Long post: giving back to your neighborhood
Their are community cats in your neighborhood. And if you are lucky, someone is caring for them.
We launched the petfood drives to specifically support cat colony caretakers in 2019 after learning they often were not eligible for many pet food distributions b/c feral cats aren’t pets.
They are still hungry domesticated animals who have no home to be a pet. And the people who take care of them are doing good work, important work. Most are on limited incomes. That’s who we target with donations – folx who need financial support. But the overall goal is to raise awareness of the realities of community cats.
We launched this year’s #SantaClawsPgh gift card drive to honor the caretakers work. Reading in an email from a local newspaper that this effort and their stories were not about “uplifting” feel good animal tales was deeply hurtful to me, personally.
I have the $$ to buy the cat colony food, but I struggle to find the energy, the strength, and the encouragement. I carry sadness with me when it’s pouring down rain or freezing cold or I see a new face. My anxiety can make the trek to the colony incredibly hard. Walking away from them to my warm safe home is harder.
I have a lot of unflattering snaps of me at the colony doing my thing courtesy of the trail cams. I put a few together here to illustrate that it’s hard work, even drudgery. Factor in financial constraints, rough terrain, angry neighbors, and has to be done every day – it can be the most demoralizing experience you face. I come home splattered with stuff, covered in guck, worried, tired, and so forth.
The cats lives are better because we are there. That’s a fact.. That doesn’t always translate into feeling good or rewarded or even just okay. We aren’t saints or martyrs or heroes.
We are your neighbors working to improve your community. For you. And the cats. We “take care” of the critters, the wildlife, the environment, the property, and the people nearby. We “take care” of each other. We are in every neighborhood including yours, even if you don’t see us.
Because someone has to do it.
Enjoy these humorous photos and please consider contributing a gift card to thank your community’s cat caretakers. It’s a token gift that carries a message of appreciation and validation far beyond the face value.
We now have 30 caretakers on our regular list b/c of the economic toll of COVID-19.
Donations accepted thru year’s end.
You can drop cards at my home or mail – DM me for address.
You can send e-gift cards to firstname.lastname@example.org
You will experience the joy of lifting up your neighbors whether it’s newsworthy or not. You will feel good. I promise.
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