Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday Update!

First off, we're up to $350. I am overwhelmed by people's generosity! And the raffle hasn't even started yet!! Woooo!

When I first heard that I was to be permitted to help these cats (and therefore save them from the exterminators), I was exceptionally relieved. That lasted about half an hour until the financial reality set in-- how was I going to be able to *pay* for it? To get AzCATS help you have to be able to donate, preferably the amount it costs per cat. That night (last Thursday, I believe), I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned and fretted. But now I think it's going to be okay, and it's all due to the exceptional generosity of people all over the internet!

Some of the cats were very cooperative this afternoon, so I've been able to update the Flickr set with a number of pictures. Feel free to check those out. :)

And the Raffle Prize List grows!

20. Custom Mermaid Doll like the one you can see here by Jennifer St. Clair. So lovely! And poseable! (Um, although most likely true of the artist, my comments are about the doll!)

21. 3-Pack of Assorted Handknit Catnip filled Cat-toys by LJ's Rubrchick. She's very kindly agreed to make two sets available!

22. Custom Knit Stuffed Cat, also by Rubrchick. She's offered to make the kitty to match the coloring of your cat, perhaps, or maybe of one you've sponsored... :)

23. Handmade Kitty Print by LJ's Redzshadow. She says it's inspired by this feral colony.

24. Small origami cat, framed also by Redzshadow.

25. Custom piece of cat-themed Jewelry, made of pure brass and Czech glass, created by Etsy's Pretty In Peace.

26. Promotional CDs from Next Dimension Music.

27. Any One Item from Etsy's Carlykinsboutique. "Hair accessories for the Princess in your life!"

And believe it or not, there are still a few people I'm waiting to hear from regarding specifics of
their donations to the raffle. I'm getting very excited.

The raffle will run from Monday (4/28) for two weeks, concluding Sunday 5/11 at midnight (um, let's say US Pacific time, that's 3am Eastern). Winners will be drawn on Monday 5/12 and posted by that evening (AZ time, which in the summer is the same as Pacific.)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Raffle Prizes so far!!

It is not too late to donate an item for the raffle-- I just need to know by Sunday afternoon (4/27).

When the raffle goes 'live' it will include pictures and/or links to items as appropriate so you can get a good idea of what you're putting your ticket(s) towards. This list has some links but not the pix.

The List So Far, in no particular order other than as I recall them/find the appropriate links:

1. Summer Reading Bundle-- Several (tbd) romance novels by various authors, in used condition. Perfect for hanging out on the beach or by the pool, or in the air conditioning! [actual titles/authors will be listed in time for the actual raffle]

2. Brownies of Doom-- Seriously, these aren't just any brownies, these are brownies made by Tamnonlinear which are both epic and infamous. You can read more about them here. There will be three sets of these, so three times to win!! (I've had them. I vouch for them. These are amazing.) Caveat: These can only be shipped in the Continental US. (If you're outside the US but would like to put your tickets towards these brownies to be sent to someone *else* inside the continental US, that'd be fine.)

3. Herbal Dream Pillow-- Made by the inimitable Xiane, to, as she puts it, "dream about happy kitties!"

4. Alice in Wonderland Stickers-- Hand drawn, then scanned in and printed, then hand colored using water color pencils, these stickers depict Alice, the Cheshire Cat (of course!), the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, her flamingo and hedgehog, the dormouse and more. (Made by me. There'll be pictures later.)

5. Framed Photographs by Arkstangent. He sent me scans of the photos and they're beautiful. One is a black and white portrait which will have an antique frame, the other is a landscape diptych in modern frames. The diptych and the portrait will be two separate prizes. (And I'll have watermarked versions of the photos posted later before you make your decisions.)

6. $50 Gift Certificate for Custom Jewelry by Kythryne of Wyrding Studios. How amazing is that?!?!? This is for custom work (not premade and already in the shop) and for work done by Kythryne herself (not by the other artists at Wyrding.) [If it weren't in poor taste to enter into one's own raffle, I would *so* go for this. So you'll all have to fight over it instead.]

7. Hand knit purple-y Fox-Cat Creature (stuffed)-- by me.

8. Duckie Stitch Markers by Medusa's Mirror.

9. A Dozen Handmade Greeting Cards by Willedit, in assorted sentiments.

10. Custom Story or Poem by Shadesong, author of Shayara.

11. A Bagsket by Oddharmonic. (Two available!) made in the winners' choices of colorways. (This is a bagsket. Very cool.)

12. A 6x6x6" Fabric Box in Mary Englebreit prints by Oddharmonic. She describes it as mostly black and red with accents in yellow, green and white. You will see pictures later.

13. A Handmade Collage Pendant made by Shadesong.

14. A Quart of Scrap-booking Materials -- new materials in a full quart-sized ziploc baggie. (I know very little about scrap-booking, potentially the one craft I haven't tried. However, Oddharmonic was not only gracious enough to donate this, but to also send pictures of everything she has donated, so you can see for yourself soon!)

15. A Harcover copy of The Space Child's Mother Goose -- donated by Oddharmonic. You can see more about this awesome looking book here.

16. Gently Worn Hanna Andersson long-sleeve playdress and a pair of opposite stripe leggings in size 110 (about a girls' 5 or 6), orchid/cool pink stripe. (If I had a little girl, I'd totally dress her in this.)

17 . Custom hat by Emilytheslayer -- As described in her own words: Everyone needs a hat! Now you can get one made to your measurements, in your favorite colors or in the nerdy theme of your choice! You send me your measurements (or those of someone you want a hat made for), what colors you want, or what nerdy hat you want, and fiber issues, and I knit it up and send it to you. This is supposed to be a fairly quick thing for me, so I'm not going to promise a lot of crazy colorwork or anything huge and complicated, but I will do:
-team colors
-Harry Potter house colors

-Life Aquatic Team Zissou cap
-something else you can think of that I would certainly be willing to discuss
I'm not going to spend a lot of money on luxury yarn for this, but I will do my best to work with you on any fiber allergies or sensitivities (No alpaca because that's MY allergy :) ). Wool does not itch, my favorite yarn for hats is a wool/mohair blend that is cheap and comes in a huge variety of colors, but is slightly itchy (it's the mohair), but I have testimonials from at least five people who swear it's not bad.

18. Stick Figure Theatre Presents: Shakespeare of Your Choice-- I'm not entirely sure how to describe this. Suffice it to say that sometimes I draw snarky stick figure cartoons of movies, or television shows, or most often, of romance novels. (Pyrite of Medusa's Mirror can attest to this last one.) If you win this prize, I will draw a Stick Figure Theatre of your choice of Shakespearean play, any one of the 37. (We can negotiate over another early modern play, if you wish...) I wouldn't suggest reading the Stick Figure version *instead* of the play, a comment I feel I ought to make given that I do *teach* Shakespeare and it's not inconceivable that one of my students might pass through here... ) You can see some of my early work in the BlakeToons. I recommend the DS:9 "blake-isode." These were created a long time ago, and using MSPaint. I draw in pen now, but it'll give you an idea of the, uh, humor, and, heh, style.

19. Hand-knit Organic Catnip Filled Cat Toy shaped like a fish. Made by me. See my Etsy Site if you'd like to see more in my style.

20. Custom Mermaid Doll like the one you can see here by Jennifer St. Clair. So lovely! And poseable! (Um, although most likely true of the artist, my comments are about the doll!)

My own work notwithstanding, you can see that a ton of talent and generosity and just plain awesome stuff will be in this raffle. I need to raise a *lot* of money, so if you have something you'd like to add to the raffle, please comment here or email me or what have you.

(The cat in all three photos here is Little Orange-- the friendliest and probably youngest, of the colony. He posed for me this morning.)

Itteh Bitteh Kitteh Committeh

I wish I could take credit for the clever title, but alas, it was created by a friend of a friend. But it was too great to pass up! A kitteh committeh is exactly what we've become!

I got some new shots of cats today, as you can see, so I thought I'd share. I also thought I'd update you on where the Raffle prizes stand.

To the right is Dilute Tortie. She doesn't have a real name yet, but when she gets sponsored she will. She seems to be a sweetie, always just around the corner. She stays far enough away so that she can easily run if I make any sudden movements, but she's brave enough to come pretty darn close, especially if there's food involved.

Next up, Cyrano. Oh come on, the splotch on his nose makes it a perfect name, no? I think Cyrano's the bee's knees, but he's way uncertain of me. This is the best photo I've gotten of him so far, even though I've seen him around for a few weeks. (The photo is taken with my camera's zoom set to its highest setting, you see.) I've never seen a tuxie with quite this sort of facial marking; I think it's fabulous!!

I should probably mention that at this point all gender specifications of cats is completely guesswork. I know that orange cats are generally male and torties are generally female, and have named/commented appropriately. Everyone else is a guess which will only be confirmed during TNR.

And then there's Little Orange. I'm pretty sure that Little Orange rather young-- not full grown, not filled out. He's braver than most of the cats, coming pretty close to wait for food, and even sniffing my backpack this morning!! (Admittedly, that was while I was busy taking pictures of Dilute Tortie, but still.) Sorry the shot's blurry, it was the best I could do. Mainly Little Orange was hidding *behind* the backpack! (My bag undoubtedly smells like my cats, hence it being intriguing to Little Orange.)

Little Orange is just what I call him. A sponsor may name him whatever s/he likes. Of all the cats in the colony, I suspect that Little Orange would adapt easiest and best at this point to being 'domesticated'-- but there are 350,000 unwanted free-roaming cats in the Phoenix area, so I don't anticipate that being an option. Instead, we'll end his and his colony's breeding cycle and maintain the colony.

... I feel a bit like Sally Struthers. "For just one dollar a day, you can send Little Orange to school, with help to carry that giant backpack."

Little Orange asks, please, won't someone think of the kittehs? Heh.

Speaking of donations, in the roughly 48 hours that Project-Cat has been in existence, we've raised $280. That is just mind boggling to me. We are on the way to succeeding in this endeavor. We're not there yet, of course, but the raffle starts Monday, and I have high hopes!! To those of you who donated, thank you ever so much. (And by 'donated', I also very much mean the wonderful and talented people who have donated prizes for the raffle!)

Which segues nicely into my next topic: The Raffle, which will be the next post. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Our Story Thus Far

Back in late February I had to go to my apartment complex's office randomly. While there for a completely unrelated reason, I overheard my slightly batty downstairs neighbor telling the manager how sad she was that she could no longer feed the stray cats in the area. She'd been told to stop because there were so many of them, and they would congregate in front of her door in the evenings.

There are dozens of them. I asked the manager, once the slightly batty neighbor left, what the deal was. She said they were looking for a way to get rid of them.

If you know about feral cats, you know that there is no way to get rid of them short of killing them all. Oh sure, you can call the humane society, but if they come they won't take the cats to a nice comfy home, they'll simply euthanize the cats, often even before they get to the shelter.

I love animals. I have cats of my own, for example, and they're rescues. I like animals more than I like most people. I like these cats; seeing them makes me happy.

Months later I have finally secured a promise that the management won't call animal control, or the exterminators, etc., and I have permission to Trap, Neuter and Release the cats. They get to stay here as managed colony. I've been in touch with AzCATS a group that pretty much does this: trap, neuter and release. I'm now on the list. (I need their help, I need their traps and I need a volunteer's van in order to drive the many, many cats from here to the vet and back.)

Now... I just need the money. Approximately 25 cats. $50 per cat.

How can you help? Several options.

1) The most obvious: donate! Dooooonate! Donaaaaaate. There's a button on this page. You can click it. Every dollar counts.

2) Sponsor a Cat. Donate $50 or more and you get your very own long-distance feral pet. Just what you've always wanted! Obviously I'll be blogging this entire surreal experience, but if you sponsor a cat, you'll get to name him/her (in most cases), get pictures of the cat, and individual story about 'your' cat.

3) Buy from my Etsy Shop. Nothing there costs very much, but all the same, every bit counts and it'll all go towards the cats.

4) Tell your friends. Send 'em to this blog so that they'll sponsor and/or donate. :)

5) Starting Monday there will be a RAFFLE. A raffle full of those most interesting and awesome prizes ever, many of them handmade. Tickets will cost $1 (but $10 will get you 11tickets, and $20 will get you 25 tickets.) You'll be able to choose towards what prize you want your tickets counted.