I saw the kitty above when I was on one of my local trails a few years ago in late November. Judging by where I was when I saw him and the state of his fur I would guess this kitty did not have a home to he thankful for on Thanksgiving. As he moved away and crossed the trail I could see a kink in his tail and ripples through his fur, signs of scars and a life lived outdoors.
I had nothing to catch him with, I was on my bicycle and rain was threatening, and I decided against any type of pursuit. “You can’t save them all,” I have always had to tell myself, though I went back to that spot to search and talk to neighbors.
But I should save the ones I can save, and while I may not have been able to catch this kitty that day or return with a trap and food and success later, I can always support someone who can or the network of organizations that help all animals.
Shop today, and this season, where your money does more
Therefore, on Black Cat Friday, keep kitties like this guy in mind as you plan your activities.
Since I started painting commissioned portraits and selling merchandise in 1992, a portion of all my sales has always gone to support cats and other animals either directly as I cared for my own fosters and rescues, purchased and donated food and goods to others who are fostering, and donated art and merchandise to help support the efforts of rescue organizations and shelters locally and even internationally. When I donate a portrait certificate, for instance, they usually auction or sell for $200 or more, and have sold for as much as $900, an amount I could never afford to give, but my gift is to spend between 10 and 40 hours to create the custom artwork for the winner.
A discount for you all weekend
Since 2009 when I began blogging with black cats I have offered “Black Cat Friday” specials, and in 2012 expanded them to the rest of this holiday weekend. I am offering 25% off all merchandise all weekend—Black Cat Friday, Shop Small Business Cat-urday, Shop Cat Sunday, Cyber-tooth Cat Monday and Giving Toes-day. The coupon code BLACKCATFRIDAY works in my Etsy shop, Portraits of Animals on Etsy.
Holiday Cheer for Rescued Cats
Take advantage of this holiday season’s “Holiday Cheer for Rescued Cats” opportunity where I’ll reward you with a gift certificate for your donation to the organizations listed, and local business owners who are friends of mine are also offering a chance at a gift certificate in their shop for a donation of food or goods all through the month of December.
Other ways to donate
Here are other opportunities you can take advantage of to help animals as you shop this weekend.
- You can support a local TNR effort with a donation of money you’ve saved or even volunteer efforts at a clinic, giving your time.
- If you know someone who manages a colony, take advantage of Black Friday sales to buy cat food and give it to them, or donate to help them care for the cats they manage.
- Likewise, buy a case or two of canned cat or dog food to donate to your local shelter and deliver it on Black Friday—or any Friday!
- Visit a shelter and adopt if you can, become a foster family or just pet the cats and walk a dog or two and make a donation.
- Many shelters have wish lists published on their websites including things they need or would like to have but can’t quite afford or which will offset operating costs, and on these lists you’ll find the usual stuff such as food and litter, but also items that might surprise you such as office furniture, cleaning supplies, even a car. Check the lists and see if there is anything you can supply.
These are just a few things you can do today to turn the consumer power of Black Friday and the holiday shopping season to the good of animals. Make sure the animals or the people who help them are on your list.
Things you’ll find in my Etsy shop
Above, CAT GIFT ITEMS: keepsake boxes, mouse pads, wood-mounted art, garden flags, hand-printed textiles and more that isn’t even pictured here.
Because most of the feline-themed things I make and sell are based on my own feline family through the years, I owe them quite a bit for all that inspiration and assistance. I do my best to keep them happy, healthy and entertained, and you see the rewards every day here on The Creative Cat.
Below, CAT ART AND PRINTS: My Etsy cat art and prints gallery contains everything from large original paintings, original daily sketches and a variety of prints on paper and canvas—check within each listing to see what is available for each image .
Over this weekend devoted to holiday bargains, choose from original art and prints, gift items, greeting cards and gift certificates.
Below, CAT GREETING CARDS: Feline Art Cards, Animal Sympathy Cards, Valentines, Halloween Cards, Christmas and Winter Holiday Cards, all-purpose greeting cards and small note cards, commercially printed or hand-printed, all sold individually or in sets.
Because one day just isn’t enough to enjoy a sale like this, the coupon code is good through midnight on Friday, October 31, so you can hand out your Halloween candy and still get a great deal on art or gift items you may have been considering for a while, or start your holiday shopping now and look for items you’d like to give as a gift.
Below, SHOP FRONT PAGE: I add and renew items each day, so things change frequently, and don’t forget to browse my other galleries of dogs, wildlife and landscapes, florals, waterscapes and more.
If you’d like to look at more things than cats and other animals, I also have landscapes, florals and still lifes, and a coupon to buy landscapes and still lifes through the Winter Solstice, use coupon code AUTUMN25.
And because Etsy coupons can’t be limited to a certain item or group of items, they apply to the entire shop, and you can purchase non-feline art and merchandise as well—though my fine felines don’t understand why you’d want to do that! I also have canine art, wildlife art, and landscape paintings and gift items.
Mimi sits on my lap to supervise me trimming her silhouette from a piece of black paper for Curving Silhouette.
Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.
Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”, whether that’s here on The Creative Cat, in my Etsy shop, on my main website or even at one of the bricks and mortar shops that carry my work.
Read about creating custom items
Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.
Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.
Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.
I designate four portrait certificates each year for donation to benefit animals, and also donate merchandise, prints of artwork and even originals to rescue and shelter benefits. If you are interested in a donation for your event, please email me with the details of your event and your organization.
It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!
Or click here to open a sign up form in a new window (which seems to work better).
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 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.
© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Bok Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!