The Great Catsby Furball goes gala for feral cats

The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon is committed to promoting spaying and neutering all stray cats in the Pacific Northwest. This year, the FCCO will throw their 20th anniversary Furball fundraiser on May 2, at the Portland Art Museum, from 6–10 p.m. This year’s clever theme: The Great Catsby. Tickets are $125.

Furball is an annual fundraiser supporting the work the FCCO does in the community to promote spaying and neutering feral cats, as well as finding homes for stray felines. The event will be catered by Elephants Delicatessen, feature wines from Sokol Blosser Winery and beer from Natian Brewery. In true jazz-cat style, live swing music will be performed.

Guests are encouraged to summon their inner Catsby with 1920s flapper dresses or dapper suits.

Karen Kraus, executive director for FCCO, is excited about this year’s Furball.

“Our organization is celebrating its 20th year in operation, which is why we’re throwing a ’20s theme,” Kraus said. “We’re trying some different things this year. We have some fabulous auction items.”

Some of those auction items include a weeklong stay in a penthouse suite in Mexico, a New York City getaway package, and a wheelbarrow filled with wine and other elaborate extremities. All this just for supporting homeless cats. Dozens of other small items will be displayed throughout the evening during the silent auction, including art made by local artists and tickets for Oregon Ballet Theater.

So why are these Furball events so important?

“We love animals here in the Northwest,” Kraus said. “We care about our community and our environment, and our program is helping both animals and improving our environment and community.”

Furball events bring in one of the largest forms of financial support for FCCO, aside from personal donations. Raising enough awareness and support for these events means more funds to adequately solve the feral cat epidemic.

Susan Sokol Blosser, one of the founding members of the winery, has been involved with Furball for 15 years. Sokol recalls never really knowing about FCCO until they suddenly had a lot of feral cats at the winery and had no idea what to do.

“We suddenly had all these kittens!” said Sokol. “Wilma, the cat-trapper, caught 22 cats [at the winery]. She took them, spayed and neutered them, and brought us back seven cats. We have been big fans since then. We have shown our appreciation by donating wine for the events.”

It’s safe to say that the Great Catsby Furball will provide an evening of entertainment and excitement, while raising money for Portland’s beloved cat population.

“[Furballs] are great fun,” said Sokol. “They just have a great, good, happy feeling about it. It’s for such a great cause.”