Keeping a feral colony of cats fed is the focus of Chemainus CATastrophe. See Page 8.

CATastrophe seeks to maintain cat colony food chain despite fundraiser cancellation

Importance has never been greater for public help with food and cash donations

The Chemainus CATastrophe fundraiser was cancelled Saturday due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, making it all the more imperative for the community to help keep the members of a feral cat colony near Chemainus fed.

The organization usually has four hot dog fundraisers a year. The first of the year was scheduled for April 25 with the Free Radical Dixie Band performing. The new proposed date is Saturday, Aug. 15 at 49th Parallel Grocery in Chemainus – a strong supporter of the cause – if everything is under control with the virus by then.

The CATastrophe group includes eight volunteers and an additional two helpers during fundraisers.

Without the fundraiser that CATastrophe relies on for money to buy food, the organization is hoping people will donate food or money for group members to buy food. The Kirkland brand from Costco is preferred for those making food donations so the cats are eating the same food.

But, any and all donations are welcomed, particularly in this trying time for all. Dry food is especially needed and a bag is about $25 at Costco. If anyone is going to Costco and can pick up a bag in their cart, it would be most appreciated.

Despite the COVID 19 situation, the cats still need to eat everyday. Lindsay Bergeron feeds the colony of cats every day, rain or shine, in the cold and snow of winter and the heat of summer.

Something new for CATastrophe is making use of etransfers so people can donate straight from their homes. You can send an email to chemainuscatastrophe@gmail.com. The group sends out a big thanks to those who have donated and dropped off food at Doc the Barber or Riot Brewing.

Doc the Barber is currently closed and not available as a drop-off location, but the folks at Riot Brewing have agreed to provide the new drop-off location Monday to Friday from noon until 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, the kitten season is here and a trapper will be at the site trying to trap and rescue cats and also kittens before they’re old enough to reproduce.

CATastrophe falls under the umbrella of Cowichan Cat Rescue, a registered charity. CCR supports the colony by trapping, spaying and neutering, vetting sick and injured cats, finding barn homes and forever homes for the cats able to live outside the colony. Some cats need to be released back to the colony and CATastrophe feeds the colony.

Since 2016, a total of 135 cats have been rescued. The cost of supplying food is about $8,000 per year.

A special way to consider supporting CATastrophe is by buying beautifully handcrafted cards for Mother’s Day created by Gail McLauchlan, and available at Shar-Kare in Ladysmith and the Chemainus Health Food Store. There is a limited supply. All occasion cards are available throughout the year at both locations.

For any other information, you can check out the Chemainus CATastrophe Facebook page.

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Gail McLauchlan, left, and Heather Andrews at the Chemainus community celebration last September with information on CATastrophe. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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