HEARTWARMING melodies did more than provide auditory delight at the Very Meowy Christmas Charity Concert and Auction in Straits Quay, Penang.
They also helped ensure that man's furry friends at the Cat Beach Sanctuary in Teluk Bahang have enough to make it through a few more weeks or months.
All proceeds from the joyful festive event, held at the Performing Arts Centre of Penang (Penangpac), benefitted the no-kill and non-profit shelter.
Founder and operator Teviot Fairservis said they depended largely on public contributions, and with costs rising, every ringgit makes a difference.
“Our most urgent need is cat food, and we need about RM200 a day for this, as well as cleaning supplies. That is besides vet costs for sick or injured cats.
“Last year, our overall expenses came to about RM110,000,” said the American, who now has about 150 lovable felines under her care.
The number in her 'cat-a-log' is steadily rising, as at least one new cat or kitten arrives at the sanctuary each day. Once recently, 13 new ‘guests’ checked in.
“Many were rescued from life or death situations. People abuse or dump them, and they end up here. We are the last resort for these homeless cats,” she pointed out.
The sanctuary, set up in 2014, has a small wooden house sitting on a small patch of land fronting the beach, with a jungle and hill behind it.
It is the purr-fect place for kitties to roam freely, live out their lives safely and receive loving care. The luckier ones get adopted and find forever homes.
“Every sen goes to the cats, so the more you donate, the less hungry the kitties are,” Fairservis said to guests browsing auction items at the event recently.
Animal lovers and well-wishing guests in attendance bid generously on items that ranged from festive goodies to books, handicraft and art.
Fairservis paid tribute to the dedicated volunteers from around the world, who drop by and contribute their time to keep the shelter running and tend to the cats' needs.
She also thanked the night's ensemble of 70-odd performers, comprising musicians from the Prince of Wales Island International School, Penang Lights Contemporary Choir and De Leon Jazz Experience, among others.
They sang a variety of festive and classic numbers, some with improvised lyrics like ‘Have Yourself a Meowy Little Christmas’ and ‘Walking in a Kitty Wonderland’.
There was also a Cats Medley featuring the numbers ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’, ‘What's New Pussycat?’, ‘The Alley Cat Song’ and ‘Everybody Wants to Be a Cat’.
“I'm touched by the effort people have put in for our furry friends. And with it being Christmas, it's wonderful,” she added.
The Cat Beach Sanctuary is located at 778, Jalan Teluk Bahang MK 2, 11050 Teluk Bahang, Penang. It has a Beachside Cat Cafe, where one can enjoy simple snacks in the company of the friendly felines.
Visit its Charity Store to get pre-loved items cheap, with proceeds going towards feeding and caring for the cats. Or simply volunteer your time for the shelter's projects.
You can even take a kitty home for free, or virtually adopt one online. For donations, visit www.gofundme.com/catloversintl.
For more information, visit www.catbeachpenang.com, email to email@example.com, call 04-8811015 or look up Cat Beach Penang and Cat Lovers International on Facebook.