By MEGHAN McCOY
Cape Coral Daily Breeze
The first Feline Fun Fair was held at Four Freedoms Park this past weekend attracting cat lovers to the information and adoption-packed afternoon.
The event was hosted by Cape Dog Bakery & Cat House owners Lou and Anita Simmons and Cape Coral Parks & Recreation.
The Simmons recently added the Cape Coral's Cat House addition to their shop, which jump started a foster program with Lee County Domestic Animal Services at the Cape Dog Bakery.
"We always have kittens for adoption with Lee County Domestic Animal Services at the bakery," Anita said.
The Feline Fun Fair was held this year to help the Platinum Coast Cat Fanciers Association get the word out about their group and ultimately let individuals know about their Breeder Assist Program, along with the annual cat show that is held in July.
The association had long hair exotic cats, which are similar to persian cats, at the fair that were up for adoption.
The Platinum Coast Cat Fanciers Association, a local club, is apart of the Cat Fanciers' Association, which began in 1906 as the world's largest registry of pedigreed cats.
The local club currently has 13 members. They meet every fourth Wednesday at Mel's Diner in Fort Myers. The club encourages anyone who loves cats to join and attend the meetings.
Deb Kuchler, cat consultant and director of the Platinum Coast Cat Fanciers Association said the club participated in the Feline Fun Fair because they wanted to get information about the Breeder Assist Program out to the public.
The Cape Dog Bakery & Cat House hosts a Breeder Assist Program once a month for the Platinum Coast Cat Fanciers Association.
The Breeder Assist Program was started to help breeders seek help in situations that may be out of their control. The program helps by providing advice, food, physical assistance and placement of cats for those in need.
She explained that they also attended the fair because they did not have enough money to put on a cat show this year in Fort Myers, which they hope to start up again in 2010.
"Even though we do pedigree cats, we have rescue cats in the show," cat fanciers association member Becky Shields.
"We are not just pure breed people. We are feline people," Shields said.
Pine Island Animal Rescue had seven kittens between the ages of eight to eleven weeks old and some adult cats for adoption during the Feline Fun Fair.
Kathryn Markham said she wanted to attend the event to find homes for all the kittens she brought.
"We are hoping all these kittens will go today, so we can take more animals in," she said, since the shelter is currently at their capacity with the number of animals they can accept.
She said the Pine Island Animal Rescue has been in existence since Hurricane Charley hit Lee County. The shelter rescues animals that have no home and takes in animals that people drop off at their facility.
Markham said they are currently in desperate need of food donations for the animals.
For more information call 239-826-8093.
CatNap Manager Daryl Davis also had a table set up full of information for the Coral CatNap Inn and Coral Veterinary Clinic, P.A. during the fair.
The Coral CatNap Inn opened their doors in 2001 to provide a cat boarding facility for those who leave town and need someone to look after their animal.
She explained that they have enough room in their Coral CatNap Inn for 24 cats at one time. The Inn is $15.50 per day.
Davis said all cats that are boarded at the facility are required to have up-to-date rabies vaccination, a FVRCP vaccination and a bordatella vaccination.
Grooming services are also available, he said.
The services they offer include a bath, nail trim by clipping, comb out, ear cleaning, blow dry, sanitary clip, neat feet, belly clip, shave down, lion cut, which leaves the head and tail hair long, and a Santa clip, which is a body thinning and shaping cut.
Lee County Domestic Animal Services volunteer Vicki Conn also had a table set up at the festival to encouraged people to donate food for their animal food pantry.
"We supply food for those who would otherwise surrender their pets," Conn said. "We try to keep pets in their homes."
She said the food pantry is in desperate need of cat food, dog food, canned foods for both cats and dogs and cat litter.
"The basics is what we really need," she explained.
Cape Coral resident Barbara Hagan said she heard about the first Feline Fun Fair by reading the list of events in the newspaper. She said the festival sparked her attention because she is a cat lover.
Hagan said she currently owns one cat who is 14 years old.
"Cats are wonderful and when you get older they are the least demanding," she said.
Hagan strolled from one table to the next, checking out all the cats and gathering information that sparked her interest during the festival.
"For the first year, it is very nice," she said.
Hagan said she would "absolutely come next year" if the festival is held again.
"It got me out to discover something new," she explained. Hagan said she had recently moved from Fort Myers to Cape Coral.