Weekend bake sale for NOTL Cats Rescue to help with kitten overload

Due to an increase in the number of kittens and cats in its care, NOTL Cats Rescue is holding a bake sale this weekend to help cover its expenses.

The bake sale will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 16 at 456 Line 2 Rd. behind Crossroads Public School in Virgil. It will also double as a yard sale, with household items available to buy.

Tanya Rice, a volunteer for the rescue, said that as of last week, it has 26 kittens in its care and six female adults who gave birth between last year and this year in its care.

There are many factors that contribute to the increase of cats and kittens in the rescue care, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, low number of fosters and low adoption numbers.

“COVID continues to complicate people’s lifestyles — we see abandonment going up, we see cat colonies increasing because people do not spay and neuter their animals,” said Rice.

Normally, Rice said, the rescue would wait until December to have another fundraiser, but due to the amount of kittens and cats in its care and the cost associated with caring for them, the rescue decided to reach out to the community for help.

Rice said the rescue welcomed two new foster families over the summer, which has helped tremendously with the influx of cats, but they’re still looking for more.

The small non-profit organization is 100 per cent volunteer-driven and dedicated to rescuing cats and kittens in need and finding them new homes, as well as reducing the stray cat population.

“We operate strictly from fundraisers, donations (and) volunteers,” said Rice.

The fundraiser will not only go towards feline care for its current cats and kittens, but will also help pay for a $3,500 eye surgery needed for one of its foster cats, Calypso.

She recalled a cat, Pinot, that was abandoned on Peller Estates and taken into the rescues care. Thankfully, Pinot was recently adopted.

It’s not just in cats: Rice said she’s noticed an increase in dogs getting abandoned, too.

She encourages everyone to spay and neuter their animals, even if they’re indoor pets.

“Even if you think 100 per cent that your pet is going to be strictly indoors — they’re quick, they’re fast, they can get out through a three inch opening,” she said.

Spaying and neutering helps reduce the amount of homeless or lost cats as well as reduces medical issues, said Rice.

“(It) reduces the transmission of feline diseases,” she added.

To help get more cats adopted the rescue partnered with the Pet Valu in Virgil. Volunteers bring cats every weekend to meet customers and hopefully find their forever home.

Rice said the partnership has been wonderful. Five-month-old bonded siblings Rocky and Rosie will be at Pet Valu this Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

If anyone is interested in fostering or adopting a cat, go to Notlcats.weebly.com or inquire at the bake sale this weekend.

There will be plenty of baked goods to go around like butter tarts, snickerdoodles, autumn-appropriate pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, brownies and peach pies as well as gluten-free and vegan options.

Somer Slobodian, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report