was a bummer. (We will revisit it at a later date because I still think it would be fun, and we’ve already done all the heavy lifting, figuring out all the clues!) On November 12 I wrote a letter to our volunteers (and one to you all, too, which never got sent) telling them that we were going to have to close The Cat Club down. My mom, who makes 90 this year, would benefit from having me around more, and she lives in California. She has been my best friend and supporter my whole life and I am going to help her live her best life now. And The CCCC wasn’t making it financially. I just didn’t see any way out. When I sent this letter to the volunteers I got a LOT OF FEEDBACK! Of course no one was wanting to close, but it just seemed like we had no recourse. However….one of our volunteers, Elena, offered to take over The Cat Club on January 1, when her current job ends! I never expected that. It is a big job, taking care of these guys 24/7 and I just didn’t anticipate anyone being available –and willing- to do it. So we put our thinking caps back on and looked at what we would need to do to keep it open. The main issue, other than management, has been financial since the virus hit. (I’m sorry I have to talk so much about our finances in these newsletters, but being a small business we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place more often than we would like, and I think you all want to know what’s really happening). We have been in the red about $1,000 per month due to losing our short-term rental income. We have rented it out long-term, thank heaven, but we still have a sizeable shortfall. If I rent my apartment out while I’m in California and continue to rent the cottage, we’re still short. So, I reached out to some long-time friends, relatives, volunteers, cat adopters, and friends of The Cat Club, and have secured some sustaining donations, meaning that they will be contributing a certain amount each month for the next 6 to 9 months, until we get our short-term rental back and working optimally. Thank heaven for the promise of a vaccine; that has allowed us to plan with more optimism and confidence than in the last 8 months, as we all know. They have come through in a big way, but we wanted to give this opportunity to everyone else who would –and could- step up to help keep The Cat Club going. I had kind of forgotten when I was making plans at the beginning of this month that this is not just a personal decision, but that a lot of people have stepped up before, by volunteering, adopting kittens and cats, making day visits, by donating supplies and food, by renting our cottage and coming to our events. One of our volunteers even paid half of our mortgage right after COVID hit, so we could figure out what to do with the lights on! And lots of people LOVE The Cat Club. Visitors to the city stop by; Cat “Café” Tourism is a real thing! People love coming here and they love the ideas behind it. It IS a unique experience. We all love the cats, those funny, fuzzy, loving beings that are at the center of it all. People feel invested in The Cat Club, one way or another. And they love that we find loving homes for homeless cats; it makes us all feel like we’re doing something worthwhile. I realize now that some of you might have wanted to have some input before we did anything permanent….like close. So, to be clear, we are short of our goal by about $300 per month. If you would like to pledge and become a sustaining member we could bill you monthly, or charge your credit card or use a payment service such as Venmo. We bank at Chase, if that helps. If you and yours could manage $25 to $100 per month to help keep us open, we would be so happy to thank you for your belief in us. You can use the donation page on our website to let us know if you’d like to contribute, and how you’d like to handle the monthly donation. (BTW, we are a 501(c)3 non-profit, so anything you give us is tax-deductible.)My personal email is eselig1@cox.net, if you’d rather that. Also, If you would like to become a volunteer, we have just lost 2 of our great volunteers who had been cleaning one morning a week, getting The Cat Club ready for the day, and I am sure our new manager, Elena, would be grateful for all the help she can get. (The cats seem to have a party every night and we have to clean up the mess in the morning). Please get in touch if you have an hour or so one morning a week to help keep us as clean as we like to be, and hang out with the kitties; get your day off to a good start! If evenings are better for you, we could use late afternoon visits as well. Or it you have time on the weekends, we can use the help taking care of our visitors, and the cats. If you’re not available until after the holidays, let us know that and we’ll hit you back then. As for how we’re doing right now: we currently have a mama cat and her EIGHT kittens, and about 12 older adoptable kittens and cats, if you were thinking about visiting anytime soon. They want to know where you are! Hours are Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 6 PM and M-F by appointment. Call 1-833-NOLACat to book. We have been adopting out cats all through this process; some names you might recognize are the “N” kittens (Naima, Nigel, Nadya and Noah); Shadow; and all the “P” kittens (Padma, Pumkin, Pier and Pilar). Adoption remains our main mission. For our out-of-town fans who are wondering when we will be renting out an apartment short-term, it’s available now. Not the cottage, but my apartment; the cottage will still be rented out long-term for the forseeable future. Same courtyard, same location, same 24-hr. access to the cats, just another space. Book directly through our website for $100 per night for the next few months, or through AirBnB for slightly more. We are looking forward to big changes, but with everyone’s help we can have an even brighter and more successful (more cats adopted) future than our past. I will be back and helping out where and when I can. We look forward to seeing you again! We are also looking forward to having our Lundi Gras Parade and Party on February 15th. Of course we will do it in a responsible way but I know NOLA is not going to give up Mardi Gras; we need it more than ever, and while it might not look like it usually does we will be letting the good times roll, as usual. All the best! Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! -Eshyah


Due to Hurricane Zeta, our power is out and we’ll have to postpone our Halloween Road Rally. We’ll keep you posted when we set a new date!