The kittens from Circle of Friends Animal Society (COFAS) were wide-eyed as they interacted with a crowd of smiling faces at Cats at Creature Comforts. Both kittens and attendees were sweating it out in the sweltering summer heat on Thursday, Sept. 12 from 6-9 p.m.
PHOTOS: Circle of Friends Animal Society brings adoptable kittens to Creature Comforts
Circle of Friends Animal Society brought foster cats and kittens to local brewery Creature Comforts in Athens, Georgia, on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in hopes of people adopting the feline members of their volunteer-run rescue program. Around 15-20 cats of their current total number of around 85 were in attendance with several interested event-goers inquiring about filling out the adoption applications. The cats are taken from shelters in the area who do not have the space to keep them; all cats are housed with volunteer homes until adopted at events or from local pet stores.
This event combined the laid-back brewery environment with the joy of walking into a pet store and seeing a kitten lovingly staring back at you. As attendees filed in, they excitedly entered the patio of Creature Comforts, and the smiles on their faces remained even as they left.
Cats at Creature Comforts attracted people from almost all age groups, from college students looking for a break from their studies to enthusiastic kids whose parents enjoyed a drink while their children roamed around. Some attendees stood off to the side and observed the kittens from afar. Other attendees were confident enough to walk up and ask to hold the kittens.
While all of the kittens at the event were up for adoption, COFAS coordinator Jillian Fishburn said, events such as Cats at Creature Comforts are about “more than just adoption.”
“Going to Barnes & Noble, Creature Comforts and doing Kitten Yoga gets our name outside the ‘already have pets’ group,” Fishburn said.
Events like these have been successful in helping COFAS come across the type of group Fishburn mentioned.
Attendee Nidhi Patel said she came to Cats at Creature Comforts after filling in an adoption application on COFAS’s website. Patel got to meet her new furry friend in person as she sat on a bench and spent quality time cradling the kitten into her lap.
Bystanders of the event didn’t seem to mind the large crowd of people present at the brewery, and observed the event from afar with a drink in hand. Even those walking on the street couldn’t help but look over in the direction of the event to see what had attracted such a large crowd.
The COFAS volunteers did a good job of making sure the kittens were taken care of throughout the event. They would swap kittens out so that all the kittens had a chance to take a break from being outside so long and spend some time in the air conditioning. The volunteers even brought fans out to help keep the cats cool while they were outside.
For Kailey Quinn, a senior at The University of Georgia, said going to Cats at Creature Comforts was a great way to destress. She and two other friends attended the event and got the chance to play with two kittens and listen to COFAS volunteer Heather Gaya talk more about the organization.
Even if attendees might not be looking into adopting a cat, Fishburn said hosting these events are still helpful to raise awareness about COFAS.
“You don’t have a cat, you’re new to Athens, and you don’t know where to go, so getting our name out there is very important.” Fishburn said.
During the event, COFAS also revealed their new merchandise which included koozies and pint glasses decorated with the organization’s label. COFAS volunteer Emily Laske said she wanted to start selling merchandise to help fundraise more money that can be used to help foster more kittens.
A raffle was available for attendees to win all of COFAS’s merchandise and a coupon for Kitten Yoga, another event recently held by COFAS.
Laske said she was overwhelmed by the amount of people who attended Cats at Creature Comforts. With the successful amount of attendees at Cats at Creature Comforts, these kittens might pop up across other breweries and hot spots in Athens.
“We’re always willing to have as many events as people let us come and show up for,” Fishburn said.