August Updates

posted in: Education | 0

I feel like I just wrote the July update. Time seems to crawl and yet here it is, August 9th already. On to some updates!

Since the last post, we’ve raised about $670 and had some generous in-kind donations as well. We took in a foster named Amiga who was thought to be pregnant (turns out she wasn’t). She stayed with us for about three weeks, returned to SPARC to be spayed, and went to her forever home about four days after that! The same day we took Amiga in we brought home Toby and Kelly, two underweight and fearful kittens. They’ve been here about a week now, completely come out of their shells, and gained roughly 5 ounces. They still have a ways to go to get to a healthy weight for their age but they’re doing great so far.

We continue to watch what is happening in Ventura County with regard to coronavirus infection and hospitalization rates. Ventura County is still on the state watchlist and so we continue to bide our time until it is relatively safe to open a non-essential business. We have been researching different types of business insurance and what those costs might be, learning the difference between “Triple Net” and “Modified Gross” leases, and making more items for fundraisers. We found a new scheduling plugin for the website that might work well once it’s time to open and start accepting reservations and payments online. Jennifer’s mom donated some two-layer cotton masks in a beautiful cat print and they have been a big success, bringing in about $230 in the past couple of weeks. We still have some left in the shop.

Our support base continues to grow! We are up to 134 Facebook followers and 213 Instagram followers. The more we can get the word out, the better off we will be when it is time to open! We’d like to hold some kind of physically-distanced meet-and-greet so supporters, future volunteers, etc. can meet Jennifer and each other. We’re still working out how to that safely.

In the meantime, please share our Facebook and Instagram posts as well as our fundraisers with your cat-loving friends and family! Thank you. 🙂

Cat Masks Have Been Restocked

posted in: Fundraising | 0

Our first batch of 10 cat-themed masks sold out very quickly. We’ve added 13 more to the shop so if you missed out the first time around now’s your chance to grab one! If you live in Ventura (93001, 93003, or 93004) we can deliver to you for a $10 donation; otherwise, we will mail anywhere in the U.S. for a $13 donation.

Thank you to Jennifer’s mom for donating her time, materials, and sewing expertise to this fundraiser!

2 New Fosters: Meet Toby and Kelly

posted in: Fostering | 0

Toby and Kelly came to us on August 1st, and they were part of a litter of kittens named after characters from The Office. I’m not sure when they first came to SPARC but they have been there for a while and spent a good deal of time in the medical side of the building being treated for ringworm, and possibly other issues as well. They are almost 3 months old now and have grown up in a kennel in a shelter. They will let people handle them but they are fearful and prefer to hide. They are also not eating as well as they should be and are underweight for their age – neither one weighs two pounds yet, which you would expect from a kitten any time from about 7-10 weeks old.

They have been here for about two days now and have already made a lot of progress. When I walk in the room they don’t always run and hide, and when I try to approach them they will sometimes stay put and let me come over and pet them. They’ve each gained roughly an ounce since Saturday night, which is encouraging.

They are adorable and I have a lot of confidence in them and their ability to overcome their fear and realize that people are friendly! You can watch updates on Facebook and Instagram.

Toby (black) and Kelly (calico) on August 1st

Why Are We Fundraising?

posted in: Education, Fundraising | 0

You might wonder why we are trying to raise money when we don’t even have a physical space yet. I want to make sure that our followers and supporters know what we are doing with the money we raise and what our plans are.

We’d like to open in a relatively high-traffic part of Ventura so we are looking at midtown and possibly downtown. That said, we want as much money to go toward saving cats and kittens, so we also don’t want to spend every last penny on rent. With good visibility, we will be easier to find and have more visitors. We’d like to open near other small businesses and try to establish some synergy where possible.

When we find the right spot to get started we will need to fix it up and furnish it. We’ll do as much of that ourselves for as cheaply as possible without sacrificing quality but there will be expenses associated.

And then there will be day-to-day costs. Rent will likely be at least $1500 and could be closer to $2000+. My (very) rough estimates for food and litter come out to about $400 for 8 cats in a month. Utilities, WiFi, insurance, scheduled and unexpected vet visits, etc. will all factor in as well.

We want to be responsible about all of this. Ideally, we will have a 3-month buffer in the bank. Right now, we have almost $1800 in the bank and the promise of another $3000 or so from the board once we have leased a place. Minimally, our goal is $6000 available when we sign the lease and start prepping to open. We want to be able to weather whatever comes our way so that once we open we can remain solvent and continue fulfilling our mission.

If you would like to help you can share our Facebook and Instagram posts and encourage friends and family to support our fundraisers. Everything helps! If every Facebook follower donated $5 we’d have over $600 right there. If every follower found one friend each to buy one toy off the website that would bring in another $500. It all truly adds up. Thank you for supporting our mission!

New Foster: Mama Amiga

posted in: Education, Fostering | 0

We took in a new foster on Monday, an adorable tabby/calico named Amiga. She came into SPARC as a stray and they had a feeling she might be pregnant. They performed an ultrasound and sure enough, kittens! I got a call asking if I could take her in and after figuring out where to have her stay safely while Coriander and Saffron are still here, I said yes and drove over to SPARC to pick her up.

Coriander and Saffron go back to SPARC Saturday afternoon for their spay/neuter surgeries and then to their “furever” home after that. Once they have moved on (sniff, sniff) I will deep clean the back room and move Amiga back there. For now, she is in a playpen in our daughter’s room (she’s living out of state for college so we have a little extra space on our hands). Amiga is probably not due for a few weeks, so we will just let her relax and keep her well-fed and well-hydrated. She’s very affectionate and friendly, and I am looking forward to getting to know her personality better.

If you’ve wanted to foster but didn’t think you had the room, these playpens can be very helpful. An extra bathroom, den, or bedroom works too! I like setting up these clear panels that can be found on Amazon for my fosters, but for several years I used the playpen until I felt the kitties could roam safely in my laundry/craft room.

Welcome, mama Amiga! Can’t wait to meet your kittens. 🙂

Mama Amiga, our newest foster