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Morning Sun
  • ‘Catwalks and Cocktails’ raises funds

  • “Catwalks & Cocktails” is a fundraiser for a program to help solve the problem of too many feral felines in the Pittsburg area.



    But the event, held Tuesday at Parrot Bey, had a population explosion of its own. Around 150 advance tickets were sold, and nearly 100 more women showed up for the girls’ night out.

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  • “Catwalks & Cocktails” is a fundraiser for a program to help solve the problem of too many feral felines in the Pittsburg area.
    But the event, held Tuesday at Parrot Bey, had a population explosion of its own. Around 150 advance tickets were sold, and nearly 100 more women showed up for the girls’ night out.
    “I didn’t know there were that many cat lovers in the world,” said Mary Kay Caldwell, Southeast Kansas Humane Society president, as she watched the crowd pour through the door.
    Of course, some of the women attending may have just wanted a night out.
    “There aren’t that many things around for a girls night out,” said Marsha Wallace. “I was here last year, too, and we had a great time.”
    “I love the idea of spay/neuter for feral cats, and I just want to have a good time with the girls,” said Laura Washburn. “I saw the poster for this last year and kind of wanted to go. This year I didn’t let the opportunity go by.”
    For $25, those attending were able to enjoy adult beverages, hors d’oeuvres and a style show of fashions from  the Doggie Bag resale shop, operated as a fundraiser by the SEK Humane Society.
    Proceeds from “Catwalk &  Cocktails” will go to the local trap-neuter-release program spearheaded by Elizabeth Kutz.
    “Our goal was $5,000, and it will all stay local,” said Leslie Harris, SEK Humane Society public relations director. “With the overhead we’d have, we couldn’t do this without the support and generosity of the community. Parrot Bey donated the use of the facility, Ultimate Choice Catering donated the food, local businesses donated some wonderful things for our silent auction, Eagle Beverage donated a beer tasting and local liquor stores donated the drinks.”
    Those drinks included meow-garitas, kitty cosmos, fe-wines and cat-tinis.
    Harris also introduced Kutz, her stepmother.
    “She’s the biggest animal rescuer in the area,” Harris said. “Cats, dogs, bunnies — she rescues them all.”
    Kutz explained that, in her program, traps are put out for feral cats, who are spayed or neutered, then returned to the place where they were trapped.
    “It’s very important to return them to their environment,” she said. “Cats are kings of their domains. The idea is to control the population and let them live out their lives.”
    The health of the spayed/neutered cats improves, the population stabilizes and declines over time, and the behaviors associated with mating, including tomcat yowling and fighting, are stopped.
    “This is an amazing turnout, for all of you to take the time from your jobs and taking care of your families and come here,” she said. “Women are awesome. You make me realize how extraordinary some people are.”
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