Interview Questions

These are the questions that I asked Ann Dunn during our first interview together:

1)       What do you love most about cats? ­

2)       What was the most memorable experience that inspired you to become involved in cat rescue?

3)       I understand you are the president and founder of Cat Town. Why did you start Cat Town and what is Cat Town’s mission?

4)       How long do cats usually wait at Cat Town until they are finally adopted?

5)       How much time do you invest weekly in cat rescue? Is this your fulltime job?

6)       I wanted to shift focus to the café itself. Adam Myatt cofounded the café with you. How did the two of you meet?

7)       Why did you decide to open up the nation’s first cat café?

8)       What role did social media play in acquiring the funding needed?

9)       What was the biggest difficulty you faced?

10)    How do you decide which cats to bring into the café? What is the process and does anyone help you with making the selection?

11)    Can you tell me how the café has fared since opening? Has it come close to meeting your expectations?

12)    What is Cat Town Café’s long term goals?

13)    What do you feel the community could do to better support local cats and cat rescue organizations in the area?

14)    Is there anything else you would like to share about the café or cat rescue with viewers?


Second Anniversary

December 15th marks a special occasion for me. Two years ago today, on my 23rd birthday, I made a life changing decision; I adopted my first shelter cat.

I grew up with cats but had never rescued one myself. My boyfriend and I had recently moved and we were dying for a cat. There were many cats at the shelter as usual, but one in particular got our attention. Bailey, was a small, cream-colored ball of fluffy sitting in the back of his cage. He had a blank stare on his little face, and was hesitant when my boyfriend and I first took him out. Almost instantly he curdle up in my boyfriends arms and relaxed. The scared look returned to his face when our visit was over and he was returned to his cage. We decided to adopt him.

We brought Bailey home and he immediately got into as much trouble as a curious kitten could. But you can’t be mad at this face! Over the past 2 years, Bailey has provided us with an abundance of¬†love; it has been truly amazing. He is always¬†surprising me with how photogenic he is, too. I love you Bailey, thank you for two amazing years. I am so glad you were able to come home with us. <3

The Cat Zone

Tonight I was finally able to visit¬†the Cat Town Cafe’s enormous Cat Zone. Entering the Cat Zone requires a reservation and a ten dollar donation per person to help care for Oakland’s needy cats. It was well worth the wait and money, and I would happily do it again! I took a bunch of pictures and created a gallery so everyone can get a taste of the Cat Zone before planning their own trip. Enjoy!

Buy Cat Stuff!

I put together a collection of images¬†that highlight some of the awesome merchandise you can purchase to help support the nation’s first cat cafe and save Oakland’s adorable felines! I took these pictures today at the Cat Town Cafe before my appointment to meet the cats face to face in the “Cat Zone.”

*note* Please see the, “Works Cited,” section located on the sidebar for a link to facts mentioned in the beginning of this gallery

A History of Cat Town

Cat Town's Logo

Cat Town’s Logo

Ann Dunn founded the nonprofit, Cat Town, in 2011 and has helped over 600 cats out of shelter cages and into homes. She attributes much of their early success to the strong relationship Cat Town has with OAS. Due to Cat Town’s small budget, OAS provides spray and neuter surgeries for all cats to being transferred to Cat Town. Their core mission is to remove cats that are difficult to place from shelters and get them into foster homes. Not only does this help alleviate over-crowding in the shelter, but it also gives these wonderful animals a chance to show people how they behave outside of the stressful shelter environment. Cat Town specializes in working with fearful, older, and under socialized cats and feral kittens. They are always looking for volunteer foster parents and will provide all necessary supplies for anyone who is interested and capable.

Cat Town partnered with Adam Myatt of Hoodcats to open the nation’s first cat café appropriately dubbed, the Cat Town Café. Cat Town had to expand their focus for the café, concentrating on social, groups of cats to fill the spaces and entice café goers to adopt. Ann explains on Cat Town’s website that the opening of the café has reduced the number of cats at OAS and allowed their volunteers to give every cat more attention and care. Cat Town Café keeps their adoption rates low, and as a result, needs the communities help to cover the cost of medication and care. Roughly 75% of all cats that enter Cat Town’s care needs medical attention, so please feel free to donate in any way you can. For a full list of ways you can help, please visit their site today!

Kitten Season

Kittens are flooding the shelters! Kitten seasons starts in the spring and ends in the fall, and occurs because unaltered cats mate, resulting in an influx of kittens in local shelters. Kitten Season means a stretching of resources, high chance of exposure to sickness, and fewer adult cats will be adopted. Many of those kittens will be killed. The Humane Society of Flower Mound estimated that the majority of healthy animals put to sleep because they are unwanted and there are too many, are under one year of age.

kitten seasonOne unaltered cat can be responsible for producing 420,000 kittens in just 7 years. The only way to combat these inflated numbers is by being responsible pet owners and spaying and neutering our animals. Please be responsible!

Oakland Animal Services

The Oakland Animal Services located on 1101 29th Avenue in Oakland provides care for Oakland animals, and operates as an extension of the Oakland Police Department, investigating animal bites, abuse cases and ensuring the welfare of Oakland’s animals. OAS is one of the few shelters that are nationally recognized for their rabbit facilities. Dog classes, fostering, and volunteer opportunities are also available through their site.

They have a relatively high cat adoption rate of 37%, and of the 1800 cats they received in 2012, roughly 700 were transferred to other organizations including Cat Town.

Ann Dunn, co-founder of the Cat Town Café, wrote an article published on the, Living in the O, community blog which praised the OAS for taking excellent care of their animals. She noted that the OAS would perform neuter and spays before transferring cats into the Cat Town’s care to help them manage costs. Megan Webb, the Director of OAS, is also a volunteer at Cat Town. She believes that cats don’t cope as well as dogs when they are surrendered and feels that Cat Town gives sad cats in shelters an opportunity to show foster families how wonderful their personalities can be.