On Saturday, golden leaves fell to the ground at Clark Park during the farmer’s market. Residents of West Philadelphia walked the vendor tables and the produce stands to find Project MEOW’s building project.
Project MEOW’s volunteers came together at the Clark Park Farmers Market at 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue to build winter shelters for cats. People who attended and participated were educated on how to help stray cats during the winter.
Project MEOW created winter shelters for stray cats to stay warm during the winter months. Volunteers donated mylar insulation, straw and rubber tubs to Project MEOW to build winter shelters.
This was the first time that some people, like Megan Marrapese, built winter shelters for cats.
“This is actually my first year building them, but it is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while because it’s a big need in the winter months,” said Marrapese, who is a board member at Project MEOW and volunteer recruiter. “There are a lot of cats out there that are outdoors, whether it was someone just taking care of a stray cat or maybe there is a cat colony.”
As attendees approached Project MEOW’s table, they were encouraged to get involved. Ashley Moore, who has been volunteering at Project MEOW for roughly six years now, provided step-by-step instructions for how people build winter shelters.
“We’re building insulated winter shelters for cats that can’t come inside, they’re either too feral or there’s no room for them, or they just don’t like being inside,” Moore said.
After Alex O’Slaherty and Emily Lubow Klobucher attended the farmers market, they found Project MEOW and decided to get involved; their love of cats motivated them to help the problem of overpopulation of stray cats in West Philadelphia.
“We’re definitely trying to be more active with supporting groups like this because it is something we just do naturally in our own time,” Lubow Klobucher said.
Project MEOW uses a method called “trap, neuter, return and manage” to help cats along with running an adoption program for indoor cats.
“It’s great to have programs like this that take care of the ones that are happily outdoor cats and don’t necessarily need extra care and if they don’t want extra care because some of them are feral,” Lubow Klobucher said.