Kitty Angels event set for May 5 and 6

It’s tough, being a homeless cat. You probably don’t get enough to eat. You have to sleep in dark, cold corners. Medical issues can quickly become fatal. And, there’s nobody there to give you a hug, or even a scratch on the head.

For the past 18 years, these neglected creatures have found loving and caring friends in Rick and Sherry Tobin, owners of Treasures Antiques, Collectables and More in Amherst. That’s how long they’ve been working with Kitty Angels, an organization dedicated to the premise that feline outcasts deserve as good a shot at the good life as the rest of us.

This year, the store will hold its annual Kitty Angels Fundraiser and Adoption Days, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, May 5-6. Last year’s event gathered 130 vendors, and raised more than $5,000 for the charity.

In her nearly two decades of organizing these events, Sherry Tobin has seen enthusiasm steadily growing.

“Some of the folks who had stands at last year’s event signed up for this year on the spot,” she said. “We got some new vendors who became interested through word of mouth.”

As interest in the fundraiser rises, so does the diversity of the people involved. This year’s event will see the inclusion of various artisans and crafters, a psychic, a palm reader and a face painter. A vast variety of goods also will be for sale, including jewelry, baked goods, candles, soap, flowers, clothing and more. Chapanga’s Griddle and Grill of Milford will offer lunch items, and Starbucks Coffee of Nashua will have gourmet brews on hand.

“TD Bank will also be there this year,” Tobin said. “There’ll be a Cash For Gold vendor on the site as well, so people can actually make some money at this event.”

Always a big hit with the kids, the petting zoo will make a return appearance, courtesy of Mythical Noble Hill Farm of Pepperell, Mass., with lambs, sheep, chickens and rides on goats.

“Marshmallow, the albino turkey, always attracts a lot of attention at that venue,” Tobin said.

There will, of course, be raffles at the event. Tobin hopes to outdo last year’s offerings, which were collectively valued at more than $4,400.

“We have some great prizes, including a weekend stay at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua,” she said. “We also have a Martha Stewart-style dog bed, which is worth about $120.”

Tobin said she has been an avid supporter of Kitty Angels ever since discovering them.

“We adopted a little kitten – the runt of the litter – all those years ago, and we just fell in love with all the good work Kitty Angels does,” she said. “They’re a totally volunteer organization, with a no-kill shelter. … The group runs a ‘forever home’ where the cats can live out their lives if need be. Of course, they strive to find the cats a good, loving home when they can.”

The Amherst Animal Hospital, which also will be at the event, has been working with Kitty Angels since its inception, caring for hundreds of the sickest animals. Last year alone, they treated more than 200 cats from the group.

“The animal hospital has really helped them out, and have displayed top-notch dedication and devotion to those that need the most care,” Tobin said.

To Tobin, the amount of dedication that Kitty Angels bring to their mission cannot be overstated.

“It’s something a lot of people don’t understand – the time and effort and devotion that they bring to everything they do,” she said. “Workers from Kitty Angels will literally stay out all night, wanting to rescue a kitten that needs to be taken in. They also deal with people who are in hoarding situations, and find those cats new homes. These people will stop at nothing to rescue cats, and care for them for the rest of their lives.”

Tobin said although this is their primary fundraiser, people are encouraged to donate to the charity at any time, by bringing checks to the shop, made out to Treasures, with a note in the memo section: “Kitty Angels, Inc.” Aside from money, the group also seeks supplies, including postage stamps; cat food (dry and canned); kitty litter (non-scoopable preferred); medical supplies; bedding, such as clean towels, blankets, quilts, clean denim and corduroy, and quilted bedspreads; carriers; cleaning supplies, including bleach, laundry detergent and paper towels; photocopy paper; cat toys and cat furniture; and trash bags. All donations are tax-deductible, and every penny goes to the care and feeding of the cats.

Adoption services also will be available at the event.

Tobin sees community support as being critical to helping Kitty Angels in its mission to help injured and unwanted cats, and is unwavering in her devotion to the group.

“The amount of dedication they show is just mind-boggling,” she said. “There’s a lot of emotion in what they do.”

Eric Stanway can be reached at eric.stanway@yahoo.com or www.ericstanway.com.