Cat-a-tonicArt Show Opening

CATS Alive

Press Release

Tuesday, November 8 2016

To continue the celebration of the 20th anniversary of CATS ALIVE, an art show initiated by Sheila Norgate will open at the HIVE Emporium on Thursday, Nov. 10, 6:30-8:30, and run until Sunday, Nov. 13. Over thirty artists have contributed their work to Cat-a-tonic. Please join us at the opening for refreshments and the company of other cat lovers.

It has been twenty years since Gwen Smeets and Lucille LaFrenier decided to formalize the cat rescue work they had been doing on Gabriola by applying for tax status as a charity and opening a bank account. When in the bank, they were asked for a name for the charity. There was a sign in the bank that said Arts Alive! Lou said, “Why not call the charity CATS ALIVE?” And CATS ALIVE was born.

A shelter was built and Gwen took in hundreds of cats and kittens (including many that people just dropped off). Eventually the strain of caring for too many, often stressed, and ill felines became too much and the shelter had to be closed. Stray and abandoned cats were fostered in volunteers’ homes (many CATS ALIVE had a dozen or more cats in their homes!). After the shelter closed, it was time for a new plan for CATS ALIVE. Norm and Maria Nestie called a meeting of cat lovers in 1999 and the current version of CATS ALIVE was created. 

CATS ALIVE rescues strays and abandoned cats on Gabriola and finds foster and permanent homes for them. The cost of spaying and neutering is often covered by CATS ALIVe. We realize that we cannot entirely eliminate the sadness and suffering of abandoned and uncared-for cats but we take great pride in the number of cats we have helped in the last twenty years. 

Thanks to all the Gabriolans who have taken these beautiful, sensitive animals into their homes and for the continued support of the community for our work.