A Tale of Two Kitties … and 3P’s

Published 10:00 pm Monday, February 8, 2016

Kelly Vinesett with Winston and Yvonne Bebber with Gabe

Kelly Vinesett with Winston and Yvonne Bebber with Gabe

I don’t usually do follow up stories but one story has an ending that I want to share. You might remember the tale of two kittens that were abandoned in Brookwood Park. Out for a walk, I discovered the poor little things and rescued them.

Living in Spartanburg County, we took them to Greenville Animal Shelter. It’s not a “no-kill” shelter, so we left a directive to call us if the kittens weren’t adopted. We named the long-haired tabby Thomas. The furry black kitten with yellow eyes and fluffy tail became Smokey.

Thomas was quickly adopted. We knew it would be a challenge for Smokey to get a new home. Black cats in shelters are often ignored by possible adoptees, some people clinging to superstitions about black cats.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Eventually we drove back to Greenville to bring Smokey home. But here’s the problem. My husband and I are older. Smokey would likely outlive us. Kittens are busy cats, full of energy. And we have a 10-year-old cat who has no interest in sharing her home.

Smokey proved to be a very smart cat. At night we confined him to the basement and it took about two nights for him to learn how to reach the door handle and open the door.  To avoid cat fights, we were constantly on alert, keeping the cats separated.

P3, the new consignment shop in Landrum that works with non-profits to find cats new homes, entered the picture. One afternoon I wandered into this unique store. Noticing the pictures of kittens and cats led me to a conversation about Smokey. Kelly Vinesett and Yvonne Bebber, the owners of P3, offered to post a photo and story about Smokey.  There was a chance he could find a more suitable home.

One Friday night we received a phone call from two girls, Shanna and Charlene. They were enjoying a “girls weekend” in Landrum. While shopping in P3 they read about Smokey’s plight. Shanna had cats but needed a kitten for company for her youngest cat.  And, black cats were her favorite. So after a Friday evening visit, they came on Saturday to take Smokey to his new home.

On Monday I headed downtown to thank Kelly and Yvonne and find out more about their shop and how it works with Po’ Kitties, and Paws, Prayers, and Promises. I was greeted by Gabe and Winston, the two shop cats.

Kelly’s parents had started Vera Consigments several years ago. Kelly rented the upstairs at Vera’s and specialized in women’s clothing and quickly realized she needed some assistance.

Kelly and Yvonne have sons the same age and worked together as room moms at O.P.Earle. They discovered they not only worked well together, but also shared many other coincidences. Kelly and Yvonne were both from Charlotte, their birthdays are a week apart, each went to Catholic school, and they actually worked as teens at the same shopping center. But it took moving to Landrum for them to meet.

Kelly had been a vet tech and Yvonne had a pet sitting business. They joined forces and eventually took over Vera’s. They worked with Foothills Humane Society, sometimes hosting “Pitty Parties” for the many pit bulls seeking new homes.

The catalyst came when Vera’s landlords decided to sell the building. They’d been wrestling with ideas about having a non-profit and knew it was time to pursue the idea.  When they found the location in downtown Landrum, Kelly and Yvonne knew it would be perfect. The consignments in the shop are fashionable and frequently have well known labels. Shoes, purses, and accessories fill the shelves. Landrum provided the right amount of traffic to bring in customers.

They chose the name P3, working with the organization Paws, Prayers, and Promises whose goal is helping animals and their people, believing that with a little guidance, a little training, a little communication, a little food, a little vet care, and a whole lot of love, they can make a real difference in many lives. They sponsor Po’Kitties, find foster homes, work with the Service Animal Project, and assist with adoptions. To learn more about the organization check their website, pawsprayersandpromises.org.

P3 is a non-profit business. When customers bring in consignments, the price decided on includes an amount that goes to P3 for operating expenses plus an amount is returned to the consignee. At the end of the year, a percentage of the profits is donated to Paws and Prayers. Also, when items are sold in the shop, the customer who donated the item can choose to donate their portion of the sale to the organization.

Back to Smokey and his new home. Shanna has texted pictures and he’s adapting quickly to new surroundings, making friends with the other cats. Here’s the best part. Smokey’s new name is Landrum. He’ll always be Smokey in our memory, but, going forward, he’ll proudly carry the name Landrum. Thank you Shanna, Charlene, and P3.