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HH HOMEGROWN HEROES

Kathy Balsiger

Advo-cats

STUDIES SHOW THAT ANIMALS CAN IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH, LOWER STRESS LEVELS, AND LEAD TO AN ALL-AROUND HAPPIER LIFE. IF TRUE, MAYBE IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO VISIT STREETCATS INC. AND PROVIDE A FOREVER HOME FOR ONE OF THEIR FURRY FELINES. BY Donna Leahey PHOTOS BY Marc Rains 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 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.

“THERE WAS A NEED — THERE’S ALWAYS A NEED — FOR ANOTHER CAT RESCUE.”

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.

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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

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February 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 2)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 For 32 years, Preview 918 has been the best resource for disc...

February 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 2)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 For 32 years, Preview 918 has been the best resource for disc...