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Po’ Kitties Party tonight

Today, October 16, is National Feral Cat Day!&bsp; So it is incumbent&bsp; upon me (or so I am told) to write something about CATS.&bsp; As you&bsp;&bsp; know, I live with a number of cats, some of whom I like more than others….but seriously, some of my best friends are cats!&bsp; (Well, sort of, anyway!)

One of the things I want to remind you about is the Awards Ceremony for the 2009 PoKitties All Pet Photo Contest — which is tonight! I have seen a few of those photos and they are amazing!&bsp; &bsp;

Wine and light refreshments will be served beginning at 5 p.m., and the ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. My good friend, Randy Grobe, has promised to host the event. I have unfortunately been banned because of my table-surfing habits, and I am told that the food and drink is only for humans. Rats! But bring your family and friends to see these phenomenal photos anyway! The photos remain on display through the weekend, on Saturday from 11a.m. –

4 p.m. and on Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

By the way, one of my humans is featured along with PoKitties in&bsp; Debra Halborns just-released book, Greetings from the Starcat Cluster. Debra will be signing her book at the Awards Ceremony for the PoKitties Photo Contest tonight!&bsp; A portion of the proceeds from tonights sales will benefit PoKitties, so please, as you are oohing and aahing over the photos, visit Debras table and buy an autographed copy of Greetings from the Starcat Cluster. It is one of my personal favorites…except, Debra, how about Greetings from the StarDog Cluster, featuring Champ, the&bsp; Therapy Dog as your next creative endeavor?&bsp; A sure-fire best-seller, in my opinion.

Which brings me to another Big Event: the Free Cats-and-Kittens promotion! Yes, for a limited time only, Foothills Shelter is giving cats and kittens away absolutely free to approved homes!&bsp; &bsp;

So, how is that better than the free kittens in someones barn, or in the IWANNA? Well, free kittens arent free — they need shots, and they must be spayed or neutered. But the cats and kittens being given away by the shelter are already spayed or neutered, have had all of their shots, and are healthy and ready to go! The shelter would love a $10 donation to honor these awesome cats, but it is not required to adopt one — or two! Come on down — youll find a potential soul-mate in every cage!&bsp; And you will be saving a life at the same time!

I want to personally thank the big-hearted folks who have stepped up to the plate and have offered Barn & Board to the Gully Street Cats — and to those whose donations will help these cats along their way.&bsp; Thus far, places for 36 cats have been offered, and the cats will be relocated as soon as theyre vetted.&bsp; This is such good news, and, on behalf of PoKitties and FHS, we are very, very grateful.&bsp; Barn & Board is still needed for some of the Gully Street Cats, as well as on a regular basis for some of our PoKitties, so if youve got a barn and are willing to provide regular food and water, call Dana at the shelter — feed a cat, save a life!

I was recently asked what the difference is between a free-roaming&bsp; cat and a stray cat. Good question! &bsp;

A free-roaming cat can be either a stray cat or a feral cat.

A free-roaming feral cat is a cat who has lived apart from humans&bsp; for most, if not all, of its life.&bsp; These cats are not adoptable as house cats, although feral kittens can often be socialized and adopted out if we get them right about the age of six weeks, when they weigh about 1.5 lbs. The majority of kittens entering shelters in this country are the offspring of feral cats, so it would really help to make sure that all feral cats are sterilized.

A free-roaming stray cat, one who once had a home and is tame, is ready to go to a new, loving home after a health check, shots, and a spay/neuter. These are cats who only want to love and be loved, and even I have to admit that they are pretty terrific!&bsp; (Well, most of them, anyway!)

Our PoKitties program deals with both kinds of free-roaming cats — the strays and the ferals. The cats get spayed or neutered, have a rabies vaccination, and the ferals get an ear tip so they can be easily identified as being in the program.&bsp; The strays, who make themselves known pretty quickly, move to the shelter to be adopted out, and the ferals are returned to their colonies, all to live out their lives in peace. Which is something we wish for everyone.

WOOF!&bsp; Champ