Helping Arecibo Observatory Cats

$11,902 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 324 people in 10 months
Created August 15, 2018
UPDATE (18/JUN/2019)

           As 2019 begins we want to give a summary of our work and the status of the spaces kitties. To date we have spayed/neutered, vaccinated and treated 26 cats, and found homes for 12 of them. We are so grateful for the amazing support along the way, whether it may be financially, fostering, feeding, catching them, bringing to and from the vet, or welcoming them into your home.
         To date, we have used more than 90% of the fund and that is why the goal has been raised, so we can expand our efforts to keep rescuing more kitties.

         Here are some facts about the naming of most of the cats we have taken care of since we started this campaign.

List of Space Kitties:

Venus - Named after the second planet in the solar system

Mars - Named after the fourth planet in the solar system

Old Tom - He was the father of most of the cats at the observatory 

Polaris - Named after the North Star and the brightest star in the constellation of Ursa Minor

Nea - Named for NEA (Near Earth Asteroid), objects observed at the Arecibo Observatory

Bell - Named after Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the female astrophysicist who discovered pulsars

Oumuamua - Named after the first interstellar object detected passing through the Solar System

*Florence - Named after the last asteroid observed before hurricanes Irma and Maria, which was discovered to be only the third triple NEA system known

Florence’s kittens - *Europa, *Callista, *Io, *Ganymede, *Galilea (Named after Jupiter’s moons)

*Sylvester - Named by the person who adopted him after the cartoon character

*Midas - Named after a NEA observed at the Arecibo Observatory

*Kleopatra - Named after a metallic, bone shaped main belt asteroid. And it's a triple system

*Bennu - Named after a NEA, target of the ongoing Osiris-Rex mission

*Sally - Named after Sally Kristen Ride, the first American woman in space

*Furby - Named after Fast Radio Bursts

Hawking -  Named after the cosmologist Stephen Hawking

Wurren - (deceased)

Hawking's kittens - Kepler, Jill, Katie (named after the astronomers Johannes Kepler, Jill Tarter, and Katie Bouman)

Orion - named after the constellation located on the celestial equator. Orion means hunter in Greek mythology.

Eleanor (Ellie) - named after Jodie Foster's character in the movie Contact, filmed at the Arecibo Observatory.

* cats that have been adopted. 



Since hurricane Maria, we have a family of cats that have called the observatory their home. The staff have been actively taking care of them and feeding them. But we want to keep the population under control, so we want to spay them and make sure they are healthy. We are working with the San Francisco de Assis Veterinarian Hospital to take care of all the kitties. We wanted to open this to any former Arecibo Observatory employees and friends, or cat lovers, to help us take care of the kitties.

The money will go to necessary surgeries needed for the cats as well as food. Spaying/neutering costs $95, and they recommend to keep the cat indoors for 7 days after the surgery. We can't keep them in our homes, so boarding is another $15/day. They are also being vaccinated and dewormed. Some cats (especially females), might also need painkillers and antibiotics after the surgery. If the cat is healthy, and no extra treatment and lab tests are needed, the average cost per cat is $200-$250.

Once we finish taking care of our Space kitties, we plan to also start taking care of the cats nearby the Observatory (we see many on the road that leads to the Observatory!)

Thank you for your help! Because of the amazing support, we are considering to expand our reach to help more cats around the Observatory, and to look into the possibility of finding them homes on the mainland US too! If you are interested in adopting an Arecibo cat, please contact us.

For the sake of transparency, GoFundMe has asked me to add additional information:

-  How you are related to your beneficiary?

My relation to the beneficiaries (cats at the Arecibo Observatory) is that I work there as a researcher. I have been feeding and taking care of them since the Observatory started observations after hurricane Maria.

- That you will be withdrawing the funds in your name

Currently we have gone ahead and started getting the cats neutered as I saw the amazing generosity and  success of the campaign. I have been covering all the expenses up to date myself, and will be withdrawing what we have used from the fund in order to cover those expenses. I am humbled and impressed by everyone's generosity and want to make the biggest positive impact I can for the cat population in Arecibo. It wasn't something I expected, so I have reached out to Humane Society and San Francisco de Asis Veterinarian Hospital to see how we can maximize our impact in the community. I am also trying to figure out the logistics of finding new homes for some of the cats on the mainland. Thank you for the folks that have already shown interest, I'm working on finding the best ways to bring the kitties to you.

-  How exactly you will be delivering the funds to your beneficiary?

Funds are currently being used to cover expenses for neutering, vaccination, deworming and taking care of any other health issues the cats may have. For female cats, we learned that it is not uncommon for the vet to ask for an ultrasound before spaying, when it is not clear that the cat is not pregnant. Also, since I do not have a quiet and safe place for them to recover after the surgery, we are having them board at the vet hospital to make sure they recovery well. 
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We finally caught Hawking! She's currently at the vet to get spayed. No more cute kittens for her ;P
News about her kittens! We'll be flying to New York next Saturday (29th) with Katie, Jill and Kepler. They'll be available for adoption, more information soon. But if you live near NY, and will want to adopt them, send us a message. Thank you for the support, and please spread the word!
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Meet Dart! Don't be fooled by the adorable face, this is one angry kitty that was not happy to be trapped. We named him Dart, after NASA's first asteroid deflection mission that will smash a satellite into an asteroid's moon. Dart is at the vet to get vaccinated, dewormer, and neutered. We'll release him after he's healed from the surgery, and we'll keep feeding him.
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While trying to catch Hawking, we ended up catching this kitten. We named him Orion. He got neutered and vaccinated this weekend, and because we are still looking for homes for Hawking's kittens (Jill, Katie and Kepler), and can't spend funding to board the cats long term at the vet, we had to release Orion. He knows where to find food now, so hopefully he comes back!
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Kitten Kepler had a tail surgery and is doing well. He joined his sisters Jill and Katie (tabby) at a foster home. Kepler might possibly have a home soon, but his sisters are still looking for their forever home. They are all vaccinated already. If you are interested in adopting a space kitten, send us a message! We can take them to the mainland depending on the location. Spread the word!
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$11,902 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 324 people in 10 months
Created August 15, 2018
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