Help Secure the Future for Whiskers’ Cat Shelter, in Albany, NY, USA
Watch your donation double! See how, below!
Hello Everyone! My name is Betsey, and I am a 13 year old (in human years) cat who has come up through the ranks of a cat shelter & sanctuary run by an organization called Whiskers.
Our cat shelter just had a unique opportunity to buy two adjacent vacant parcels of land next to our building, in the city of Albany. The board of directors voted to take a huge leap (like jumping from the top of the refrigerator, across the kitchen, onto a narrow shelf over the kitchen sink, that is loaded with antique tea pots!), and use the group’s savings to purchase this land, for many reasons, which I’ll share. Overall, this land greatly affects our shelter, whether we own it or not.
The board asked me to talk to you, because they thought maybe I could really help you understand first hand (first paw), what an all-volunteer, no-kill cat shelter in a city is all about and why the cats living there, and cats to come, could really use your financial support to make their future more secure by helping us rebuild our savings now that we have secured the land next door.
Our shelter is a narrow row-house style building that is about 25 feet wide and 100 feet deep ….the lots next door are a similar size. Right now we have a few windows that look out on those vacant lots, which is nice for the cats that still live there. I did get my pet sitter to drive by and take a few photos for you, so you can see for yourself what this all looks like. In the photo below, you can see the windows we have now, on the side of our building.
The volunteer humans build us all kinds of shelves and perches so we can look out the windows, but at the same time try to “mask” the windows so that random passersby (and people who were wandering into the vacant lots) can’t see us very easily. That is part of keeping us safe, in the city. Getting some daylight is nice too. Daylight is sparse in a row house.
If someone else bought the lots and built something there — it is a commercial property, after all, a lot of things could be built there — we might end up with no daylight and a view two feet away of the outside wall of the new building next door. Not such a great thing. The new neighbor could be very noisy or create noxious fumes. Even though I don’t live in the shelter anymore, over 125 of my BFFs do (Best Feline Friends), and they do not want their living situation compromised. (Being a Senior Cat, I am allowed to use big words like “compromised.”)
Right here, in the next photo, you can see most of the double lot that we bought, located right next to our building:
Our building is incognito right now, there are no signs outside advertising our location. People can visit the cats, but they need to make an appointment ahead of time. My BFFs are on www.ewhiskers.com if you want to check them out. Just click on the Adoptables link.
From what I’ve heard, the humans who take care of the shelter are all volunteers, so the building is not staffed on a regular basis. I’ve heard that means the people don’t get money for any of the work they do for Whiskers… I don’t really know what money is. It seems to me with over 100 cats inside, any person should want to stay in the building all day and all night, but, whatever. People are mysterious! If only they spoke Cat!
Anyway! The two lots have been purchased, so we are safe from the unknown! But, as I mentioned, Whiskers used up all of its savings in order to make sure to keep all of my BFFs safe and sound, today, and for the rest of time. It was both a hard decision to make, but definitely the right thing to do (If you ask me, a 10-year resident of Whiskers!).
So, what I, Betsey, and all of my BFFs at the shelter are asking you to do, is to donate money to Whiskers to help the organization rebuild its savings. And yes, it is the largest amount of money the organization has asked for at once, to date. To show you that the people in the organization care and support the board’s decision, brave board members ASKED previous donors to pledge funds, in increments of $1,000.00, to match the money you donate to this Go Fund Me campaign.
In ONE WEEK we received $31,750 in matching pledges towards our Go Fund Me goal, from dedicated Whiskers donors and the very dedicated humans who make up our board of directors. (They don’t let cats join, so far. I keep checking.) Now, even though I don’t understand money, once my person came home and gave me the details (and some new catnip), I understood all the excitement!
We could stop right here, but there are so many other things our shelter needs money for. The land could use a paved sidewalk from the back of our building to the front, to make it easier to move all the (very very) heavy trash barrels of cat litter out to the street on collection day.
The building always needs repairs and maintenance. Last year Whiskers had to stop taking cats and kittens into its foster program because it was $30,000 in debt in veterinary bills. All of the veterinarians who work with us deserve to be paid in a timely fashion. I’m always up for being able to say “YES” to helping more feline friends, but it costs money to do that.
The original internal pledge goal was $16,000, so that we could show you that we had support from Whiskers’ previous donors for this big request we wanted to bring to you. My BFFs and I would cry tears of joy, if we could (but cats are too smart to cry), seeing our own humans offer almost double this amount!
With these matching funds, for every $1.00 raised by this Go Fund Me campaign, we have $1.00 waiting in the wings, to be added, up to $31,750. With your help, our total goal is $63,500 for this campaign.
In the long run, maybe someday a new building for all my BFFs could be built on the land … or … again, this money thing … I’ve been told that all the land together is valuable and if Whiskers moved the shelter to another location, the two empty lots and the building could be sold and that money could go towards the new shelter.
Just take another look at our new land!
Whatever happens, it will all be for the cats! What more could anyone ask for, except maybe a bowl of cat treats, a new catnip toy, and a cat bed next to a hot radiator!
You can make your donation whichever way you prefer:
** Through this Go Fund Me page.
** By mailing a check to the cats, made out in our organization’s name, below, at:
Whiskers Animal Benevolent League
PO Box 11190
Albany, NY 12211
** Through the donation link on our web site.
** If you are using PayPal; please send your payment to our email address, admin@ ewhiskers . com (without the spaces).
Whatever method you choose, please let us know how you would like your name, or your group or family’s name, to appear in our online recognition of your donation. If you prefer to have us list your name as "Anonymous," please make sure to let us know. And please let us know if you would like a written letter recognizing your tax-deductible donation for your tax records.
Thank you so much for your support. Please visit us at www.ewhiskers.com and keep an eye out for our Updates through our Go Fund Me campaign to learn more about the lives of just a few of the thousands of cats who have been helped out by Whiskers. You’ll see that Whiskers is not just a regular animal shelter.
We are Making a Difference, One Life at a Time.
Purrs and Kisses …. Betsey
About the Author
Betsey was born in Cohoes, NY, a small city on the Hudson River, north of Albany. She was part of a colony of feral cats living on the river’s edge. A Whiskers volunteer was managing the colony, getting the cats trapped, spayed and neutered, and returned (TNR’d), then feeding, watering, and making shelters for them. She made sure they were cared for.
At some point, someone related to management of the property approached her, saying that the land was going to be developed, and if the cats were not all removed from the property, he was going to “make then disappear.”
There were a lot of cats! She managed to bring some home. Five or so volunteers each brought home multiple cats. But some of the cats were completely wild, not suitable for living in homes. Those cats went to our shelter, in Albany. Betsey came in with her mom, Bernice, and her brother Bernie, when Betsey was about one year old. Bernice passed away a few years ago. Bernie is still living at Whiskers and has become friendly over the course of 12 years there.
Betsey slowly, very slowly, became friendly while living in the general population (free roaming, not caged) area of our shelter/sanctuary. We have lots of high shelves near the ceiling, and that tended to be where she liked to hang out. But, over time she became more curious about the beings with the food, and she ventured down to see them and get petted.
She caught the hearts of many volunteers, but one day, when Betsey was 10 years old, she was adopted by a Whiskers volunteer. That volunteer had loved her for several years, but like may volunteers, had too many cats at home, and needed to wait for the right time.
After living outside, and then in a cat shelter, moving to a home isn’t necessarily the easiest thing. Betsey was afraid, at first, of course. Then, she was very happy to have so much attention. She did wonder where the heck all the cats went — there were only three others in the house, and maybe only three more fosters in addition, at a time. She did find high up places to sleep for the first year.
Furniture was scary ... Betsey took to cat shelves in the house and the cat trees right away. Sitting on radiators in front of windows was good, too. But she walked suspiciously past chairs, sofas, and beds for a year.
Betsey has been in her home for three years now. Her people love telling other people that they adopted a cat that had lived in a shelter for 10 years ... people can’t believe it. Betsey’s people tell everyone,, “That’s what No-Kill means.”
Betsey LOVES being in her home. She goes on all the furniture now, with no hesitation. She sat on a lap once. She said it was kind of squishy, so she isn’t too sure about doing that again. But leaning on people, next to them on the couch, is pretty good.
She would like you to know that there are many more cats at Whiskers who have lived there for 5 years, 8 years, 10 years ... they would still like to try out a home. They’re good cats. Maybe you would like to check them out.
Betsey has graduated from the school of hard knocks, with honors.