WESTFIELD — Although post-Thanksgiving shopping trips don’t usually include a stop at an animal shelter, the Westfield Homeless Cat Project hopes everyone will make Black Cat Friday a new tradition.
The project is hosting an adoption marathon Nov. 24-26 at 1124 East Mountain Road, with special adoption prices on all adult black cats on Black (Cat) Friday.
Adoption hours are Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 1-3 p.m.
All adult black cats will have a reduced adoption donation of $25 Friday. All other adult cats will have a reduced adoption donation of $50 and kittens are $250 during the adoption marathon.
“We are filled to the brim with cats and kittens in search of loving forever homes for the holidays,” said Homeless Cat Project Director Denise Sinico.
Sinico said she has numerous adult black cats and kittens ready for adoption.
Superstitions around black cats make them a target for abuse and abandonment, Sinico said. But Sinico has a special place in her heart for the felines.
“I started this because of a black mama cat and her three black kittens,” she recalled.
About 11 years ago Sinico was trapping cats by the city’s Department of Public Works yard after hearing about homeless cats crawling into the engine of the DPW vehicles searching for heat. She trapped them and brought them to a Springfield shelter.
Following up on the cats later, she learned they had been euthanized “because they were black,” she said.
“That’s the day I started my no-kill rescue,” she said.
For more than a decade Sinico has been committed to rescuing cats, getting them healthy and finding homes for them. Because she has so many adult black cats, she thought piggybacking on Black Friday would be a great way to raise awareness about the number of homeless cats, especially black cats, in the area. Sinico hopes the reduced adoption price will create more room in the shelter ahead of the cold winter months.
“When it gets cold, we always get more cats,” she said. “Right now, between foster homes and my shelter, we have 75 adult cats, plus kittens.”
All cats and kittens are neutered or spayed, up to date on vaccinations, treated for fleas and worms and tested for diseases. They come with a starter kit consisting of litter and accessories, a bag of cat food, toys and a free vet visit to Blandford Animal Hospital.
Regular adoption open houses for cats and kittens are Thursdays from 5-7 p.m., Saturdays from 11a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sundays from 1-3 p.m.