Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats and Their Caretakers

cat looking at holiday ornament
“Sophie Gets a Look at Herself”

I usually feature rescue stories on Tuesday, but the rescue story today is one that you can help to write: you make a donation that helps people help cats, and I will give you a little reward, now through the end of 2013.

Every day, selfless individuals are helping homeless cats in any way they can from answering the call to capture orphaned kittens to foster and care for and find forever homes, trapping cats living outdoors for spay and neuter and veterinary care and either keeping them indoors or returning them to a supervised outdoor site, scouring craigslist for kittens and cats being given away for free or for sale and retrieving those they feel are in danger, also offering information and assistance to humans who can use it, and providing safe housing for and feeding thousands of cats every single day in outdoor colonies and much, much more. There is no payment for this and much of the expense for it out of their own pocket.

After the endless parade of kittens over the spring and summer and into fall, many of whom are still looking for homes, we are headed for the often deadly winter months where sturdy straw-filled shelters are needed to be built and maintained for cats living outdoors, and often critical emergency veterinary care is needed for kittens born in the cold, and cats suffering injuries caused by or made worse by wintery weather along with the usual street injuries and, unfortunately, abuse.

homeless cat management team logo
Homeless Cat Management Team logo

We may call this Trap-Neuter-Return or TNR or simply rescue. It’s far more than just grabbing homeless cats and spaying or neutering them, returning them to their outdoor home, and as long as people continue abandoning cats the need for all this work will continue as well. Often there’s a network of assistance behind what rescuers do to help them with this rescue and care for outdoor cats, offering food and materials if they can’t afford it on their own and low-cost veterinary care for a cat they’ve rescued or a foster or outdoor cat they are caring for.

The Homeless Cat Management Team (HCMT) and Frankie’s Friends provide that network of care to rescuers in the Pittsburgh area, loaning out traps, networking rescuers, providing low-cost or free spay/neuter clinics at least monthly and making low-cost emergency veterinary care available to rescuers as well as distributing food and even shelters to those who are caring for rescues in their homes or community cats living outdoors.

Here’s where you come in

Frankie's Friends Cat Rescue
Frankie’s Friends Cat Rescue

There are two ways you can help this effort by making even a small tax-deductible donation to Frankie’s Friends for HCMT and their network of rescuers and caretakers through a donated gift card or with cash, and I’ll give you a $10 gift certificate to my Etsy shop for you to use for your holiday shopping, to give as a gift, or keep for later, good for $10.00 off your order of $25.00 or more. And don’t forget that both cash and gift cards are fully tax-deductible as charitable contributions unless you are receiving a gift from the organization you are donating to—but you’re not receiving a gift from Frankie’s Friends, that comes from me, and I’m doing this of my own free will and get no benefit from Homeless Cat Management Team or Frankie’s Friends for it.

Donate gift cards electronically

Help HCMT and Frankie’s Friends continue to provide much-needed food and supplies to rescuers and caretakers by donating a gift card for pet supplies and they can purchase food and supplies tailored for the animals they are caring for. Petco, PetSmart and WalMart are each convenient to the HCMT clinic in Tarentum where the TNR clinics are held and the veterinary care happens, and where the materials are collected and distributed, so gift cards from these three would be most appreciated.

Here’s what you do:

1. Go to the Petco, PetSmart or WalMart website and purchase an electronic gift card for at least $10.00.

2. Designate it as a gift to “Frankie’s Friends”.

3. In their “notes” section (most have one for gifts), note that this is through “The Creative Cat Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats”, or just “The Creative Cat” so Frankie’s Friends knows where it came from.

4. To complete the gift card, here is their contact information:

Mailing Address: Frankie’s Friends Cat Rescue, P.O. Box 161, Tarentum, PA 15084

Email:  frankiesfriendscatrescue@gmail.com

Phone Number: 724-889-7011

5. Email your confirmation to me, or simply email me that you donated a gift card through the Holiday Cheer program. Please let me know if you’d like to be acknowledged publicly at the end of the campaign with just your name, no donation amount. Your name will not be used without your permission to publish it.

6. Frankie’s Friends will email me to confirm your donation.

7. I will reply to your email with your numbered gift certificate attached.

If you’re not comfortable purchasing it on the internet, you can purchase it in person and mail it to them using the address above. Simply include a note that it’s part of “The Creative Cat Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats”, or just “The Creative Cat”, and make sure you include your email address. They will contact me when they receive it and I will send your gift certificate.

Make a donation

A cash donation will help support the low-cost veterinary care that has saved many lives and, most importantly, prevented the births of many kittens. And Frankie’s Friends also treats dogs in many of their low-cost clinics in Tarentum and in the mobile van, so you are helping prevent puppies as well, and also helping rescued dogs with low-cost veterinary care.

Here’s what you do:

1. Go to the Frankie’s Friends website and make a donation of at least $10.00.

2. The donation is made through PayPal which has a “notes” section. Note that this is through “The Creative Cat Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats”, or just “The Creative Cat”.

3. Email your confirmation to me, or simply email me that you donated cash through the Holiday Cheer program. Please let me know if you’d like to be acknowledged publicly at the end of the campaign with just your name, no donation amount. Your name will not be used without your permission to publish it.

4. Frankie’s Friends will email me to confirm your donation.

5. I will reply to your email with your numbered gift certificate attached.

How to use your gift certificate

sample gift certificate
Sample gift certificate.

Your gift certificate will have a code that will be active for use in my Etsy shop until December 31, 2013. This code is entered at checkout for your $10.00 discount. But if you are shopping elsewhere on one of my pages or you’d like to use the discount toward a commissioned portrait or in person, you’ll just need to give me your name and the certificate number and I’ll either manually discount your order or refund $10.00 to you.

Feel free to use your certificate for your holiday shopping, for your post-holiday shopping, or to give as a gift. For my own accounting purposes, I’d like to keep all the transactions within this calendar year.

I will have a link to this post in the right-hand sidebar of my home page until December 31, 2013 and I will also have a link to it in the footer of at least one post each day.

Happy shopping!

You can visit my Etsy shop to browse what’s there right now, and keep in mind that I add new products regularly, especially one-of-a-kind handmade items. Also visit my page here on The Creative Cat that explains about “Ordering Custom Artwork” where you can have a custom print made of a sketch, painting or photograph you like.

. . . . . . .

Thanks to everyone who has donated so far this year through other donation opportunities on The Creative Cat! All together, donors gave a total of $350 to help with Finn, Tommy and Trooper, and others who donated the purchase price of artwork they bought from me through the year gave a total of $400. Now let’s give these cats, their rescuers and Frankie’s Friends a holiday to celebrate.

. . . . . . .

And thanks also to those of you who are out there rescuing, including the people who saved the kitten found on craigslist to have a gumband around his private parts for a homemade neuter…who knows what may have happened to him if one person hadn’t seen the conversation and a chain of people hadn’t responded. These cats are in good hands!


Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

cats for adoption


All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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