It’s the purr-fect gift for cat lovers and underprivileged animals in our community.
Amber Price, owner of The Book Man, shared a seat with Nietzsche in a cozy nook of the store to flip through the pages of the fifth annual charity cat calendar.
Organized by Price and designed by Emily Hamel, the proceeds from the heart-melting 2016 calendars will go toward funding the services of Ena’s Community Cats.
The charitable organization is run by Ena Vermerris, the selfless woman who works tirelessly to provide affordable spay, neutering and veterinary care for financially challenged members of the community, and promotes healthy, responsible pet ownership.
In the past calendar year, Ena has spayed and neutered 335 cats, 40 dogs, and assisted with vet bills, flea and mite problems, and re-homing for many other other animals in need.
Ena’s many supporters and fans lined up at the official launch of the calendars on Nov. 14, where they had the opportunity to get Ena’s autograph on their calendar and thank her for all that she does.
Back when she worked with Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven, Ena was the person who helped cats Nietzsche and Gatsby find homes in the Chilliwack and Abbotsford Book Man locations.
“She struck a chord with me immediately,” Price enthused. “You don’t meet very many people that have that level of passion and dedication.”
The Book Man has been producing the cat calendars since 2012, which have grown in popularity year after year. Price said that staff were “shocked” to sell over 100 of them in the inaugural year.
Price quickly began collaborating with other “working cats” in town, who had fan bases of their own. Every year, a group of returning and new furry models come together to fill the pages. This year they have 12 cats from ten independent businesses.
Of course, they gave Nietzsche, the “founding feline” a little extra coverage. He not only graces the cover, he’s also Mr. September and Mr. December.
In addition to The Book Man, the 2016 calendar features felines from Ann Davis Transition Society, Sears Home Services, Country West Supply, Video Tonite, Swinstones Granite Shop, Platinum Lash, TNT Hair Studio, Arctic Fox Contracting, and the rather ironic Wild Birds Unlimited.
The 2015 calendar fundraiser brought in more than $4,100 for the charity, and Price hopes to break the $5,000 mark this year.
It’s an easy and adorable way to make a difference for Chilliwack pets. “Plus, you get 13 months of glorious catness to take home,” Price laughed.
The calendars, printed by Marcom Signs & Graphics, are priced at $16.95 each. The Book Man also offers illustrated Nietzsche canvas bags at $3.95, and they continue to provide kitty bookmarks and charitable token jars at the front counter.
This project wouldn’t be possible without the local photographers who donated their time and expertise, including Claudia Wyler, Charmaine Schmidt, Ian Meissner, Alana Leduc, Kim Mallory, Leah Riley, Sarah Sovereign and others.
You can purchase a calendar at The Book Man or at many of the cats’ places of work listed above.
Donations can also be made directly to the charity at www.enascommunitycats.ca.