Christmas planter sale will benefit NOTL Cat Rescue

‘Tis the season for the second annual Christmas planter sale and food drive for NOTL Cat Rescue.

“Last year’s Christmas fundraiser selling the Christmas planters was so successful, we decided to repeat it this year,” said Tanya Rice, a longtime volunteer with the organization.

NOTL Cat Rescue is a volunteer-based organization in Niagara that rescues stray cats and kittens.

The fundraiser will be held on three separate dates: Nov. 26, Dec. 3 and 4.

The sale raised about $2,400 last year when 44 planters were sold, said Rice.

She hopes to surpass that this year. The planters will be available in different sizes, with prices ranging from $25 to $75.

Rice makes the planters with her mom Joyce Ruish and her three friends, Carolyn Greenfield, Sabine Barry and Lesley Prantera.

Fresh greens, such as cedar, pine or spruce will be used in each planter, along with some birch sticks. Decorations such as pine cones and Christmas bows will be added as well.

“All the money raised, 100 per cent, goes to NOTL Cat Rescue,” said Rice.

The money from the planters will help cover expenses like vet bills and any unexpected emergencies that might arise.

For example, Dee Dee, a five-month-old black kitten, needs surgery that costs upward of $3,500.

“Post-COVID, our situation with NOTL Cat Rescue is a little bit more dire straits than it’s ever been,” Rice said.

The rescue now has about 27 cats and kittens available for adoption.

She said many people adopted cats during lockdown, but now that most people are back to work and school, some have no time for their new pet.

“This is definitely the highest that I’ve seen it since I’ve been involved,” said Rice, who has volunteered with the rescue for about seven years.

Her late sister, Jeanne, introduced her to the rescue when she threw Rice a 50th birthday party. Instead of gifts, Jeanne asked everyone to bring an item to donate to NOTL Cat Rescue.

Rice been involved ever since.

Besides the planters, there will also be a food drive. Cat stockings will also be available for $10 each, made by the daughter of a local foster family.

“It’s also a food drive because we’ll be responsible for feeding all these little mouths during the winter,” said Rice.

The rescue is always in need of items like litter and cat food. Brands like Performatrin for kittens and adults, and Fancy Feast are always needed.

The fundraiser will be held at Rice’s house at 456 Line 2 Rd., behind Crossroads Public School.

It will run from noon to 3 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 26 and again on Dec. 3 and 4.

“Come out, support a local non-profit charity. Have a glass of hot apple cider with us,” said Rice.

Somer Slobodian, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report