“Thank you for an entertaining hour.”
I didn’t recognize the sender of the e-mail, but somehow had a feeling I knew what it was about.
“I came across your work after googling ‘cat gift bags.’ I immediately went to read all your stories, and want to thank you for an entertaining hour. I laughed at some, but also had tears in my eyes after reading about Fawn and the balloons over her photo.”
Ah, someone had discovered The Creative Cat and my art and stories. And not only was she saying “hello”, but she was also offering free coffee!
“I …want to thank you by sending you 2 free bags of my gourmet coffee Caffeine For Cat Fiends. No strings attached, really, it is just that you, and especially Fawn, really touched me. I do not keep a mailing list, I am not a big business, I am not looking to hook you into anything, I am just a regular person who does a lot of trap/neuter/return for homeless cats in my town, and who delighted in your artwork and writing.”
She asked if I did drink coffee and offered several blends and roasts, and added, If you don’t think I am a total wacko please respond with an address that I can mail my lovely coffee to.
Suspicious? Maybe for a few seconds, but she just seemed too sincere, and even without the compliments to my work, and the reference to my “yiddle” Fawn, someone who openly admits on first meeting that they trap/neuter/return for homeless cats and offers coffee is just a nice, honest person. Still, I don’t send out my address without checking…
Her e-mail signature included her name and “Volunteer for It’s Meow or Never For Ferals, Tallahassee, FL.” So, of course, I looked up the organization, read through the website and found a woman referenced in a volunteer event with the same name, then went on to read all about this organization founded and run entirely by volunteers around the city of Tallahassee, FL and enjoyed the stories of their founding, growth and maturity into a full-fledged and very busy TNR program, with the acronym “IMON”.
I happily e-mailed back.
It’s the magic of the internet, blogging and social networking—I’m so glad you found me too! It brings me profound joy to share my cats with others, especially the ones who’ve gone to the bridge like Fawn. She was not social, the internet was new, and when she passed I was afraid no one but me would ever know she existed.
After some chit-chat I asked, Were you the Kathy mentioned on the “about” page under testimonials for the Jingle Bell Run and trapping?
And she replied:
Yes, I am the Kathy referred to on the IMON webpage. It is a small organization, so I am a big volunteer for them. The website is very basic because I created it, and I am no web designer for sure. I am even the woman in their Mascot suit. What fun, I just can’t believe more people don’t want to do this kind of thing. Cavorting as the mascot helps to offset the heartache of tnr’ing in some really sad situations.
You really can’t make this up. Kathy was in deep and I’d gladly help her in whatever way I could. She promised to send the coffee and I enjoyed my first cup the day after it came, grinding the beans in my hand-turned grinder and making it in my French press. The Altura was indeed one of the best Central American blends I’ve had, and as I photographed my cup with the bags of coffee, at right, I realized I’d unconsciously chosen, from the two dozen or more mugs I have on hand, the one single mug I have left that shows my “yittle Fawn” in her portrait “Waiting for Mom” that had inspired Kathy to write to me in the first place.
And here’s the giveaway!
I have one each of three flavors of this coffee to give away. You can enter for each one, and have your choice of ground or whole bean.
- Purrr-ffect Perk Up, Mexican Altura: Alluring natural sweetness. Perky as a playful kitty.
- Purrr-fect Morning, Ethiopan Harrar: Hint of berries with a chocolaty body. Star your day feline fine.
- Purrr-fect Blend: This mix of African, Central, and S. American Coffees is “The Calico of Coffees!”
You don’t have to do anything fancy to enter, but because I want to help IMON as much as possible I would like you to go to their website, http://www.itsmeowornever.com/Pages/default.aspx, and read about them, then come back here and write a comment telling me:
- which of the coffees you’d like;
- specify ground or whole bean;
- some fact you found on their website, doesn’t matter what it is—how many cats were TNR’d, what was the name of a recent event, etc.—and try not to duplicate one that’s already been entered in other comments.
- You can win more than one flavor, enter in all of them if you want. Please use a separate comment to enter for each flavor of coffee, and a different fact from the website.
NOTE: if you are a new commenter, or your comment includes a link, your comment will not appear immediately. I have comments set to moderate new commenters and any comment with a link of any sort. Be patient, I check things frequently.
This giveaway will be open between these dates:
- Opens: July 10, 2012
- Closes: July 17, 2012 (midnight PST)
I will print out each comment and have each of my wonderfully talented and fair-minded cats dig through the entries to choose the winners, announcing on July 18.
And even if you’re not in the United States, we’ll get it to you somehow!
But don’t hesitate to purchase some now!
For people who purchase Caffeine for Cat Fiends coffee from the IMON website, the entire purchase price goes to benefit their TNR programs, and as Kathy says on the website, “the more you drink, the more cats get fixed.”
The coffee is $10.00 per 12 oz. bag plus shipping. Payment may be made in advance by PayPal on IMON’s website, or by check to:
It’s Meow or Never For Ferals, Inc.
2103 Pink Flamingo Lane
Tallahassee, FL 32308
Estimates to ship:
2 bags $ 20.00
shipping $ 6.00
total $ 26.00 = $13.00 per bag
8 bags $ 80.00
shipping $ 15.45
total $ 95.45 = $11.93 per bag
This shipping estimate refers to the continental US.
Anyone with questions about the coffee can reach Kathy directly:
Kathy Mears, Cat Fiend & Sales Rep
And here is one good reason why you should purchase now
One of the times I spoke with Kathy recently she told me of a 70-year-old woman who was trying to defend her long-time feral colony from bb-shooters, trappers and the local sheriff. She had decided that a privacy fence would be the best thing to help protect the cats in the woman’s yard, and went about the installation on her own. You can read about the woman on the IMON website at Happenin’s (scroll down), but Kathy gave me an update in a recent e-mail.
Update on Project Cat Safe at Cheryl Williams’ place. Nine of her cats seem to be adjusting to being in their fenced sanctuary, they are definately safer from being shot and trapped. We are placing blocks around the bottom of the fence because of the digger-outer cats. Nobody is escaping from over the top of the fence, thank goodness. I am building 2 concrete block bunkers to give them safer feeling places to hide in the storms. They are only 16 inches high which doesn’t seem like much but they are used to hiding in small places and seem to feel safer. They have inside floors to get them up off the wet ground a couple inches. The cats have a variety of other shelters that have cedar shavings and hay for when it gets cold. My longer range goals are to build some tree platforms, and also to put in some shrubbery for them mainly because they just like it—they feel safer. We are still working on changing county ordinances to be more friendly to the TNR colony caregivers.
So a coffee purchase would also help this effort to assist a long-time colony caretaker and her cats, as well as advocacy to help change the culture around stray and feral cats.
And while you drink your coffee you can think of all the cats you are spaying and neutering, kind of a strange thought, but however it happens it’s a good thing.
The illustration on the label
Emily Kaitz, a musician from Arkansas, created the watercolor artwork just for this coffee, and Kathy said, “I just so love her for it….She didn’t know me from diddly and I emailed her out of the blue, just like I did with you.” I found Emily on the internet, but I think she is touring and I didn’t get a chance to speak with her. I will keep trying though—no doubt she’s a cat lover!
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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.