Steven Liu lives in an apartment in Brooklyn that is filled with cats and kittens, all of whom are up for adoption. He calls it the Scratching Pad. At least, that was the plan — but now the endeavor is in danger of closing because of landlord issues. A crowd-funding attempt to raise $6,000 has been instigated.
I first met Steven when he was the only local adoption home who would offer to help me rescue a kitten stuck on the roof of a building near to my old apartment. (I call it the JiJi Bear saga.) It turns out he’s also had his human paws in missions to help rehome the fabled New York City Subway Kittens, and one of his Scratching Pad graduates has appeared on the Super Bowl halftime kitten fest.
When I interviewed Steven about the Scratching Pad for Catster earlier this year, he explained how he was attempting to run the venture through social media. The goal was to find a new way to present cats up for adoption by tapping into the social media world we are all connected to. (He admitted that the precise details about this were a work in progress, which good-naturedly brought to my mind the description of Kramerica Industries in Seinfeld as being a messy apartment that may or may not have a chicken running around in it.)
Now the Scratching Pad is teetering on the brink of closure — which means new homes would need to be found for the current residents like Barb, a dignified-looking orange and white cat who acts as something of the mother hen of the roost.
“I found Barb limping a few blocks away and she came up to me with a sad look and started purring,” says Steven. “I ended up picking her up and taking her home. Ever since she’s been the best babysitter to new kittens.”
Since opening, the Scratching Pad has also become something of a kitten incubator. As Steven explains, “My new roommate brought in Oprah, a full-sized Maine Coon cat and her son Oliver. Since moving in, Oprah has been trying to run the place while Oliver is on a mission to play-fight with every cat in the house.”
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About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.