Friday, October 24, 2014

Shadow Cats: An Upcoming Fundraiser

When choosing rescues to work with for a monthly fundraiser, a lot goes on behind the scenes. I usually spend about a month preparing for each fundraiser as well as really researching the ins and outs of the rescues that I will be raising donations for. 

Last week, I confirmed with Shadow Cats Rescue that they will be my featured organization for the month of November - a wonderful month to offer holiday gifts AND raise funds for kitties in need! As with every rescue I work with, I really wanted to take some extra time to get to know the pets in their care. Fortunately, Shadow Cats sanctuary is local (their Veterinarian and I actually share a parking lot!) so I was able to experience their sanctuary first hand! 

Nana's Corner hosts custom built climbing and lounging area!
Unlike most of the rescue organizations I work with, Shadow Cats does very few adoptions. They focus primarily on offering a sanctuary to special needs cats. This ranges from the Cats of 'Cookie's Corner' who are Feline Leukemia positive to the Cats of 'The Outback' who have a variety of special needs or medical issues. Each cat at the sanctuary has a unique story and I was completely awestruck as Jacki (vice-president of Shadow Cats) gave me a private tour of their facility.

With 87 cats currently living in the sanctuary, I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I arrived. The Shadow Cats sanctuary is located in a quiet, calm neighborhood, which backs up to a beautiful wooded area, complete with a view of a quaint creek running right through the backyard. The Cats of 'The Outback' and 'Nana's Corner' are treated to a view of birds chirping and enjoying the numerous birdhouses and feeders setup on the property. 

Our first stop on the tour was 'Nana's Corner', where I was promptly greeted by the handsome Wylie, featured above. It didn't take long for my legs to be surrounded by kitties waiting for a chin scratch or their turn to sniff the new visitor. As I looked around Nana's Corner, not only was I impressed with how happy and healthy each cat looked, but the amount of detail that went into their living environment. Custom made cat trees, cubbies to climb and hide in and fluffy beds were everywhere to be seen. The windows were lined with thick ledges for the kitties to climb and lounge on and several bowls filled with fresh, clean water and food lined the walls. 
Billy, one of the many
Cats of The Outback!

Moving on to 'The Outback' - which can be viewed through a live-stream camera on Shadow Cats website - I was delighted to see a kitties paradise! The Outback is a wonderful outdoor, safely enclosed deck area, which houses some amazing kitties! This area was by far my favorite area of the sanctuary, I could have easily spent the afternoon here loving on the kitties of The Outback. In addition to the many ammenities that Nana's Corner offered, this area also offered an array of cat-walks that were craftfully installed all around the roof of the outback. The roof is made out of a sturdy wire and screen, offering the kitties lots of sunlight but also offering shade with the variety of ivy and plants growing. As she showed me around, Jacki also pointed out some of the amazing details of The Outback, including a HUGE covered area that extended under the entire length of Nana's Corner and the many 'houses' that are heated during the cooler winter months! 

Louie and mom, Lilly enjoying each other's company!
After reluctantly leaving The Outback, I was treated to a visit to 'Cookie's Corner', which is home to several Feline Leukemia positive kitties, including the famous Louie, an adorable kitten who was rescued along with his beautiful mother, Lilly. The kitties of Cookie's Corner are housed in an indoor area (which you can also see on the Shadow Cats live-stream cameras). The kitties are treated to a view of a beautiful and very active bird feeder, offering endless entertainment to these sweet cats! 

After my tour, I had the pleasure of spending some time in the main office chatting with Sheila, president of Shadow Cats and Jacki, vice-president. During our chat, I was so struck and impressed with the passion these two lovely ladies have for their rescue cats. We chatted about the sanctuary and it's beginnings as well as the many additional programs that Shadow Cats offers, including their TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) program for feral communities as well as the 'One Life Fund' which offers funds to other rescue organizations that pull animals from kill-shelters in the area! I LOVE that Shadow Cats supports other area rescues that share the same mission!

All in all, I left Shadow Cats feeling inspired and completely pumped up about our upcoming fundraiser! Please be sure to check out my website starting November 1st and grab some limited edition kitty items to support this awesome rescue!

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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Sweet Lana quickly became one of my favorite kitties at the sanctuary! 
Valentino giving himself  bath. 
Riley, living the good life in The Outback.
Heated kitty houses for the cooler months.

Beautiful Ben showing me how handsome he can be!

The Outback - look at all the climbing area - it's a kitty paradise!