Santa Claws Nine Lives Boutique Opens in the Mall
It may have been just a couple of tables in the hallway “somewhere near Smitty's” a short six years ago but each successive year it has grown in support to this year where it has prime retail space adjacent the Food Court at the Town and Country Mall.
Once again it’s the Christmas season and the ever popular store operated by SCRAPS is open with everything for the cat lover and more.
This year's rendition of the fast growing local Holiday tradition is called Santa Claws Nine Lives Boutique. The Boutique is open everyday until December 27th and only closed on Christmas Day.
Because they are a small local charitable organization SCRAPS would like to remind people all sales are cash only.
“Basically it is a fundraiser for SCRAPS. It’s one of our most popular fundraisers the Christmas store,” said SCRAPS chair Anne Marciszyn.
“Obviously we sell lots of cat items. We do have a lot of things that have cats in it, but we do have a lot of things for dogs as well,” Marciszyn said.
One of the big things she liked to point out is not only many of the items they are offering are hand made but additionally they are made with donated materials as well as by some of SCRAPS talented volunteers so all the proceeds go to their mission to aid and rescue feral cats.
“It’s made from love. It helps use some of volunteers' talents more,” she said.
This year one new item is a highly professional 2019 wall calendar featuring many of the rescue cats the organization has helped as well as other pets. All of the proceeds stay in the community to assist with the group’s work here.
One of the most popular items the Boutique features is a honeysuckle infused toy. Despite what many people believe cats react better to honeysuckle than cat nip.
“Some cats don’t react to catnip but pretty much every cat likes honeysuckle, Marciszyn said.
But if your cat enjoys cat nip they do have such things as cat nip bows for them to play with.
Another item carried is cat grass ready grown for your cat to enjoy this Winter.
Hand crafted cat items also includes some locally painted originals to hang in your home.
SCRAPS has various sponsors who help throughout the year and make the store a possibility they include - the Royal Bank, Town and Country Mall, South Country Equipment, Bobby's Place, Penna's Welding and Hardline Transport.
Boutique hours are:
Monday to Wednesday 11 am – 6 pm
Thursday and Friday 11 am – 8 pm
Saturday 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday Noon – 5 pm
Although Marciszyn is chair of SCRAPS she prefers the title Board Member because the entire organization could not be run without the work of its many dedicated volunteers.
SCRAPS operates what is called a Trap, Neuter and Release (TNR) program.
It is designed not only to assist feral cats through such things as medical care, feeding and emergency assistance but also reduce the numbers of feral cats by trapping them and then neutering or spaying them.
The SCRAPS program is not a euthanasia based program but rather one of adoption of younger kittens which can be successfully domesticated into house pets.
For older feral cats which cannot be tamed into becoming a pet they are put back where they were caught and then feeding stations provide them with nourishment. They are monitored and if a cat is sick they are live and humanely trapped where they are taken to a veterinarian for medical assistance.
Although they cannot give concrete data to prove their efforts are successful Marciszyn points to data from other locations where similar programs operate and their effectiveness.
One area of their program which has drawn some criticism on their Facebook page is their requirement of having a home visit before any cat is adopted out.
The reason for the visit is not to pass judgement on people’s housekeeping but rather to ensure there is a good fit for both cat and companion, she said.
The organization is always looking for people seeking to adopt a cat or even a couple of cats.
“Every adoption saves a life,” she said.
SCRAPS has an active Facebook Page Scraps – MJ which every Tuesday comes alive in the morning with a feature called Tails of TNR.
In the evening they hold Toonie Tuesdays which feature the joys of ownjng a second cat and multiple cat families.