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Helping Arecibo Observatory Cats

$12,552 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 337 people in 12 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.

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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. 



THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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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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First of all we want to give you an update of so far in 2019:

We have found homes for the following space cats:

Galilea (Illinois)
Ganymede (Illinois)
Florence (Boston)
Io (Boston)
Kleopatra (Puerto Rico)
Bennu (Pennsylvania)
Sally (Michigan)
Furby (Pennsylvania)
Kepler (Virginia)
Jill (New York)
Katie (New York)
Ferby (Colorado)

We have vaccinated and fixed the following:

Bennu
Sally
Furby
Hawking
Wurren
Kepler
Jill
Katie
Dart
Agnes
Eleanor (Ellie)
Ferby

This would not be possible without your amazing and generous support. We are grateful to have this opportunity to help Space Cats in our community and we want to expand our efforts.
A few weeks ago we went to the Animal Welfare Summit in Ponce, PR and had the opportunity to meet many people from other rescue groups on the island as well as people from the Humane Society USA and PR and Greater Good. The Humane Society is dedicated to do TNR on 80% of the animal population of Puerto Rico within 5 years and we will be working with them reach their goal.
We have heard your complaints about the shipping prices of the Observatory Cats merchandise and we found a solution through Kickstarter where we will be able to do bulk orders to drop the price and the shipping. So if you want that awesome t-shirt, sticker or mug. Now is the time! The campaign will only run for 30 days.

Here is the link to the Kickstarter, please copy and paste in your browser:

http://kck.st/2TUymWG


We leave you with one of our original Space Cats, Mars being cute.
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And another kitten found a home! Ferby is the daughter of Ellie (named after Jodie Foster's character in the movie Contact, filmed at Arecibo), born at the Observatory some months after hurricane Maria. Ellie had two other siblings, all adopted by Observatory staff members last year, before we started this campaign. Ellie was not spayed soon enough and had three kittens some months ago. Ferby was taken this past weekend to Colorado by a summer student. :) Besides this good news, we would also like to thank those who helped with Chandra's expenses (~$417), we wouldn't be able to keep helping the kitties without your support. Many thanks!
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We have sad news. We got a call from the vet saying that Chandra didn't make it. :( Her temperature was low since we dropped her off on Saturday, and it didn't improve. Chandra was a fragile looking cat, possible too weak to fight the injury. Thanks a lot for those who helped, unfortunately we don't even have a picture of her to share. We hope we have better luck with the next space cat we find. We'll leave you with a picture of Venus and Polaris taken recently at the Observatory's cafeteria, and a picture of Kepler in his new home.
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We got an update from the vet. Chandra is a girl, and they said her hip is displaced. She's in isolation with oxygen, because her temperature was dropping. We'll try to see her tomorrow
if her temperature is back to normal, and talk to the vet about the next steps. Right now Chandra is still in critical condition. :(
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$12,552 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 337 people in 12 months
Created August 15, 2018
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