Street Cats to hold its annual fundraiser Feb. 10
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Saturday, February 02, 2013
2/02/13 at 6:59 AM
"Simon, say hi," said Linda Holland, peering up at the tall cat tree by the window.
He's a tuxedo cat - and, at that particular moment, not interested in making our acquaintance.
"Simon's been telling me all morning he didn't like the canned food we gave him," Holland said. "He's quite talkative."
For more than a decade, Holland has been an active volunteer with Street Cats, 6520 E. 60th St., a nonprofit with the purpose of sheltering cats that have been abandoned or lost, then finding new, loving homes for them.
Helping Holland and other volunteers at Street Cats continue that mission is the annual "My Furry Valentine" dessert tasting and silent auction, a fundraiser 1:30-4:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Tulsa Historical Society, 2445 S. Peoria Ave.
Holland is quite familiar with the fundraiser, as her garage at home is filled with auction items.
And she didn't seem the least bit put out by it - nor did her husband, Jim, who's been having to park in the driveway. He just smiled when she told us that on a recent visit to Street Cats to meet his wife, as well as the 13 residents.
Possibly 12 by now, as cross-eyed, playful Max, a Blue Point Himalayan, was supposed to be adopted Friday.
Linda Holland has always had a big heart for cats, with her first one coming from her grandmother.
"I don't know whether it's in my genes or what," said Holland, who grew up in Bartlesville.
Fast forward to about 12 years ago when she married her husband, who had a dog and a cat.
"I knew he was going to be an OK guy," she said with a smile.
Not long after that, Holland attended a book event at the late Borders store, which was hosting a visit from Street Cats. At that time, the nonprofit didn't have a regular facility, and volunteers brought some cats with them.
As she had just retired, Holland was looking for something to do. She started by taking a donation of toilet paper to Street Cats.
"And they said, 'Oh! Would you like to volunteer?' " she recalled them saying. "So my destiny was in place from there, I think."
Before Street Cats got a washer and dryer, she'd take some of the cat bedding and towels home to launder. She's also been the medical liaison between the nonprofit and veterinarians with whom they work.
Now, she's the organization's treasurer, as well as its volunteer coordinator - a coordinator over about 75 volunteers.
More are still needed.
"Linda takes care of not just the cats but the volunteers," said volunteer Samantha Polen. "She is the glue that keeps the organization going. ... She is tireless."
'Give them love'
One Saturday while Holland volunteered, someone left a cat in a carrier by her car.
"They've actually found declawed cats that have not been fixed, so they have no way to protect themselves," she said.
Some folks move away without taking their pets. Others drive them out to the country and dump them.
A few of those 13 cats we met while visiting Holland had similar stories, like gorgeous green-eyed Violet, who had been dumped.
And little Janie, who was too scared to come out of her hidey-hole when we arrived.
"We're trying to get her to eat so she'll survive," Holland said of the frail cat, who was left at her front door.
"She's still scared and nervous, but I think she knows we care about her and we're trying to give her a chance at a happy life," Holland said.
Lying down above Janey was Ulysses Junior, or U.J., a beautiful orange striped male. His owner moved, boarded him and just stopped paying the boarding fees - totally abandoned him.
Out in the hallway, Buttercup - who's occasionally feisty - stayed mostly on one of the chairs, above which Holland pointed out the memorial wall, with two framed collections of cat memorial plaques. She pointed to one of Polen's late furry little children.
"Here's another one of Samantha's - Sebastian," she said, pointing at a plaque.
This isn't just a place where cats simply come to eat and sleep until they're adopted. These cats are loved, and their caretakers - the unpaid volunteers - know their likes and dislikes, which cats would fare best with multiple-pet households and which ones wouldn't.
"It is the best place to adopt a cat because they know them," Jim Holland said.
As we said our goodbyes, with Simon still on his perch at the top of the cat tree, he kept his eyes closed while we stroked his back. His tail started swaying back and forth like a clock pendulum while he purred.
"If you give them love," Linda Holland told us, "they'll do great."
For more about Street Cats, call 918-298-0104. Or visit tulsaworld.com/streetcats
Spay and neuter vouchers
In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can theoretically produce 420,000 cats.
Considering this staggering fact, Street Cats hopes people understand the importance of its A Stitch in Time program and the urgency to continue raising awareness.
Street Cats' A Stitch in Time program began in 1998 and addresses the burgeoning population of stray and/or feral felines in the greater Tulsa area through a low cost spay/neuter and vaccination voucher program.
The program's primary mission is to find forever homes for abandoned cats, and Street Cats believes that spaying and neutering cats living on the streets will dramatically reduce the number of cats needing homes.
Vouchers cost $20 and are available for purchase by people willing to help the homeless cats by getting them spayed (females) or neutered (males) and vaccinated for rabies.
It will be your responsibility to take the cat to a selected veterinarian and pick it up after surgery, in addition to providing it with food and water. Vouchers are issued on a monthly basis but can be used up to a three-month period. Street Cats partners with local veterinarians to make these low-cost vouchers available.
If you wish to purchase a voucher and participate in the program, call 918-298-0104 and leave your name and telephone number; or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A volunteer will then contact you to discuss A Stitch in Time program in more detail. Vouchers need to be set up ahead of time before you go into Street Cats to purchase them.
Street Cats volunteers are unable to help anyone trap cats on the street; however, the organization does have traps that can be loaned out for two weeks at no charge if you need to trap a cat to use a voucher.
‘MY FURRY VALENTINE’
What: Annual dessert tasting and silent
auction benefiting Street Cats.
When: 1:30-4:30 p.m. Feb. 10
Where: Tulsa Historical Society, 2445 S.
Tickets: Tickets are available in advance
and at door, are $25 per person, $45 per
For more: 918-298-0104
Original Print Headline: Purrfect benefit
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
Volunteer Linda Holland holds Katie. She is one of the 13 cats currently at Street Cats, a cat rescue organization in Tulsa. Street Cats will be holding its annual "My Furry Valentine" fundraiser next week. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
Volunteer Linda Holland talks about the memorial plaques for cats that have passed away at Street Cats. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World