2014 Black Cat Strut 5k Walk/Run

Black Cat Strut mascotThis year marks the 4th year of our wonderful Black Cat Strut, a 5K walk/run that helps all kinds of animals in our community. We have partner rescues from all over – even from the next state over! – and there are so many cool things to see and do. This time, we will be at a new location, too, the beautiful Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve in Chesterton. I hear that runners really love it there because of the even surface!

It’s a neat place, and with so many participating vendors and rescues, you will be hard pressed to not have a great time with family, friends, and even your faithful four-legged companions. That’s right, there’s a 1-mile dog walk too – you can bring your puppy along (as long as he’s nice to other dogs and on a leash of course) and spend a nice day outdoors and playing together. And yes, I know – here I am, a cat, part of a cat shelter organization, and I’m promoting having fun with dogs! It sounds crazy! Normally, I’m not a big fan of the canine variety, but you know, they can be pretty cool sometimes, and many folks seem to like them as companions. A lot of the humans I know have both dogs and cats – living in the same house! I know, it’s too much!

Whether you bring your dog or your family or just yourself, you will be making a difference for animals in Northwest Indiana. I know this because the Black Cat Strut has brought in over $25,000 for the Independent Cat Society and its friends over the past three years. We hope to make it even more this year, and find new ways to support all of our homeless kitties and puppies out there. They deserve your help, so get off the couch and spend a day with us – the animals will love you for it!

When: May 31, 2014, 9:00am race starts

Where: Northeast corner of I80/90 and IN-49, Chesterton, Indiana

Register as a Runner: https://runsignup.com/Race/IN/Chesterton/BlackCatStrut

Register for the Dog Walk: http://www.catsociety.org (front page)

Still not convinced you want to go? Why not check out what you missed last year?

Sweetheart Winner 2014!

That’s great, Guillermo just barely edged out sweet Aggie to take the crown of 2014 ICS Sweetheart! Congrats, Guillermo – that was not an easy victory!

Guillermo is, of course, one of the coolest cats I know. He’s calm, he’s poised, he’s gentle, all the things you love in a great kitty. Why he’s at the shelter, I’m not sure, but I know he lived a pretty rough life out there in the “wilds” before coming to our shelter. You see, he was outside for a while, and he got into some fights here and there. It happens – sometimes you’re just minding your own business and all of the sudden you’re mixing it up with some other cat or even a raccoon or some other animal. Things can be pretty scary for a kitty out there on his own.

That doesn’t mean, though, that Guillermo was “feral” – far from it. He was someone’s pet at one time, but went off on his own either because he got outdoors and lost, or because his owners weren’t taking good care of him. Feral cats are different, and you can tell the difference if you see a cat outdoors and he doesn’t want to come near you. The natural habitat for these cats is outdoors, where life is rough, but they seem to get by really well. They get by even better when there are people out there to help them.

Read this great link from Alley Cat Allies about feral cats to learn more!

Feral cats – those that are truly feral – aren’t ready for the cushy life of a modern indoor domestic feline, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore them. Instead, we need to get those kitties fixed before they “make” too many more kitties and overpopulate a neighborhood or area. When this happens food is scarce for all of them, and they wind up living much shorter and tougher lives searching for good things to eat and warm places to take shelter. When we can get these cats spayed/neutered and released back to their home areas, we give them a better chance at survival.

How can you help? Investigate low-cost spay and neuter services in your area and attempt to trap any feral cats around your area to bring them in. There are many vets all over the country that provide low-cost spay/neuter to protect the cat population. For instance, ICS can help with the assisted spay/neuter program. You can also check out our very own TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) Squad on Facebook and contact them for advice and help. They are dedicated to helping give all cats a chance at a good life, and work very, very hard every day doing their work.

By staying educated and proactive, you can make a difference for the animals in your community! And you never know, you might wind up saving a great non-feral outdoor cat like Guillermo, and providing that cat with a second chance at a great forever home.