For 19 of the 29 years Frontier has been open, a stray cat named Raffia made herself at home when she strolled into the downtown gift shop one day.
Then in 2009, another stray would lead to a chance meeting between store owner Devin Clower and Campus Cats/Cat Zip Alliance coordinator Kelly Bettinger.
“My friend found this tiny orange kitten on north campus during a tailgate for the UGA vs. Arizona State game and Campus Cats paid for his vet care so I could adopt him,” said Devin Clower, who graduated from UGA in 2008. “Then we started talking about how I could help her with her organization.”
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In early 2010, Frontier began to sell Kelly’s handmade catnip cat toys as a fundraiser for Cat Zip Alliance.
“We’ve felt a kinship with Frontier ever since helping her adopt Henry and meeting the original shop kitty, Raffia, many years ago,” said Bettinger, who is also a UGA employee. “So, we are excited to partner with them on some new projects so that we can continue to advance our mission of helping community cats in Athens.”
Bettinger says there are two ways to help further Campus Cat’s mission in the Athens community.
“We always need help with cat food to keep our campus cats’ fat and happy, as well as with funds to cover spay/neuter and other vet care for community cats,” said Bettinger. “We also need residents to commit to spaying and neutering the community cats in your own back yard or neighborhood or help a friend or family member to do so.”
Campus Cats will provide residents with the traps, training, and all the information and resources needed to get it done.
As part of supporting these initiatives, Frontier will have on display a Campus Cats quilt that was started by Kelly and recently completed by her family and friends. Those interested in purchasing quilt raffle chances can inquire about it at the store and visit the Campus Cats website to donate. The drawing for the quilt ends October 30, 2018 and the winner will be announced on October 31.
Frontier also helped organize a Paint your Pet fundraiser event at ARTini’s Art Lounge, which takes place tonight. Kate Cook, owner of the art studio, hosted Campus Cats for the first time last year.
Frontier and Campus Cats/Cat Zip Alliance plan on having more creative fundraisers in the future.