When I come home at the end of the day, I say: "Hey, gatos!" (Gatos is Spanish for "cats," and it's about all that's left of my high school Spanish.) All six of them are rescued cats, and there's usually another one or two in there that are at our place temporarily. Anyone who is a cat person knows how social cats can be, and when cats are happy, they are such a joy.
Our cats at the shelter have recently been put into a free-roaming situation in the cat cottage. This means the cat cottage is more like a daycare, and less like a jail. They get to roam around, climb on things, sleep together, and be free-range kitties. This actually helps them be less stressed and more happy.
But the toys they're playing on are plastic milk crates and cheap plastic shelves covered in donated towels and sheets. Not ideal. I am on the Southern Pines shelter board, and we recently discussed when we would be able to update the cat cottage. With drainage issues on the grounds, a parking lot more like the surface of the moon than anything, and the floor of the dog kennel looking like a war zone, there are projects that need our monetary attention more than installing proper cat toys. "The cats can wait," the board said.
But then I thought ... I have an idea! I know designers. I know stitchers. LOTS of us are crazy dog and cat people. So...I started calling my designer friends to ask for their help, and wouldn't you know it, almost 15 of them have already pitched in. Here's where YOU come in.
On May 1st, I will be able to send out 100 packages of goodies donated by these designers/needlework companies. You can send $50.00 to score one of these goodie bags full of needlework patterns and supplies. (Keep reading for further instructions.) This money will go to purchase the following type of cat equipment for our gatos:
This equipment is made by a company in Alabama called Crijo Pet Products (www.crijopets.com) and is designed to last 15-20 years. It can be disinfected and is already proving to help reduce upper respiratory infections in shelter/adoption center cats, and greatly improves the quality of their stay at such a facility. The sisal pads can be replaced, and the bedding can be washed. Plus, there are hidey holes up at the top of each tower -- how cool! I called the gentleman who runs the company, and he said he may be able to drive the equipment to us, and he will help me as much on the price as he can.
I already have the following companies who have donated or pledged to donate to the packets: Blackbird Designs (they sent Loose Feathers number TEN -- a discontinued design!), The Gentle Art, Lizzie Kate, Crescent Colours, Just Another Button Company, La D Da, AB Designs, Chessie & Me, Erica Michaels, Norden Crafts, Prairie Schooler, The Thread Gatherer, Lakeside Linens, Little House Needleworks, and of course Raise the Roof Designs and Shakespeare's Peddler. (If you are a designer/distributor and would like to contribute to the packages, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here are the directions:
* E-mail me at email@example.com to reserve your spot. I only need your name and intent to participate. (You do need to be a US resident to participate).
* I will send you a return e-mail letting you know if you are on the list and what to do next.
* You will send a $50.00 (or more!) check made payable to Shakespeare's Peddler to 6102 US Hwy. 98 #6, Hattiesburg, MS 39402. I am NOT making money on this -- some of the money collected will help off-set shipping, but I will be chipping in on this, too, as well as donating all mailing materials.
* During the week of May 1st, I will mail out the packages. You CAN get one of these for a friend, or you can buy several (just know that items in the package will be pretty much the same as in any other.) I am limited, however, to 100 of these packets.
There are other ways to help. If you can contribute, but just not quite as much, I have a $20.00 option -- I am getting MORE than what I needed from some of the donors, and am able to do up a number of extra packets. There will be MORE than $20 worth of materials in these packets. Follow the steps above, but let me know you're in for the $20.00 option (you will not get the discontinued Loose Feathers in option number two.) I will have enough stuff to do up about 40 of these -- this should help me buy two ramps for the equipment (to go between the cat towers.)
You can also just send a donation -- I don't need to know it's on the way, but you can send a check or money order (no cash please) to Shakespeare's Peddler (see above) and MAKE SURE you note in there that it's for the cats and not my "Theresa needs chocolate ice cream" fund. Every little bit helps -- even a couple of bucks.
The cool thing about this fund raiser (besides getting y'all a bunch of cool needlework stuff) is that we will all be able to SEE what we have done. A lot of times when I donate to various charity walks, runs, strolls, and bake sales, I kind of feel like my money goes in this big pot, and who knows what it gets used for. With this one, you will all be able to SEE what you have accomplished! The cats will so appreciate this equipment for many years to come. Plus, you're doing something special for a very deserving (and over-worked/under-funded non-profit organization.)
You can start signing up now. Let's do this!
(P.S. Pictured at the top is Bebe, one of our current adoptable cats. She's a chatty-Cathy, and is very sweet, loving, and a little on the round side.)