Supporting purring friends

2016-03-22 06:00
 Photo: supplied With some of the Cats of Durban merchandise (from left) Taryn Murdey from Compass Medical Waste Services, Niki Moore of Cats of Durban, Claude Moodley and Shantell van Jaarsveld of Compass.

Photo: supplied With some of the Cats of Durban merchandise (from left) Taryn Murdey from Compass Medical Waste Services, Niki Moore of Cats of Durban, Claude Moodley and Shantell van Jaarsveld of Compass.

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NON-PROFIT organisation, Cats of Durban, was established 18 months ago with the aim of sterilising feral cats, as well as providing advice and care to businesses and organisations that have access to stray and feral colonies.

Founder Niki Moore said these cat colonies are frequently perceived as unhygienic and a nuisance when in fact they are doing much good.

“There are many wild, stray and feral cats throughout Durban who do a sterling job of keeping the city clear of rats and other vermin, including cockroaches, and their presence repels snakes.’’

“They also create quite a tourist attraction in many places in our city. There are some hotels and businesses where the patrons return to visit the cats.”

Through their voluntary association, Under an African Sky and Compass Medical Waste Services is getting behind the organisation from a financial point of view, as well as providing skills and business advice.

“We understand there are over 15 000 cats which need to be sterilised in KwaZulu-Natal over the next five years, in order to make an impact to the ever-growing population,’’ says Ian Du Randt, MD of Compass Medical Waste Services.

“Having partnered with Crow for the past six years we have learnt that NGOs are not only in desperate need of funds in order to successfully run their operations, but they also need assistance with registration, establishing Section 18A status, accounting, managing staff, marketing and creating business plans,’’ said Du Randt.

“The staff and I at Compass have made ourselves available to Niki to assist whenever and however possible.’’

The medium term goal for Cats of Durban is to approach businesses, shopping centres, hospitals and clinics to pay a management fee to the organisation to sterilise, feed and care for the feral cat colonies.

“This will require a full-time staff member, a vehicle and trappers, over and above funding the sterilisation, food and medication.

Finances are needed to establish this and Compass has kick-started this process by donating R10 000.

“All funds received by the public are earmarked for feral cat sterilisation and no donation is used to cover administration costs,’’ said Moore.

“Compass has donated R10 000 specifically to go towards establishing the structures needed to start our consulting business.”

Du Randt says this is just the start of the support as he and an Under an African Sky volunteer committee, will design, print and sell an A3 wall calendar for 2017, and each page will feature cats.

A sponsorship fee of R6 000 will be obtained per calendar page, which will be donated directly to Cats of Durban. A limited edition of 1 000 calendars will be available to buy during the launch year. The product is expected to go on sale in September.

While the calendar is being created, the Under an African Sky committee urges the public to support Cats of Durban by purchasing its existing branded merchandise which sells for between R30 and R180. These items include note pads, baby clothes, brooches, shoppers, activity bags, t-shirts and earrings.

Visit http://catsofdurban.wix.com/catsofdurban to view the products which are also available at the “I Heart” Market which takes place on the last Saturday of the month and the Shongweni Market every Saturday morning.

“By buying these products not only are you raising funds for Cats of Durban, but the use of the products double up as great brand exposure for the organisation. It also makes gifts and souvenirs of Durban. Your support would be greatly appreciated,’’ says Moore.

- Supplied.

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