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Congratulations AlleyCATS Alliance Society on the publication of MEWSINGS. This project has brought together all ages, artists and wordsmiths, longtime cat lovers and new cat lovers. Through these pages we learn the importance of spaying and neutering, of caring and sharing, and as a cat lover and a bird lover, please help both by keeping your cats indoors. MEWSINGS will be enjoyed by all who peruse its pages. Sincerely, Richard Cannings, MP South Okanagan-West Kootenay

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“How to Purr” by Endrené Shepherd

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Project Manager & Editor: Aja Jackson Photography: George Traicheff & Jen J. Johnston Layout & Design: Timothy Tweed

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Copyright Š 2017 by AlleyCATS Alliance Society All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. Printed in Canada First Printing, 2017 ISBN 978-0-9959114-0-6 AlleyCATS Alliance Society PO Box 332 113-437 Martin Street Penticton, BC, V2A 5L1

This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program

Introduction AlleyCATS Alliance Society is a registered charity that was founded in July 2012 by 5 women of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia Canada. These women came together with the mutual goal of assisting feral, stray and abandoned cats and kittens in the South Okanagan. These animals, through no fault of their own, find themselves alone. Many are rescued from the side of a road, an orchard or sheds and back alleys. All have been abandoned and they all have a story. Our goal is to offer a safer and healthier life to these cats and kittens in our communities. Through grant funding, memberships, donations and volunteers, we are able to deliver our Trap/Neuter/Release (TNR) program that facilitates the rescues of cats and kittens from local feral cat colonies and helps to reduce the growth of stray colonies through spay and neutering. Funding also provides our organization the opportunity to help our neighbourhoods with our Community Outreach Program “SNAP�, which offers low cost spays and neuters to people who require financial assistance and desire to take responsibility for the welfare of their pets. With the support of our community members and local businesses who kindly donate their venues for our fundraising events, provide us with donated gifts, food and supplies, we are able to continue rehabilitating and socializing our rescued cats and kittens at volunteer foster homes. We are also grateful to the local pet stores that provide comfortable, safe and caring centres for our rescued cats and kittens who become ready for adoption. AlleyCATS Alliance is operated entirely by a dedicated team of hard- working volunteers including the volunteer board of directors and compassionate veterinarians. This book is dedicated to each of you who have helped us with our vision and have supported us in our efforts to give animals a chance at a better life. We thank the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program for this exciting opportunity to create this fundraising journal which will enable us to continue helping the lives of the amazing cats in our community. Please visit us any time at

Clancy the Rover has travelled all over. But now says, “ No more will I roam. I’m tired of the road, with no fixed abode. Won’t somebody please find me a home?” - George Millar, Irish Rovers

Artwork by Barb Hansen-Comba

“Halo� by Angela Hook

Life advice from my favorite feline... Be wary of most humans. Cuddle selectively. Play passionately. Laze in the sun without guilt. Walk elegantly. Go a little crazy once in a while. - Angela Hook

Artwork by Kaylee Warkinten

Be Catty... It’s Ok. - Shirley B.

“Patience” by Debra Brittin

It has been sooooo quiet lately… I can hear the cat’s fur growing. - Vera Marchant

Artwork by Baylee Leduc

Tigger was so sure she could hear mice under the snow!

- Jeanni Jones

The night disappears, replaced by the morning. Birds singing softly but give me no warning that it’s time to awake - it’s HALF PAST LATE!! My eyes raise their blinds, blinded by light, with the dream hanging on that I dreamed in the night. A quiet sound calls me, his paws walk upon me - I hear gentle purrs as I’m stroking his fur. “It’s breakfast time” his eyes are saying, and as I do each day, again I’m okaying the every whim from the heart of him. He’s my little friend. He’s my “alpha” male, with his white/ black face and his long black tail - on his nose a black dot that I like quite a lot. I like his big green eyes and his four white feet. I like his mustached whiskers when they tickle my feet. He lies on his back, belly up in the air, exposing all but he doesn’t care.

Artwork by Diane Duncan

- Irene MacMillan

Artwork by Celine Blais

I live in fur! - Barb Hudson

Cinder was a cat who loved to leap To the top of the cupboard to sleep. He’d perch way up there With nary a care, Snoozing soundly while counting his sheep! - Maureen King

“Cinder” by Maureen King

“Cute” by Julie-Ann Miller

What says you’re on an adventure? Having a kitten in your home! - Dianne McEvoy

“Lost in the Mail” by John Salsnek

Quail outside My Window A California Quail perches on the white chain-link fence outside my bedroom window daily at dawn to proclaim his territory in dactylic chant – her’-er-er, her’-er-er, his apostrophe-like crown-feather bobbing with enthusiasm – her’-er-er, her’-er-er;

fluttering to the ground, he guides his pudgy brood in a Chaplinesque version of follow-the-leader – a covey of feathered marshmallows scurrying on little birdie feet – delicacies for Willy, the neighbour’s cat who is quick to appreciate the value of an imported gourmet meal.

- Fern G.Z. Carr

Artwork by H.S.

White cat coiled Black sofa Yin yang - Eva Durance

You’re never lonely when you live with a cat Snuggled beside you with a soothing snore Velvet ears perked at annoying sounds Golden eyes glistening in the sunlight Silky paws patting your cheek reminding you of a promised treat Washing her face with cat-like flair Rolling over, legs in the air, showing a fluffy tummy wailing to be tickled Sleeping anywhere, anytime, in fact – most of the time! - Anne Allin

“Stoney” by Marion Carrier

“Lulu on Hornby� by Judy Millar

Cats are eloquent, Astute and clever The lifeblood of families They love just like you and me They can feel lonely or satisfied, Trusting, devoted and unquestioning And are committed to being a cat. - Judy Millar

Artwork by Kaydence B.

A tiny black head & two shiny green eyes Peering out from the wood box I see Then coaxed inside with some tuna & milk Filling my heart with glee A mischievous imp in her own little way Her antics are lively & bright Always planning an escape to the great outdoors “Woody Patch Adams”, you are a delight!!!!

- Shar Lauzon

“Catkin” by Janice Goodman

When a cat chooses you as their friend or family, you know you have a loving friend for life.

- Janice Goodman

“Stained Glass Cat” by Carol Avedon-Savage

The mouse though so meek sees the cat in the stained glass and dreams peace on earth.

- Carol Avedon-Savage

Artwork by Marcela A. Toro Garland

Acknowledgements In March of 2016, AlleyCATS Alliance was awarded a grant from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program to create an Inspirational Cat Journal. The goal of the book was to provide a unique opportunity for local Okanagan seniors and youth to work together on a creative endeavour and share poignant stories and memories about their experiences with cats and kittens in their lives. Art sessions were held at the Shatford Centre and Okanagan Falls Elementary School. Seniors shared their stories and experiences and subsequently shared paints and brushes with students to create the unique artwork that is now shared in our “Mewsings” journal. AlleyCATS Alliance would like to thank all of the volunteers who helped to make this book happen, the artists who facilitated the art sessions and to all of the community members who contributed their written and visual “Mewsings” about their lives with cats. Thank you to the following contributing artists: Barb Agnew Carol Avedon-Savage Rene Boast Evelyn Briscall Marion Carrier Margo Carter Susan Clubine Jean McKay Donnelly Diane Duncan Kriss Erickson Janice Goodman Bethany Handfield Barb Hansen Sheryl Hare Angela Hook Carolyn Jager Jeanni Jones Cynthia Kereluk Rodgers Maureen King Summerland & Peachland Art Groups Host of “Everyday Workout with Cynthia”

Ka et’ liss Liz Marshall Dianne McBeth Judy Millar Julie-Ann Miller Janet Neily John Salsnek Maxine Sasyniuk Endrene Shepherd Marcela A. Toro Garland

The Grade 3, 4 and 5 students of Okanagan Falls Elementary School, Okanagan Falls, BC The participants from Get Bent Yoga Studio, Penticton, BC Shatford Centre for the Performing Arts, Penticton, BC CMHA-SOS Unity House- Toro-Garland Visual Artist/ Instructor

AlleyCATS Alliance “MEWSINGS” school project has been an excellent opportunity to connect our Grade 3, 4, 5 Okanagan Falls students with seniors and local authors giving them the chance to create artistic artwork and inspirational stories about cats and kittens in their lives. These moments are an authentic example of the magic created when we are able to ‘bridge the generations’ of young and old and cherish meaningful connections in people’s lives which help bring the academic and arts curriculum to life in an eloquently created MEWSINGS Journal. Thank you AlleyCATS Alliance, local participating seniors and Okanagan Falls Elementary Teacher Mrs. Morhart for this wonderful project based learning experience. Kindest regards, Lisa McCall Principal Okanagan Falls Elementary School

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Mewsings journal (digital excerpt)  
Mewsings journal (digital excerpt)