Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tails of the Painted Cats

Location: 6255 West Quincy Avenue, Denver, CO 80235, USA
Nederland Mayor Gierlach with two painted cats:
on the left, 'Pysanky Aloha', right: 'Broadway Betty'
I had an opportunity to attend the 'Tales of the Painted Cats' which is the premiere fundraising event for the Cat Care Society, which is dubbed 'The Best Little Cat House in the West'.

Founded in 1981, the Cat Care Society is a nonprofit organization established to improve the quality of life for homeless, injured and abused cats in the Denver metropolitan area. The Society's goals are to:
  • Sponsor educational programs that promote responsible pet ownership, humane treatment of all animals, and the elimination of pet overpopulation;
  • Shelter cats in a healthy, cage free environment and to find compatible and responsible families for every cat;
  • Provide community outreach programs that improve the quality of life for cats and people;
  • To be a friend to all cats.
I have been an animal rights advocate for many years, traveled the state as the president of the Vegetarian Society of Colorado, volunteered at a variety of animal rescue farms, and I've adopted several animals including my feral ginger cat, 'Luna'. So you might say that I've seen my fair share of animal fundraising events. This one is very well executed.

Clockwise from Top Left:
1. Paw Painting by 'Pumpkin' for Peyton Manning,
2. Lily, the Calla-co Cat, 3. Luna, the green-eyed lady,
4. Celeste, Celestial Cat of the Heavens
The Tales of the Painted Cats annual Gala Dinner and Auction, is held at the Pinehurst Country Club. A number of ceramic cats are given to accomplished artists, who spend almost a year designing and painting these cats in unique ways, to be auctioned off at the event. This year's featured cat was 'Vincent Van Cat' designed by Jane McFadden Dorsey, who explained, "This cat was obviously inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s style and techniques of painting. His work has always touched my heart. I have always appreciated the fact that he veered away from convention and painted how he felt about what he saw. The colors he used are still fresh and clear to this day, filled with the warmth of the sun. If there was joy in his life, it surely came from the physical act of painting."

We were able to tour the cat display room and plan a strategy for the auction. There are all sorts of cat gifts, and paintings available that were painted by cats. I found this fascinating because I studied art history and have gone to many art museums in the world just to see the brush strokes up close. Of course the "brush strokes" are paw prints, but I could still see the varied pressure and twisting in the paint, just like I could tell if an artist is left-handed. (click on the picture for a larger view)

Cherry Hills Village Mayor Doug Tisdale
There was a 'wine tower' where you could bid and receive a top growth Bordeaux, or wind up with an average bottle of wine. We arrived a little late for this, but if I ever get invited to 'Tales of the Painted Cats' event again, I'll make sure I come early and bid on this, for a unique addition to my own wine cellar.

My daughter and I were honored to be guests at Mayor Doug Tisdale's table (Cherry Hills Village). And it's quite a spectacle to watch the honorable Mayor Tisdale work a crowd. He's a professional auctioneer, and we watched him raise over $50,000 for the Cat Care Society in about forty-five minutes.

I had a chance to meet Diane Stoner, President of the Cat Care Society, and she gave a wonderful presentation on the outstanding accomplishments of the society, on behalf of the stray cats in the Denver metro region. When meeting Diane, it was quickly apparent to me, that she deeply cares about every feline at the shelter.

On our drive back home in the mountains, my daughter and I talked about charity, the passion of volunteers at non-profit organizations, and what fundraising looks like in the Greater Nederland Area.
[Related StoryNederland Food Pantry is a Life Saver – 5 Reasons to Donate]

[Here is a Video Valediction] This is the Brian Setzer Orchestra performing the Stray Cat Strut at the Montreal Jazz Festival (2010) with a little Pink Panther Theme thrown in the middle. [What is a Video Valediction?]
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