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Paying it forward to a "no kill, no cage" cat shelter

Brent pets a two week old kitten from the Simply Cats shelter in Boise.

Simply Cats shelter in Boise is being swamped with kittens – 30% more than last year.

Some of the kittens are surrenders, their humans can't keep them. Others are abandoned. While still others are the offspring of feral cats. Outreach Program Manager Kate Beyer showed a small calico kitten, “She came from a farm in Kuna where we've been removing lots of kittens."

Simply Cats takes them all.

Just about the only reason they’ll turn away a cat is because of disease. Those that check out are put into “cat apartments” that ring the main hall of the shelter. No cage for these cats. The apartments are well appointed with perches and beds, toys and food. There’s even a fenced patio. Beyer said, “They can come out anytime that they like and they're nice and protected so they can watch birds.”

And to help those looking to adopt, each apartment has a board with pictures of its residents, their names and personality types. For example, a “Leader of the Band” does everything in a big way. Beyer described another personality type as a personal assistant. “You're on the computer, I'll help you press the keys. Reading a book? I'll turn the pages. Watching TV? I'll just plop in your lap so you can pet me." And then there’s the private eye. That’s a cat that likes to keep to itself.

“We’re match.com for kitties!” said Beyer.

The shelter needs more people to foster kitties and still others to give them new homes. Cash donations are used for food and formula, for litter and vet care.

To help them continue their mission as a no kill, no cage, shelter for cats, Simply Cats is receiving a “Pay It Forward” from Mountain America Credit Union. MACU’s Angela Nelson gave Simply Cats Executive Director Patty Cutler $500 cash.

Beyond the money, Simply Cats is always in need of volunteers. “We need help with fostering. If people have extra space in their homes, an extra bedroom, a couple extra hours ... Especially during kitten season we could really use the leg up because the more we place in foster care, the more space we have in the shelter to be able to adopt out cats and kittens.” What’s more, Beyer tells us they insist on the volunteers taking time to play with the cats. Tough duty.

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