Baby Josephine | Photo by Melissa Chipman
Baby Josephine | Photo by Melissa Chipman

Everyone who knows me knows that pretty much the best day of my life was the day I adopted Josephine, my 3-year-old cat. Between my boyfriend and me, there’s probably not a better-loved cat in Louisville.

But a lot of cats aren’t as lucky as Josephine, who was taken off the street and placed in the grateful hands of this lady. Hundreds and hundreds of stray cats roam the backyards of Louisville. Colonies of cats that have either been abandoned or were born on the streets live together.

Stray cats beget stray kittens.

Since around 1960, organizations in England have been using the Trap, Neuter, Release method to curtail their stray cat populations. The TNR method got traction in the United States in the 1990s.

The only animal advocacy organization in Louisville that uses TNR is Alley Cat Advocates. They trap stray cats, give them medical attention if needed, spay/neuter the cat, care for it while it recovers and then releases the cat into its previous environment.

Alley Cat Advocates is fundraising and giving cat lovers a chance to make their cats a star. For a $15 minimum donation, a photo of your cat can be in the running to be included in their 2017 calendar. The cats’ photos are posted online, and people can vote for their favorites through Aug. 1. Each vote costs $1, so your kitty will help raise money for other kitties.

The winning feline will be the covergirl/boy for the calendar and also will receive a 5-foot cat tree. The owner will receive the calendar, a sticker and a T-shirt. The 12 runners-up will be cats of the month.

Now grown and weird Josephine | Photo by Melissa Chipman

However, if your cat is a little janky-looking, you might want to go the sure-fire route. For a $15 donation, you can, instead, buy a day on the calendar. Your cat will be featured in a small picture on the day of your choice.

Josephine is gorgeous, but I think I’ll go this route. Online voting always feels like high school to me. But you and your feline friend do you.

Alley Cat Advocates have been around since 1999. They’re a nonprofit, and your donation is tax deductible. The organization has spayed or neutered more than 35,000 stray cats in our community. They schedule up to 125 community cats per week through our Quick Fix Program. Last year alone, ACA spayed and neutered 4,002 cats in our community.

Their goal is to raise $5,000. So far, they’ve raised just under $2,000.

Submit your photo and donate here.

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