Lynne Scott is no ordinary Wolseley resident.
Her organization, Craig Street Cats, is a non-profit organization that has the best interest of local cats in mind.
Though not obvious to most, the feral cat problem in Winnipeg is a staggering one.
In a recent Winnipeg Free Press article, Tim Dack, chief operator of the city’s Animal Services Special Operating Agency, revealed that there are anywhere between 100,000 and 200,000 stray cats in Winnipeg.
Many of the homeless cats live in communities by the river, such as Riverview and Wolseley. This is why Scott’s neighbourhood has such an influx of felines.
Scott believes that the problem has numerous causes.
“Wolseley is a neighbourhood of feeders,” she says. “There are a lot of compassionate people here who will feed stray cats. This means that more kittens will survive to adulthood.”
CSC mainly helps cats in the Wolseley area, but many other parts of the city experience the same problem.
Scott created CSC because of a problem that was very close to home.
“There were kittens being born under my next door neighbour’s front porch every year,” she says. “I got tired of pulling them out and decided I better start doing something about it.”
CSC now has 25 regularly involved volunteers. One of their main goals is to raise awareness of the issue, while another is to physically keep a healthy number of cats in the community - this is done by spaying and neutering cats, then caring for them by providing food and shelter.
The organization has had many fundraisers in the past, including rummage sales, walk-a-thons and craft shows.
“We have a spay-ghetti dinner every March where we serve spay-ghetti and no balls,” Scott chuckles. “It is one of our major events.”
CSC will be a third party to a new type of fundraising event coming up at the Urban Forest Coffeehouse and Lounge (formerly The Fyxx) on Albert.
On Saturday, Feb. 4, Ex Modern Teen and visual artists will congregate for an art auction. The local band’s front man Charles Granger conceived the event.
“My band was offered to play a (free) gig on Feb. 4 in a coffee shop a little while back,” wrote the filmmaker, musician, educator and avid cat lover in a statement on the event’s Indiegogo.com campaign page. “I agreed, but I’d play for free only for cats.”
Ex Modern Teen will be recording a live acoustic set for an album that will be released later this year, while the aforementioned art auction will feature over 20 works.
While most artists are Winnipeg based, the auction’s most intriguing piece is a donation from celebrated musician and artist Jad Fair of Michigan art rock legends Half Japanese.
Granger simply sent out an email to Fair about the cause, despite having never met the musician before.
“It felt great knowing he is a human with a heart of gold,” Granger states. “Jad totally stepped up. For that I’m grateful.”
See Ex Modern Teen at Urban Forest Coffeehouse and Lounge at 93 Albert St. on Saturday, Feb. 4. The art auction will feature local and non-local talent. Tickets are $5 at the door. For more information visit www.indiegogo.com.
Published in Volume 66, Number 18 of The Uniter (February 1, 2012)