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Niagara Falls
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Fundraiser for rescue group is the cat’s meow
NOTL Cats held its annual Christmas fundraiser on Saturday, selling holiday items to help with costs to look after cats in their care. From left are: Cathy Spence, Erika Buchkowsky, Tanya Rice, Cindy Ohaney and Carol Sheremetta.

In an effort to help the population of cats in town without a place to call home, the members of NOTL Cats Rescue were hard at work in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Saturday, selling everything from baked goods to holiday floral arrangements and wreaths, raising funds to help their furry friends.

It’s an ongoing job as the group is constantly being alerted to stray or abandoned cats across the town, said Tanya Rice, a volunteer with the organization.

“We currently have 17 cats and kittens waiting to be adopted,” Rice said. “Some are females as young as one year old.”

Quite often, Rice said, people will get a cat and let it out thinking they need fresh air. In many cases, those pets have not been spayed or neutered.

In the case of females, they often wind up abandoned when they are found to be pregnant. Many wind up in the care of NOTL Cats Rescue and that makes fundraisers such as Saturday’s event very important to the organization.

“We rely on donations, we rely on fundraisers.”

The group stages several fundraisers throughout the year: spring, summer and Christmas. The money raised helps with things such as the cost of cat food, litter and veterinary care. The group hopes to raise $5,000 with the Christmas sale.

“This (fundraiser) will see us through the winter,” Rice said.

Rice has been with the organization for 20 years and is the rescue’s volunteer and foster co-ordinator. She said that while the cats keep on coming, people willing to foster them are in short supply.

Erika Buchowsky has been with the group since 2013. Her fostering journey began when a stray cat showed up in her backyard.

“She was pregnant and she had seven baby boys,” Buchowsky said. “I was put in touch with NOTL Cats.”

She’s been with the group since then, fostering cats and kittens until homes can be found for them.

She admitted to being a “foster fail” on more than a few occasions when she has decided to make a feline under her care a permanent part of the family.

In addition to fostering, she helps out with the group’s campaigns to help find their cats and kittens a new home.

“I do all the photography and create flyers and posters,” she said. “I’ll help with the promotion of the cats that we have up for adoption.”

A second sale is set for this Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at 456 Line 2 in Virgil. More information about NOTL Cats can be found at notlcats.weebly.com or the group’s page on Facebook.

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