It’s a celebration of all things feline this weekend in Raleigh at Cat Fest on Saturday, Oct. 5.
To commemorate its 25th anniversary, SAFE Haven For Cats will be throwing an inaugural cat-centric festival, complete with cat yoga, a cat-themed costume contest, obstacle courses and more.
SAFE Haven is a no-kill cat shelter in Raleigh that offers adoption, spay and neuter services and community events. One of the main goals of the shelter is to end euthanasia as a means of population control, focusing on treating adoptable cats with the care and respect they deserve.
The event is the first of its kind for SAFE Haven. Pam Miller, the shelter’s founder and president, planned Cat Fest to coincide with the shelter’s annual 5K race and walk that occurs every October.
This year, the 5K, "Run for Their Lives," will begin at 8:30 a.m., but participants have the opportunity to stay for the festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“It’s a new event to celebrate our 25th anniversary,” Miller said. “I imagine that if it goes well and people like it, then we’ll do it every year with the race.”
Miller also said Cat Fest seeks to draw attention to the plight of cats in the community.
“We all love cats and we all want them to have a home," Miller said. "That’s what SAFE Haven’s all about and so many people in our community are all about. Because in the 14 counties — including Wake County and surrounding — more than 44 percent of all the cats entering our animal shelters are euthanized, and that’s the why of it all.”
In bringing cat lovers together for a day, Miller hopes the event will serve as an opportunity for families and children to potentially change their perspectives and alter their preconceived notions about animal shelters.