Gala fundraiser helps to make more fairytale endings for rescue cats

Where else would you meet your handsome prints—paw prints, that is—than at a fashionable ball held by a kitty rescue?

The grand host in this case is Helen Sanders CatPAWS, a nonprofit dedicated to saving the lives of shelter cats and preventing the birth of more unwanted felines. Through their programs and a lot of sweat and, sadly at times, tears, CatPAWS has pulled over 3,000 cats and kittens from public shelters since its establishment as a nonprofit in 2010. CatPAWS fosters have bottle-fed countless newborns and socialized hundreds of cats and kittens for adoption. Funds from donations and grants have provided spay/neuter and veterinary care for each cat and for any specific medical care and surgery needed. It may take a kiss to turn a frog into a prince or princess, any kind of royalty, but in the first place, why would anyone do that to a frog, and in the second, CatPAWS turns them into healthy housecats, which beats being a monarch anytime.

CatPAWS puts together innovative programs as well. Volunteers regularly assemble DIY Kitten-Care Kits, which are distributed to public shelters and given free to people who want to be directly involved in saving lives of newborn kittens. (If that’s you, wait around for Mom to come back, and if she doesn’t and the kittens are suffering, hare off to Long Beach Animal Care Services and request a kit.) The Traveling Kitty Comfort and Therapy Show brings kittens to assisted-living facilities where they play with the residents. For many of the people living there, it’s the bright spot of their month. It also helps the kittens become used to being held and played with by humans.

Long Beach cat rescue gives the gift of company to older adults in assisted living

All these programs need funding, of course. If you want to help next weekend, put on your fanciest slyboots and come to the CatPAWS Chic Chat Soiree gala! De-tails are available in the Great furballs of fun section, and you can buy tickets at this link. If you’re busy, don’t have the funds to go, or a wicked sorcerer has put a 100-year sleep curse on you, you can make a donation through the button on the link. All funds from the gala and donations will go toward making sure that many more hundreds of cats will awaken their sleeping humans with a magical kiss from their little, pink, sandpaper tongues.

Virtually pets

This year, hundreds of cats and kittens in CatPAWS’ foster care have already found homes. There’s no sign of the influx slowing down, unfortunately. Spay and neuter will help in that sense, but a lot of orphans still need their happy fur-ever homes. If you’re looking for a cat, or even if you don’t know you are, check out and read their biographies here. There’s an adoption application for you to fill out and submit online. Easy as bibbidi bobbidi boo!

Here are a few of the highlights:

orange cat lies sprawled on her white bed over a pawprint-patterned red blanket Her leg is stretched as far as it can go!

She’s refreshing and oh, so bubbly! Mimosa’s a really cool cat—smart and funny, but she can be feisty and play hard. Like many aristocats, she’s selective as to feline friends and definitely shouldn’t be around kids. Mimosa needs a cat savvy person who can understand her signals.

Two sleek black cats lying cheek to cheek with heads up

C’mon, can you resist this? Koopa and Princess Peach are another brother-and-sister duo in search of a family that would love to have two snuggle bugs as their forever companions.

great big orange cat with white legs is curled up on a black carrier and looking at camera

As far as magical tails—uh, tales go (well, tails, too), Mary Poppins is a winner. Like her namesake, she was a doting mother to a couple of orphaned kittens as well as to her own babies, of course! Now, she deserves the same care! Please ask about this great big, sweet momma.

 A helping paw

Pet License Amnesty extended to Dec. 31

 The city of Long Beach has extended the fee and penalty waivers for pet licenses to Dec. 31. Anyone living in the highlighted Community Development Block grant neighborhoods, as shown on the above map, may request a waiver by phone at 562-570-7387, by applying by mail at 7700 E. Spring St., or in person at the shelter. The waiver program is not available online. Visit this link for license requirements. Call 562-570-7387 for additional information.

Great furballs of fun!

pastor smiles at cat, who is looking toward Heaven

Photo courtesy of Community Action Team

20th annual Interfaith Blessing of the Animals: Sunday, Oct.2, 5:45 p.m., concrete boat-launch ramp adjacent to Rosie’s Dog Beach, 1 Granada Ave., Long Beach, free event

All pets, be they mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird or fish, are invited to participate in this beautiful sunset event to get blessed by the minister of their human’s choice—not that they don’t come to us already blessed. The Blessing, one of the largest in the world, is hosted by Justin Rudd’s nonprofit Community Action Team (CAT), which includes Haute Dogs.

Representatives from multiethnic, diverse houses of worship will preside over the ceremony. Be sure that your pets are leashed or in a carrier, wagon, fishbowl and so on to ensure their safety. If your pet is no longer with you and you wish to hold them in your heart with a blessing, bring a photo or a cherished toy or collar. Information about ministers and proceedings is available here.

LBACS volunteer Patti with her favorite goofball. Courtesy photo

Blockhead Brigade’s Pit Bull Appreciation Day: Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Marina Vista Park, 5355 E. Eliot St., Long Beach, free event.

Anyone who lives or has lived with a pittie and has dealt in any way with bad rap against the breed knows that they all deserve recognition. The Blockhead Brigade, a local pittie-advocacy organization, will hold an appreciation day for this often-maligned group of dogs and their humans. The event will feature some pretty pittie-centric groups, including a pack-walk group, a Day of the Dead pet-memorial altar, a canine-home wellness check group, merch, food and, of course, some of these goofy canines for adoption. The Blockhead Brigade is requesting no dog intros, 10 feet of space between dogs, and all dogs on 6-foot or shorter sturdy leashes. The event is free to the public, but the organizers want to know how many to expect, so click the register balloon on the event page.

CatPAWS’ Le Chic Chat Soiree fundraiser: Saturday, Oct. 15, 5:30 p.m., Navy Golf Course Seal Beach: Bldg. 800, 5660 Orangewood Ave., Cypress, general admission $175, VIP tickets and full tables also available.

 Slip on your fanciest cat suit or your tie and tails—tails in particular—and join Helen Sanders CatPAWS at their most glamorous! Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a dinner buffet and dessert, silent and live auction items, and a presentation featuring an overview of CatPAWS programs, lives saved and lives changed, and salute to adopters. Guest emcee Meg DeLoatch will preside over the fur-stivities. All funds raised will go toward saving so many more! Buy tickets and see details here.

Strut Your Mutt

Best Friends Strut Your Mutt: Saturday, Oct. 22, 9–11 a.m., Warner Center Park, 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, or virtually at this link from 8 a.m.–4 p.m., $20 registration fee.

Put on your walking shoes or strap on a virtual pair, and get ready to step up, step out and save lives! Strut Your Mutt, the fundraising walk that saves lives of dogs and cats across the country—is back in the flesh and fur in select cities after an interruption by COVID-19 last year. Although live events were canceled virtual Strut Your Mutt participants raised $1.45 million for homeless pets! Your participation helps to reach Best Friends’ goal of becoming no-kill nationwide by 2025. Registration includes an official 2022 Strut Your Mutt event T-shirt, and the money you raise, including your registration fee, goes directly to Best Friends’ adoption candidates—cats and dogs, of course, and also horses, birds, rabbits and pigs—or to your favorite local participating animal welfare organization. Fundraising runs through Oct. 31. Access this link for details.

Man lies on plaid blanket with neck-to-toe cats

Photo courtesy of Nancy Cohn

Foster for awhile—or furever!

Long Beach Animal Care Services has expanded adoption hours as follows: Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests are welcome to browse until closing. To speed up any adoption process, email [email protected]. To foster, email [email protected].

If you’ve always wanted a pet but aren’t sure if you’re ready for a lifetime (the animal’s) commitment, or if you’re past the pet-roommate days for any reason, fostering might be a great way to go, especially with one or more of the kittens popping up during kitten season. Every one of the organizations listed below is in desperate need of fosters who’ll social them and help save their little lives. Who knows—maybe one of those lives will change your mind about the not-ready-for-roommate thing!

These nonprofits also regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions. As of now, adoptions are mainly by appointment. Click on the links for each rescue in case of updates or changes. These organizations operate through donations and grants, and anything you can give would be welcome. Please suggest any Long Beach-area rescues to add to the list.

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Kate Karp is the Pets Columnist for the Long Beach Post covering the world of animal activism, pet adoptions and lots of cute cats. She’s called Long Beach home since 1994 and has written for the Post for about 10 years. Kate’s day job is as a copyeditor, which she discovered a love for during her 30-year tenure as a teacher. She describes the job as “like taking the rough edges off a beautiful sculpture.”