Catio for rescued felines

Harriet, the shelter mascot.

The Animal Welfare Helderberg Society (AWS) on Sir Lowry’s Pass Road in Gordon’s Bay is building an outdoor area (Catio) for the numerous cats and kittens that are awaiting adoption at its premises.

Over the last financial year, some 318 cats and kittens were adopted from the AWS – that is 318 families out there that now have a “puddy tat” to call their own.

Of the full-grown cats that come in to the AWS, the average waiting time before adoption is approximately six months. In a cat’s life, this is a long, long time, and can result in a normal outgoing, sociable cat becoming cage-stressed, and withdrawing into itself, rendering it un-adoptable.

This is AWS’s motivation to build a “Catio” so these cats can get the mental and physical stimulation they need from being in a safe, secure and weatherproof outdoor area.

The AWS is entirely dependent on donations from the public to keep the doors open, so support from the community is vital, in the form of materials and/or labour, and donations or sales of AWS raffle tickets to build the catio.

The AWS “Pawsitive Boredom Buster” fundraising day will take place on Saturday June 30, from 10.30am.

For a R50 donation, children and parents can participate in painting and glitter-decorating wooden cat figures, and even get to take them home. Watch their “Kitty Memorial Wall” come alive in front of your eyes.

Visitors can pose for a photograph alongside a couple of real-life action heroes (Cat Woman anyone?), and view artwork completed by the AWS’s very own Pawcassow’s.

A vegetarian burger stand will be on site, and of course no cat-raising venture would be complete without some glitter cat tattoos. The first 50 participants will receive a free cat cupcake.

Visitors can name 100 iconic movie cats, and stand a chance to win a one-of-a-kind cat cuddle buddy.

A raffle is currently being run with prizes on offer, and tickets can be bought at the AWS Reitz Street shop in Somerset West, at the Gordon’s Bay AWS premises, or online.

The raffle closes on Tuesday July 31, and will be drawn the following week, with winners being announced on the AWS Facebook page.

A musical evening involving several local artists is planned at The Thirsty Oyster at the Gordon’s Bay Harbour. The date is yet to be set.

Local art groups and art classes will be invited to take part in a competition to paint the side walls of the catio area once it is completed, bringing colour to the lives of the cats and staff alike.

There will also be an official catio opening day: Bolander will anounce the date soon.

For more information contact Eugenie at 021 856 0597 or 021 856 5549.