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It's raining cats at C.A.T.S.

MEDFORD — A Medford shelter devoted to felines is bursting at the seams with nearly 200 cats and kittens waiting to be adopted.

While the shelter in west Medford usually feels as if it’s juggling lots of adoptable cats and kittens, C.A.T.S. Executive Director Kristina Lanier says a combination of a slow adoption rate this month, an overzealous breeding season and some long-time senior residents have led to a cat explosion at the facility on Ross Lane and West Main Street.

To combat its mounting feline woes, C.A.T.S. (Committed Alliance to Strays) is hosting a handful of adoption events this fall to boost adoption numbers of its nearly 200 animals, some housed at the shelter and others at volunteer foster homes.

“We have five Saturdays lined up that we will be specifically bringing in kittens from foster care for the day, just to see if we can get them into homes, because we have no room to bring them in permanently,” Lanier said.

“We have very wonderful foster families, but a lot of them have had their cats and kittens for a pretty long time. There are about 62 kittens and adult cats currently in foster care that we don’t even have room to bring into the shelter to wait to be adopted.”

Lanier said kitten season has become a year round affair — and time, when it comes to adorable, hard-to-resist kittens, is of the essence.

“Spring and summer, we get hit really hard with kittens. The sad thing is everybody is looking for kittens before we have the abundance, and by the time we get them, not as many people are looking anymore,” said Lanier.

“Then we end up with teenagers trying to find homes. Once they’re 4 to 6 months old, they’re still cute but they’re more teenagers than cute baby kittens.

“Our foster agreement says there’s no guarantee on time frame, but once kittens are past that cute little kitten phase, the foster families start to get a little concerned and they start wondering, ‘Are these guys ever going to find homes?’ It’s just a little harder to place them when they get to 4, 5 months and older.”

The shelter will offer a discount during five upcoming adoption events set for select Saturdays in October, November and December.

Regular adoption fees are $90 for kittens and $75 for adult cats (ages 1-7) and $50 for senior cats (8 and older), with a discount if two cats are adopted. Adoption fees include all health screening, spaying or neutering, microchipping, antifungal bath, shots, a small bag of food, and a blanket and toy.

Special pricing will be offered during adoption events and for families who take more than one cat. Shelter volunteers strongly encourage households without existing cats or kittens to adopt in pairs to avoid behavioral issues or loneliness.

Shelter hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, at 104 N. Ross Lane. Special adoption events are slated for Oct. 12 and 26, Nov. 9 and 23, and Dec. 14.

For more information, see www.kittensandcats.org or call 541-779-2916

Reach freelance writer Buffy Pollock at buffyp76@yahoo.com.

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Save Jessica and Earl!

C.A.T.S. volunteers and staff are hoping for a boost in adoption numbers with a series of Saturday adoption events this fall, but they are especially hopeful some of the shelter’s older and longest-waiting felines will find homes.

Shelter Executive Director Kristina Lanier said two senior cats, Jessica and Earl, are especially worthy of finding a loving home.

The pair are littermates, brother and sister, and have never been separated. The cats came to the shelter when the owner suffered a stroke and went into hospice care.

Earl, a lynx point-Siamese mix, is a social guy who wanders the lobby every chance he gets. Jessica is a beautiful silver/black tabby who is slightly more mellow than her brother.

“They are used to being in a home with just them and their owner, so a quiet home with people to love them would be perfect,” Lanier said.

“These wonderful kitties will be with us until we can find a loving home for them to live out their lives in. We are not sure how long they have, but both deserve better than to spend their last days at the shelter.”

A pair of kittens at a volunteer foster home await their chance to be adopted at the C.A.T.S. shelter in west Medford. Courtesy photo