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Personal tales highlight Cat Care Society's "Tails of the Painted Cats" event

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The Cat Care Society raised an estimated $67,000 at its "Tails of the Painted Cats" event this past weekend, but what may be remembered most are the personal stories involving people who have helped the Lakewood shelter work for the past 33 years.

The painted cats are fiberglass figures of felines painted with all sorts of colors and schemes by professional artists. Every year the society holds a dinner to auction them off, along with other objets d'cat. The money goes to care of the many cats the society handles.

Master of ceremonies Ed Greene of Channel 4 interrupted Saturday night's business to give the society's president, Diane Stoner, a tribute and floral bouquet.

“Diane, excuse me, we have a bit of a surprise for you right now and the first order of business is presenting you with these flowers. The board and the Painted Cats committee have asked me to publicly thank you for everything you do as president and CEO of the Cat Care Society(www.catcaresociety.org). You’ve taken on a long list of tasks, and you’ve led the Cat Care Society so effectively, during this time of turnaround for the organization."

Greene was just getting warmed up.

“There’s one important silent auction cat we want you to take special note of, if you haven’t already seen it," Greene said later. "It’s C is for Cat --- by Liz Cooper – this cat is a 2012 model and is back for a second auction, thanks to the family of the late (business and philanthropy leader) Walt Imhoff, who died unexpectedly in February. What a tremendous loss to our city and nonprofit community.

"The family donated C is for Cat back to Cat Care Society in Walt’s memory. We’re all so very sorry for the Imhoffs' loss and thank the family for thinking of Cat Care Society tonight.”

And then Greene told the story of a kitten named Siete.

"One of our more poignant success stories from last year features little Siete (that’s Spanish for 'seven' and you’ll soon learn why she got that name). Last summer, a man named Dru found a five-week-old kitten in a Dumpster on Navajo Street," Greene said.. "He cared for her for two days, and then brought her to CCS. When he dropped her off, he gave us all of the money he had with him – about $6.50 – to contribute to her care. Dru is a real hero to all of us at CCS!"

Greene explained that Siete is a domestic short-haired tortoiseshell (or torti, for short); she is also a seven-toed polydactl (meaning she has two extra toes on each front foot).

"When Dru dropped her off on Aug. 1, she weighed 11 oz. and was in surprisingly good health. But because she was still young, we found a foster parent to care for her until she could grow and get a little older.

" In September, Siete weighed 2 lbs. 2 ounces – enough to move out of foster care and to the shelter. She was spayed by the expert veterinary staff at our clinic, and put up for adoption in the kitten room that Saturday.

" The following Tuesday, director of outreach Suellen Scott took Siete to Peterson Air Force Base. The event was a Community Shares nonprofit fair for federal employees who have the option to donate funds to the non-profits of their choice as a payroll deduction.

" Siete dazzled the group with her playfulness and sweet nature. When it was time to go, she snuggled up in her stroller for the trip back to the shelter. Later that same day, a couple came to the shelter looking for a feline companion. They stopped in the kitten room. Siete looked up at the (man) and, well, that was all it took. Siete ... went off to her new forever home."

Foothills Animal Shelter (www.foothillsanimalshelter.org) is putting on an adoption event called "Petnado" today through Thursday, July 31. It will offer half off adoption fees for pets 6 months and older. The event is a play on "Sharknado 2," which will be in theatres this week. Petnado is part of Foothills' effort to win $100,000 in ASPCA's $100,000 shelter adoption contest. Foothills is one of 50 competing shelters.

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