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Advo-cats

Studies show that animals can improve mental health and lower stress levels. If true, maybe it’s time for you to visit StreetCats Inc. and provide a forever home for one of their furry felines.

Article
Donna Leahey
Photos
Marc Rains
Posted
January 29, 2018

Money can’t buy you love, but at StreetCats, Inc., with just a little of it you can adopt a warm and furry kitty. And if you attend My Furry Valentine this month, you can have a great time and help out a great cause.

“We started in 1997. There was a need — there’s always a need — for another cat rescue,” says Kathy Balsiger, the president of StreetCats, Inc. and one of the original founders. “When people need to rehome their kitties, we take those kitties into our program. We have a boutique [at StreetCats, Inc. Adoption Center] and that’s where the kitties stay, too. We get them checked out at the vet and then we find them forever homes.”

The organization’s annual fundraiser, My Furry Valentine, helps keep StreetCats, Inc. in kitty litter and kibble, and as a bonus, is a great time. “It’s a beautiful event,” says Balsiger. “We have volunteers who decorate it so beautifully. We have been doing this for about 13 years now. We’ve moved different places, but we’ve been with the Historical Society for a few years now.”

Wine is served alongside savory hors d’oeuvres and decadent desserts, many from local restaurants. A piano player will provide music in the dining area. Every year there’s a special raffle item. Last year it was a beautiful handmade quilt.

The main event is a silent auction of donated gift baskets and art with all kinds of goodies. The Wine Pull is another not-to-be-missed event. “We have a wine rack, with all the wine concealed in bags,” says Balsiger. “All the wine is donated. There’s red, white, rose and a ribbon showing what color wine is in the bag. You pay $10 for a bottle and every bottle is worth $15-$50. We always sell out within an hour or two.”

There’s also a pop-up shop with items brought in from the boutique, to introduce people to the kinds of things you can purchase there.

You can purchase tickets online at streetcatstulsa.org or at the StreetCats, Inc. Adoption Center. Best to buy them early. In advance they’re $35 per person or $60 for a couple. At the door, they’re $5 more.

At any given time, there are about a dozen kitties living at StreetCats, Inc. Adoption Center, but they’re not shut into cages; they are loose in the rooms behind the boutique.

“We have a big cat room. During our hours, they’re loose,” Balsiger says. “We have cages; in our facilities, but they’re used for the cats to jump on top of them. All the cats commingle, co-live.”

Since all the cats living at StreetCats, Inc. are healthy and adoptable, there’s no need for foster homes. “If a kitty has a problem that has to be treated, they go into a foster home,” she says. “Only healthy, ready-to-be-adopted cats come into our adoption center.”

They do even more good work with the Stitch in Time voucher program, providing a vital service to help with pet overpopulation. “We issue vouchers for stray cats,” Balsiger says. “They get a spay or neuter and a rabies shot. You come into our shop, pay for the voucher. These are for feral cats, cats you catch, not your pet. We require that you be able to provide some kind of shelter for them. When you call, we tell you about the requirements and get it set up. We issue about 80 vouchers a month. There are other programs out there, but ours might be the cheapest.”

The StreetCats, Inc. boutique helps with some of the costs for the vouchers and caring for their adoptable cats. “We sell things from the front of the establishment,” she says. “You can buy things for cats and cat lovers. Some of these things are antiques; some of them are purchased. We’re not a thrift store or a secondhand store.”

StreetCats, Inc. is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, with 80-100 volunteers. If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity, StreetCats, Inc. can probably put you to work

“We have many needs for volunteers,” says Balsiger. “Our main need is filling the hours of the shop. When we’re not open, we still have people coming in to clean. We are the cleanest facility anyone’s ever found.

“We need people for fundraising. We can use people who can call for us, do computer work, provide medical assistance, handle intake, and monitor the call line. We have lots of jobs.”

If you’re interested in volunteering, check out their website.

LOCATOR
StreetCats, Inc.
6520 E. 60th St. | Tulsa
918-298-0104
streetcatstulsa.org
Sunday-Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Saturday: 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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