October 15, 2015
You may have noticed on Instagram that I’m taking part in the #ScotiaChallenge when I run this Sunday in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. What’s that, you ask?
Well, I was asked to participate in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon through the media extension of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. The task is simple, run the race (choosing from any of the distances) and select one of the 170+ charities involved to fundraise for. Perhaps the best part (‘cause, to be honest, running 42.2 kilometers when I do the marathon will not be the best part, hello, sore legs!) is that Scotiabank will donate $1,000 to my chosen charity. To date, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge has raised more than $38 million for charities across Canada.
Looking at the list of registered charities, making a decision was a tough choice as they are all worthy causes. Ultimately, I chose a cause I am passionate about and one that is smaller (which is less likely to have many runners raising money for it): Annex Cat Rescue (ACR).
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I have two cats at home. Kobe (he’s the tabby on the left in the photo below) was an adult cat when I adopted him in 2002 from a cat rescue organization. I simply cannot imagine life without him. He used to race to the door whenever we got home. He’s slowed down now that he’s 14, now preferring to cuddle rather than jump around from countertop to windowsill. Mya was a mere 8 weeks old when I adopted her; I first met this little feisty one when I was bottle-feeding kittens as a volunteer at the Humane Society and just had to have her.
So animals, and cats especially (but also dogs — I’m currently a volunteer with the organization Save our Scruff), are important to me. Last week, I had a chance to visit one of the feral cat colonies run by Annex Cat Rescue, and a volunteer (Anne) chatted with me about the colony and the charity. As I approached the address in the east end, I knew I was in the right area as I was suddenly surrounded by cats. They seemed curious about me, but a bit nervous, which I expected given they are feral. In the backyard of one house, Anne introduced me to Myles (the long-haired black cat) and Scout (the black and white cutie) who are the main cats who use this colony. A volunteer from Annex Cat Rescue comes every single day to feed these cats and make sure there’s fresh water and clean bowls, and, if possible, snip some of the matted fur from Myles. Anne often takes the streetcar with large bags of clean bowls, cat treats, cat food, and jugs of water to come to this colony. I had a chance to see what the shelters at the colony are like (essentially large Tupperware boxes with a hole carved out as an entrance, filled with straw and with a reflective ceiling inside to help maintain warmth inside). The thought of these kitties having to stay warm through the brutal winters Toronto has been having? Well, I’m glad that they at least have these shelters they can count on.
The other fine work ACR does? If feral cats have kittens and they’re found around the eight-weeks-of-age mark, then they are brought in and adopted out. And any feral cats from their colony that are not fixed are trapped, spayed or neutered and then released back outdoors (feral cats are outdoors and undomesticated, so that’s why they’re released back into the habitat that they know).
I was so impressed with how well organized and dedicated Annex Cat Rescue is. And it’s entirely run by volunteers and counts on donations to help keep it running. I’m proud to be a part of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge in this Sunday’s race to raise money for them. Plus, I will be doing my own little fundraiser amongst friends, and hope you will choose to support me with whatever donation you can afford.
I along with the folks at Annex Cat Rescue and, of course, the cats, thank you! xo
Filed under: Healthy Swellness