Four-legged friends join Sun staffers for afternoon

CatPaws brings cats who need homes for adoption awareness

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Mimosa is pictured with his foster parent, Lance Smith, who is a retired medical helicopter pilot, now volunteering his time to help the animals with CatPaws.

The Sun News had some special visitors on Friday with a new plan to try and help local homeless animals. In a partnership with the CatPaws organization, the Sun News hosted some cats who are looking for their forever home.

It was the first adopt a pet visit to the office and staff members and visitors were greeted by Mimosa, Pebbles and a kitten named Tex. As adult cats, Mimosa and Pebbles were mellow and Mimosa even took a walk around the office and Main Street on a leash.

Tex is intensely focused on a toy during his visit to the Sun office on Friday.

Tex, on the other hand did not want to stay in his portable crate, but preferred to held so he could wrestle and play with guests. CatPaws was started by Helen Sanders, who wanted to help homeless feral cats from being killed.

The original idea was to trap, neuter and release the cats back into the feral colonies. That has grown into a program that works with local shelters to find foster homes for cats and kittens. This takes some of the burden off shelters and gives the cats more time to have permanent homes found for them.

Mimosa, Pebbles and Tex are among those currently being fostered and available for adoption into forever homes. Since it’s inception, CatPaws has grown and now interacts in the community in many ways. They have added an assisted living home visit program, where fostered cats spend time with people in assisted living facilities. CatPaws Director Deborah Felin said it is amazing to see faces light up when they get a visit from a loving cat and she marvels at how animals can reach people in profound ways.

“Over the years since the death of our namesake, Helen, we have come to understand how helping cats also helps people and the community. We love sending cats off to their new homes, the broad smiles of people and bright future for a cat who otherwise might have had none at all,” Felin said.

Another program is the DIY Kitten Kits. Small kittens, especially those under 8 weeks old, can be challenging for shelters to care for. The DIY kits provide specialized supplies to help make caring for the young kittens a little easier. Of course, the main goal is to find permanent homes for cats. So foster homes for cats helps relieve some of the burden from shelters and helps boost the visibility of cats who are in need of homes.

“We appreciate the support of our community and hope people can join us as volunteers, fosters, adopters, and learn more about what we do,” Felin said.

For more information on CatPaws and how you can help, visit helensanderscatpaws.com.

Four-legged friends join Sun staffers for afternoon