$25,000 is up for grabs from the Petco Foundation, and your vote can help bring that money to the Cat Café and the hundreds of cats it has helped over the last few years.
The Petco Holiday Wishes campaign has selected the story of Caroline and Bast as one of 50 national finalists. When the pandemic hit, Caroline was looking for love, and she found it in Bast.
It took two long months in lockdown before I finally figured it out: I needed unconditional love that would last not just through COVID-19, but for a lifetime. Every night in April, I started scrolling through Instagram looking at New York City adoption animals. I used to do this with dating profiles, now I was doing it with cat adoption profiles. That’s when I saw Bast: a tiny cat who’s mostly grey with little white socks on her paws. I quickly emailed and I got a message back that I was going to have a video date with Bast. I’d tried to do a few video dates before, but those failed spectacularly, so I was nervous. I wanted to make a good impression…
Bast had been abandoned on the street, surrendered by two adopters, and left at an Animal Care Center by a third. A good Samaritan rescued her and contacted the Café, and thus the fairy tail love affair began.
Like so many other beloved city institutions, the pandemic has hit the Café hard, along with many other organizations dedicated to helping Brooklyn’s animals. Animal-care related costs have increased because of pandemic-related closures and service reductions in free veterinary care, and the Café has rescued nearly 1,500 cats this year, adopting out nearly 900, both figures doubling from 2019. At the same time, revenue from visitors to the Café plummeted: In 2019, more than 30,000 cat-lovers paid to visit our local feline friends, representing 80% of the Café’s revenue, revenue that disappeared when the Café was forced to close in March.
“I knew instantly I wanted to adopt her,” said Caroline, and before long, Bast was on her way to final, and forever, home.
“We are so happy that after such a hard journey, Bast has found the love of her life” said Anne Levin, Executive Director of Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition, which operates Brooklyn Cat Café. “Unfortunately, the coronavirus has ensured that there are thousands of more cats out there looking for their forever home. We encourage animal lovers to vote for our story, so we can continue to address the increased need in our communities for animal rescue services in the wake of the pandemic.”
The top five vote-getters will get significant cash awards from Petco: $25,000 for first place, two $10,000 awards for second place, and two third-place winners at $5,000.
Voting closes at 1 pm on Dec. 16, so click here to vote and help the Café continue its remarkable work.
Photo of Caroline and Bast courtesy of the Cat Café.