The CatChannel Community Cares

Club Cat members came together at CatChannel last month to help one ailing member re-home her five beloved cats.

By Anastasia Thrift | Posted: May 17, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

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Mary Mahoney and cat Amaretto
Club Cat member Mary Mahoney with Amaretto, one of Kathy Stepnick's five cats who went to loving homes among club members. 
Member Kathy Stepnick was active on Club Cat; all her cats had blogs and were well known among other club members. Kathy was a vibrant member of the site, until last fall when she was hospitalized.

A handful of very kind Cat Club members stepped in and cared for Kathy's cats while she was sick. Members coordinated cleaning and feeding schedules in emails and online posts at CatChannel. When, tragically, the members learned that Kathy had passed, these same people stood up and took full care of the orphaned cats.

One member, Sandy Coser, came forward and organized the campaign to find new homes for the five cats. Members volunteered their time and transport, and a nationwide effort went into effect to find loving homes.

"All I had to do was ask," Coser said. "About 40 people have contributed to the care of these cats since January by either sending coupons, contributing financially and/or transporting."

Cat carriers in car seat
Sussan Halsted packed Stepnick's cats carefully in her car as part of what the members dubbed the "Honeysuckle Hauling Company."
As the cats traveled, CatChannel visitors could keep track of the effort. Members posted updates of the rehomed cats' progress, including links to photos of "slumber parties" and stories of adventures on the road. The Club Cat page “Mews Room” acted as an online bulletin board for these stories.

Angela Gibson, a Club Cat member who helped coordinate the five cats’ relocation, was moved by the warmth of the members who participated.

Cats Ben and Gio eating in their temporary home
Bennie and Giovanni enjoy a three-day break in Atlanta on their way to new homes.
“Many kind-hearted members of the CatChannel community contributed money to help offset expenses for the kitties’ food, medicines, vet care and transportation, both during Kathy's illness and after she died,” Gibson said. “Needless to say, everyone who was part of the kitty transport service spent a lot of time, money, and energy in seeing these kitties reached their destinations.”

Members traveled to and from Pittsburgh via Georgia, Massachusetts and West Virginia. Those who couldn’t actively participate in the transport and housing donated funds to veterinary care, housecleaning, cat food and cat litter.  

"I am really proud to know these people,” Coser said. “The kindness and goodness of all those involved amazes me as this truly was a monumental task. I knew that these people would take extraordinary care of these five ‘not particularly special’ cats and simply let them take their own action and make their own connections."

Special thanks go to Sue Clark, who found member Janine Morgan. Morgan stepped in and cared for Kathy's cats for three months while she was hospitalized. Another member, Dora Pennock, kept in daily contact with Kathy and her Aunt Sue during this time.

Members who also deserve recognition include Mary Mahoney, Sara Belvins, Lynda Philips and Linda Arms of the "Honeysuckle Hauling Company," which transported three cats south, and Janine Morgan, Laura Chuba, Ron Perrotta, Jeannette Lord and Loretta West of the “Phat Cat Express” that brought two cats north.

Of course, thanks also go to the 40 people who have contributed to the care of these cats since January by sending financial aid, clipping coupons, providing vet care and participating in the transport from Pittsburgh. These caring cat lovers truly make Club Cat a community.
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Reader Comments

sammy    omaha, NE

6/2/2011 7:37:39 PM

i agree..the cat community is a very special place where love and support abound...i only wish i had know how to help..i would have..if i had had emails or addresses to send help to..if anyone still needs help and assistance..pleae let us know...sammy, lia, maia and jo..and mom

Loretta    Maynard, MA

6/2/2011 7:59:16 AM

I would like to thank Bowtie Press,Cat Channel for publishing this article; and Sandy, Dora, Janine, Ron, Jeanette & Larry and many others in the CC Community for bringing Indie & Kato into my life. They are both very sweet cats, and Kato is quite the tough old guy! It has been one month and they and my first two cats Terri & Shadow are really getting along together. I'm happy to be friends with a wonderful group of caring & loving individuals.

Lisa    Oak Creek, WI

5/31/2011 9:41:09 PM

Kudos to all these CC members for caring so much and going to the next level to help a fellow cat lover in need. I didn't know Kathy, since it was after Nov. when I started being active in bloging for Cindy and Betty Boop. Had I known I would have been glad to donate some funds for their care. You guys are the best!

Sandy    Fairfield, CA

5/31/2011 9:39:51 PM

All of Kathy Stepnick's beloved kitties are thriving well in their new fur-ever homes. Who knew Kato of 19 or so years, could jump from one table to another or that chubbie Indie could jump a gate--much less jump? Their purrsonalities are blossoming with all this love. We know where our true friends live-they are on Cat Channel. Casey & Mom

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