Help the Cats of Staten Island By Attending My Online Benefit


Editor’s Note: Sarah Donner is Catster’s resident singer/songwriter/cat lady. She answers your cat questions in song most Thursdays right here on Catster. Check out the Ask a Cat Lady video archive here.

This has been a tumultuous week for all of us here on the east coast. My experience last year with Hurricane Irene taught me a lesson or two about preparedness, and this time we took no chances. Irene flooded my basement and destroyed a good deal of the merch that I sell at my shows: t-shirts, blankets, pillows, and even a few instruments. This time I hustled to get the litter boxes off the ground. Scraping caked litter off a carpeted floor is not a chore I wish on anyone.

As Hurricane Sandy approached, I topped off the gas tank, collected candles, filled bins with water, purchased extra wet meats, battened down the cat traps in the yard, and assured my family we were ready. I was born and raised on the southeast coast of Massachusetts and have fond memories of hurricanes. My siblings and I would nestle up under the table with flashlights and Oreos, insistent that we could weather any storm.

Anyways, I decided if worse came to worst with Sandy, I would hold onto my cat Dunkin for life. He’s so fat, he’d make a great life raft! I must admit I was quite nervous once the winds picked up on Monday afternoon. I glued myself to the media frenzy whose weather reports only worsened as the evening went on. At some point I began projecting my anxiety onto the cats and decided we needed to calm down with a nice glass of wine.

We lost electricity long enough for me to grab the candles. Currently, I am fostering four black tuxedo kittens (Bayonette, Machete, Musket, and Gimlet), and I’m pretty sure someone got kicked in my fiery frenzy from room to room. Whoops! I didn’t notice Bayonette’s candle curiosity until I heard the singe of whiskers and turned to see her bounding away. The lingering smell of burned fur was very stinky, and I’ll learned my lesson there … hopefully Bayonette did too. Luckily, the blackout was brief, and we had power for the remainder of the hurricane.

I believe I slept lighter than the cats that night, all too worried about trees falling on the house or debris breaking through windows. The superstorm lasted all through the Tuesday, but the cats displayed little care throughout its entirety. As usual they were only roused by sound of the wet meat’s can. Being bound to my tiny apartment for four days has its advantages for the foster feral kittens. I had plenty of time to coax them out of their hiding box. We bonded over the course of days, rather than weeks.

Well, as you have seen on the news, or witnessed first hand here on the coast, Hurricane Sandy left massive devastation in her wake. I am grateful that my losses have not been anything too precious. My loved ones are here, my home is still standing, and my needs are met. I am left with immense gratitude and a little guilt that there are so many suffering nearby.

Therefore, it’s time to help!

This Thursday, November 8th at 7pm EST, I will be performing a live streaming benefit on the internet, hosted by Tickets are “pay what you can,” and all proceeds from this show will go directly to the Staten Island Feral Initiative to provide resources, supplies, and support to animal guardians on Staten Island. This organization was hit especially hard by the storm. (You can read more about the organization here.) Every penny that you “tip” goes to the kitties. You can help needy animals from your chair. You don’t have to listen to Sarah McLaughlan, give up meat, or even wear pants!

For 30 minutes, I will sing songs, throw ukuleles, and shove kittens in your face.

Everyone will receive the warm fuzzies after they’ve lent a hand to the animals. And there’s a bonus prize: The highest “tipper” will receive a Sarah Donner Lady Peanut cat t-shirt and an album of their choice!

Tickets are limited, so grab your virtual seat now. May your week be warm, dry, and full of power. I will see you Thursday!

Reserve your ticket here. And be sure to check out our Facebook event page, and read up on the Staten Island Feral Initiative’s call for help.

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