Make no mistake, Verena Kompp loves cats.
She is “owned” by four of them, but when felines are allowed to roam free, their libido goes nuts, and the cat population goes through the roof, ballooning the number of strays at her Furry Friends cat shelter up into the rafters.
She’d like to meet you later this month, and speak to you about making her facility a little emptier, and your house (and life) a little fuller.
Kompp tells BarrieToday, in advance of the Furry Friends fundraiser Sept. 29 at Georgian Downs, there’s a price to pay for cats enjoying too much freedom.
“The cats themselves are in constant danger, with no guaranteed access to safe food, water or shelter, and despite the kind efforts of organizations that help feral and outdoor cats, you cannot keep an eye on them all.”
The shelter, located on Hart Drive, houses upward of 200 cats at any time, “and we do not euthanize our cats for anything other than medical necessity.
“That means that when we get a feral mom with kittens or an elderly outdoor tomcat that everyone passes by and has no interest in adopting, we are in it for the long haul with them and therefore cannot use that space to accept a surrender or stray kitty in need.”
That’s where you, as a responsible cat owner, come in.
“Fixing your cats and microchipping them goes a long way to helping prevent unwanted litters, and it frees up space in the shelter to accept other kitties in need.”
For when the shelter is at maximum capacity, Kompp says, “all you can think about are the cats that you can't help. It can be very hard when adoptions are slow, and even when we have a steady adoption rate, people will look over older cats in favour of kittens. This results in a shelter full of mature, loving kitties who have to stay with us for far too long, waiting hopefully for their forever homes.”
One cat, Kompp says sadly, has been with the shelter for seven years, and dozens have been with there even longer.
Plus, she quickly adds, it’s not all heavy responsibility; the emotional payoff in caring for a furry feline is enormous.
“They provide us unwavering company and companionship, and the love you get in return for caring for them is just incredible. Cats are far more social than people often think through misconceptions, and even when they're not up for cuddles, they take pride in 'keeping an eye' on their human.”
The fundraiser offers a variety of activities.
“First of all, we have our delicious bake sale with all of the goodies that our volunteers and supporters will be cooking up and donating. I've definitely heard talk about some yummy treats like fresh crusty loaves of bread, candy apples, chocolate chunk cookies, garlic bread and other mouthwatering items that will be sure to please. We will have vegan options available, too.”
Not to mention pizza, pop and chips. And someone at the fundraiser could be a lucky winner, away from the slots in the next room.
“We'll be having our 50/50 draw going throughout the day, and a raffle with generous donations from our sponsors, of which there are far too many to list.”
“The most important thing is that 100 per cent of all funds raised will be going directly to the care of the cats at our shelter.”
The target is around $5,000.
The Furry Friends fundraiser runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 29 at Georgian Downs. If you’d like to know more, click here.