Humane Society tries to place cats in homes
By Iva Butler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cats, cats and more cats, they come in all sizes and colors but have one big thing in common — they all desperately need a home.
At the Blount County Humane Society All Creatures Thrift Store on East Broadway Avenue in Maryville, they have kittens in cages in the store where they sell merchandise and 19 full-grown cats meandering freely around in their “cat room.”
Volunteers Diane McEachern and Afton Hughes proudly show off their feline friends, taken from Maryville Animal Shelter on the days they would have been euthanized.
“They crave attention. We encourage our volunteers to come in, pet them and socialize with them,” McEachern said. The general public can also stop by and pet the cats.
The felines do what they enjoy.
PRINCESS FLEXES HER CLAWS
A gorgeous large, long-haired calico named Princess with the face of a Persian is busy flexing her claws in a cat bed. A small calico named Calli is running around the room.
Look in any direction and you see gray tabbies, with their own individual markings, climbing on cat trees, sitting high up on shelves, in cat condos and walking around on the floor looking for attention. They include Juliet, Allie, Cocoa, Bubbles and Miss Molly.
There are also a couple of yellow tigers named Oz and Sheba, a huge yellow and white male cat with bright green eyes named Pumpkin, a black called Midnight and a diluted gray named Molly,
Personalities vary but all are social. They all have bright cat eyes — greens, yellows and browns.
Last year there were a lot of black cats, but this year the majority are gray tabbies. One large gray tabby, who was named Maggie until they found out it was a boy and changed the name to Magnum, made himself at home lying atop the photographer’s camera bag on the floor.
FROM 8-15 POUNDS
The adults range in size from 8 to 15 pounds.
Waiting to be checked by a vet before joining the general population is a black adult cat, which vocally expresses its displeasure at being caged and segregated.
Kittens in cages include a black named Velvet and an oddly-colored gray with a black face named Cleo. There are tigers named Milo and Otis and Siamese named Abbott and Costello. He likes to lie around.
There is also a store cat that lives there permanently. Louis is part Maine coon and weighs a hefty 22 pounds.
They accept donations of dog and cat food, which they give to people to help them get back on their feet and keep their animals, Hughes said.
All Creatures is located at 1005 E. Broadway Ave. in Maryville. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Their web site is http://www.blounthumanesociety.com .
“All proceeds from the thrift store go back into the animal program,” Hughes said.
“It’s been a big year for cats. Dog wise it’s been slow,” said Maryville Animal Shelter Director Eddie King.
In July the shelter took in 65 dogs and cats. Nine were adopted, four were reclaimed by owners and 24 were rescued by Blount County Humane Society and ARFNets, he said.
The Maryville shelter keeps stray animals five days and owner-surrendered animals 10 days, he said. If they are not adopted by then, the rescue groups either take them or they are euthanized.
“We go to the shelter at 5:30 p.m. every day and take pictures of the new animals,” Hughes said. “Posting their pictures is a big help in getting them adopted. We put it on Facebook and network with all the other animal shelters in area counties.”
McEachern said they have pulled 138 animals from the shelter since April, including both cats and dogs.
The cost to adopt a kitten is $49 and an adult cat is $99, which includes shots and full checkups by a veterinarian, including tests for diseases.
“It’s a win-win situation,” King said. “We don’t have to euthanize them and they find them homes. We win, they win and the animals win.”