As the days grow shorter and the colours change, fall traditions are present at RAPS. Our Fall Gala will take place on October 29, and is a particularly important event for us this year because all the proceeds will go to the funding of the new Regional Animal Hospital.
Traditionally we also launch our calendar for the upcoming year at this event, though all the busy-work of marketing it will occur in November and December. And traditionally, one of the Neko Blogs for October is reserved for the Cat Calendar outtakes – the pictures that for one reason or another, just didn’t make it into this year’s selection.
Once again, the photos for the Calendar were taken by Michele Wright, whose work you should know if you follow her Feline Friday pages on Facebook. Michele doesn’t confine herself to cats – she’s done many wonderful dog photos too, and her guinea pig Freddie is a seasoned model. She has a great eye for a picture, framing her subjects with love and a sense of their personality.
I always start the selection process by trying to make sure that we have a good cross-section of colours and breeds – black, white, grey, various tabbies, orientals, pairs and groups. Everyone has their favourite sort of cat, but I hope that everyone will find one cat they particularly love in the collection.
We had several black cats make the cut this year, to the point that it was hard to eliminate one to keep the balance. Bear lost to two other blacks, and to the contender for cover boy.
Similarly, we had two lovely white cat pictures. Lumi was the loser here – we loved the softness of the shot that won, and pretty as Lumi is, she’s a cat that will nip if things don’t go exactly as she wants; neither of us had the warm fuzzies for her!
Michele adores the cats in Pen 2, and in particular Calvin, who is distinguished by the brown smudges in his tabby M markings. I think she would happily have had a whole Calvin calendar, but I would only allow her one selection – this is one that didn’t make it.
One of the things I discuss with the med staff is the health of the cats concerned – it’s very hard when a much-loved cat passes suddenly, but his/her photo will appear later in the year. Of course, there is no way of telling, sometimes, but I’m much more wary about selecting a leukemia cat, for instance. This year two of our potential models passed without warning just as we were making the final selection. The picture of Vienna was a perfect one for fall colouring, and Salty and Dusty’s devotion had earned them a place as a pair – to lose both Vienna and Salty was very hard on us all.
Please watch the RAPS website for news of the calendar launch; they will be available at both the Sanctuary and the Shelter, as well as online and through some of our pet-store supporters. It’s not too soon to plan your Christmas gift-giving to all your cat-loving friends!