Sunday, January 11, 2009

The cats of Whisker City (and how you can help them)

We've written before about Shoreline's only animal rescue, Whisker City, before, but today I got a chance to visit the site myself. I'm a sucker for fuzzy faces, and it was really great to be able to meet the folks who do so much work to rescue so many of these needs kitties.

The stately lady shown above is Grey. She would make a great friend and couch ornament for the sad home that hasn't already met its cat quota.

Grey is one of the dozens of cats that Whisker City has saved; they're a no-kill shelter that provides abandoned and needy cats with homes for as long as they are needed. They're run on hours of hard work, the labor of dedicated volunteers, and an immense love for animals.

This little grey and white sweetie is ChiChi; she'd love to come home with you too. Many of the shelter's cats were given up by owners who had to move or whose family members developed allergies, and many were just found, lost, cold and hungry. Whisker City has a waiting list of cats that need shelter and re-homing; right now they are taking care of around 50 cats, but are always working on ways to help even more.

Bandit, a darling orange and white cat, has a view outside from where he sits. He's hoping to find a home where he can do some birdwatching in his free time between getting his ears scratched and napping.

Some of the cats at Whisker City are harder to place; some are so shy that they hide whenever someone comes near, some have minor health problems; a few have lived at the shelter for years. It would just take one kind-hearted person to decide that they have a little extra time in their lives to help out a kitty in need, and they could have a special home of their own.

In the mean time, all the cats at the shelter are loved and cared for. But Whisker City needs your help! These are tough times for a lot of people; more folks are having to give up their pets than ever before.

Of course, one of the best things you can do is to open your home to one of these sweet kitties, but maybe you're not ready to adopt right now, but still want to help. There are several ways you can! Naturally, the main thing any shelter needs is donations. If you visit the Whisker City website, you'll find ways to donate at the bottom of the front page. They take PayPal, cash, checks, and credit cards.

But they would also be very thankful for volunteers of all kinds. For example, many of the cats need simple human company, in order to socialize them and make them less fearful (and therefore more adoptable). Markie, the black cat you see here, has been adopted by Brie the cat, behind him in the cage. He loves her like a momma, but he also needs people to come and visit, and give him a little bit of attention. What a great way to spend some time, and help these sweet cats! If you have a little extra time to visit, they'd love to meet you. Contact the shelter via their site to arrange to visit and pet the kitties.

The shelter can also use food donations. To keep the kitties from having stomach issues, they are fed Royal Canin for cats.

And they would love to find someone who can make carpeted scratching posts, to give the cats a place to sit and scratch.

Another way you could help: do you enjoy gardening? Come spring, the shelter will be planting a catnip garden on their grounds, and would love to have volunteers to maintain it.

But the greatest help you can provide will be to assist with, or attend, the Sacred Cat Ball in April. This is Whisker City's big annual fundraising event, and it helps them keep going from year to year. They need donations of all kinds; just about anything you're willing to give will be gratefully accepted! In the past they've auctioned off everything from household goods to pet items, from art to vacation trips. Are you an artist or crafter? Your donated work would be perfect to help the shelter raise money at this year's auction.

And if you can't donate, you can certainly attend. The auction will be held at the Lynnwood Convention Center this year, and will be their biggest ever! There are always special guests (Ciscoe Morris attends many of the auctions), and incredible items and packages up for grabs. You can buy tickets online now - just click on RSVP at the Sacred Cat Ball website for a reservation form.

Little Butter Socks here will thank you!

And I'd like to send my personal thanks to these two ladies, Melissa and April, for showing me around Whisker City, and for taking the time to care about the kitties...

And to April Brown, director of the shelter, for her years of tireless work to rescue animals. This is clearly a woman who will go to great lengths to help them - including wielding power tools!

Link to Whisker City website.
Link to Sacred Cat Ball auction site.
Link to more adoptable cats from Whisker City.

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