Thursday, August 24, 2017

Accessorising to save lives - and acknowledge amazing cats and the people who care for them

Cat Protection Society Martyn models the "Zac".

When it comes to animal shelters, cats are seriously over-represented in Australia. They’re much less likely to be reclaimed by their owners than dogs, and many more times likely to be killed.

The Cat Protection Society in Sydney (a no-kill shelter) alone takes in around 1000 cats every year. One of the cats I am fortunate enough to live with, Hero, was one of them. 

The organisation is behind responsible cat ownership (including early age desexing and the importance of being a good neighbour) and the importance of meeting feline welfare needs.

They’ve created a fundraiser, #ninelivesnewtown, which commemorates cats that have been rehomed through their shelter. Some of the most well-known cats re-homed by CPS have been immortalised in a series of nine brooches being sold in their fundraising drive.

The project was the brainchild of CPS Feline Services Manager Nerida Atkin who noted that since everyone is going mad for feline themed accessories right now, they might like jewelry featuring cats with real stories behind them.

Nerida and Bishop, also modelling the "Zac".

And the stories have happy endings.

“The cats have been adopted by loving people, but these cats have all had difficult times,” said Kristina Vesk, CPS CEO.

“Jaffa had a leg amputated, Husky had arthritis and Bella’s eye disease was so severe that both her eyes had to be surgically removed. But Bella bounced back and now shares her life on facebook and Instagram. She and the other cats have all recovered from their challenges and gone on to enjoy full and happy lives.”

Sammi models Bella. 
CPS has also launched a one-minute video clip on YouTube to promote the project, made by Charles Penfold, featuring the very talented Paul Capsis as the voice of Jitu the cat.

“It just takes my breath away that Charles managed to tell the Cat Protection story in one minute: that we’re no-kill, that we love our cats, that we remember them even when they’ve found homes – and that the cats themselves are incredibly resilient and brave,” said Ms Vesk.

You can watch it here

Isabella and Raani model the "Bella" and the "Steve and Charlotte".
Brooches are available over the counter at CPS (103 Enmore Road, Newtown) or for $50 online, including postage. 

We LOVE this idea for a fundraiser. Not only does it acknowledge the individual personalities of these cats while promoting awareness about responsible cat ownership, but its just wonderful that an organisation embraced the ideas of people working within it, and really validating of the bond that shelter staff have with animals. And to see the staff modelling the merch is fantastic.