Jake Faris • Spot Magazine
arrived at Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood, Ore. looking forward to seeing the giant hamster ball, part of the “Bolt Across America,” tour by Disney and the ASPCA to raise awareness for animal shelters and Disney’s new animated film, Bolt. So what’s with the giant hamster ball? If you’ve seen the movie or trailers, you get it. Bolt is about a German Shepherd who stars in his own TV show. In the show he has super powers — but because he’s never left the set, he doesn’t real-
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ize where special effects end and reality begins. Comedy ensues and friends are made as Bolt ventures out into the world (where there aren’t any special effects). One special friend — a real scene-stealer — is a hamster named Rhino, who often travels in his ball. And that’s how a giant hamster ball came to Sherwood. Traversing America with the giant ball are four “Bolt-ers” — Ted Bean, Tiffany Phillips, Raquel Baldwin and Clayton Ferguson — who serve the dual purpose of ASPCA spokespeople and hamster-ball demonstrators.
Their October stop in She wood was in the homestre of their return to California. while they’d been wheelin one animal shelter to anoth
And that’s how a giant hamster ball came to Sherwood. July, they were still passionately spreading the message in support of shelters — like Oregon’s Cat Adoption Team. The Bolt-ers took turns in the giant ball, eventually inviting me to take a spin. I politely declined, glad to leave sphere-propulsion to hamsters. The location for the promotion — CAT’s gift shop — was perfect for Bolt-er Phillips, who quickly built a pile of toys and treats to take home to her two kitties, Pepper and Nola (rescues, of course). Supporting local shelters was why Team Bolt was at CAT, and Phillips was happy to lead by example. The team is also raising awareness about the ASPCA, which is more familiar to many in other parts of the country. Bolt-er Ferguson says, “It’s a great way to connect so many of the dots.” The line from New York to LA does just that, but there’s more.
film, the great works by CAT, and the ASPCA’s matchmaking program. So, when the other media left after playing with and photographing the giant hamster ball, I asked CAT’s Kathy Covey (the genius behind the Bolt Team visit) for a tour. Led by Ed Pashkin we started with the dedicated ring-worm room. CAT doesn’t believe in euthanizing cats with a curable fungal infection. And while walking among so many homeless beauties is profoundly saddening, at the same time, the dedication at work here inspires hope. The CAT staff’s laser-guided goal is getting as many cats adopted as possible (there are about 250 cats in CAT’s system at any given time). Finally seeing the dots connect brought that great “ahhh” feeling (no other way to describe it). Posted on the door of each kitty condo was a brightly-colored sign describing the adoptable’s personality. The cards are a part of the ASPCA program CAT is test-driving called “Meet Your Match,” and they go way beyond “nice” or “cuddly.” Broken into three main categories with three subcategories each, these descriptions speak to the souls of cat-lovers.
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