Even though winter seems determined to keep us blanketed in white, we know that spring is just around the corner! At The Cat House (TCH), that means the cats hope for warm, sunny windows for snoozing, and the volunteers hope for less time spent mopping slush from the entryways.

Outside of the shelter, volunteers are gearing up for spring craft events. After a busy holiday season, it takes time and many hands to restock catnip sticks and handmade pet beds. Some volunteers sew the casings for both sizes of catnip sticks at home, and others gather to make sure the finished sticks are filled with the best nip and stuffing available. If your cats have been blessed to receive either TCH's regular-size sticks or larger kick-box ready sticks, they know that the quality of both fabric and filling can't be beat.

The handmade pet beds are made using high-quality fleece and are specially stitched to retain their shape after washing. Carrier liners have a special backing that eliminates sliding inside the carrier (or off the furniture) to keep your pet safe and secure.

TCH invites you to visit the volunteers and check out the wares at the St. Mark's Spring Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pet beds are available in two sizes. Catnip sticks can be purchased for $3 each or two for $5 for the regular-sized sticks and $8 each for the larger sticks. Volunteers from TCH will have other pet-related and handmade items available as well, and new items are continually introduced.

If you aren't able to shop on March 9, check out The Cat House booth at the Mother of All Garage Sales, held at the Lancaster Event Center April 5 and 6. You can also shop at TCH's shelter during open hours, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Volunteers will be happy to assist you, and as a bonus, you can spend time visiting with the feline marketing committee. TCH has t-shirts, mugs, handmade jewelry and much more available for purchase in its retail area.

TCH's resident furry experts will be happy to sit on your lap and tell you how much they appreciate your support. By purchasing items at The Cat House, you help purchase food and provide needed vet care for the cats and kittens in the shelter, as well as support its TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) feral program.

See thecathouse.org for more details about the cats and programs TCH provides in our community. Don’t forget to “Like” The Cat House on Facebook and follow it on Instagram! Volunteers are always posting pictures of new adoptable cats and kittens, and providing updates on recent adoptions, fun cat facts and pictures to brighten your day. To receive updates directly to your inbox, send an email to info@thecathouse.org and ask to be added to the mailing list.

TCH is a 501(c)(3) organization; contributions may be tax-deductible. TCH is funded by donations and adoption fees, and is staffed by volunteers.

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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