By Emily Akins
Macon Community News
On any given day, you can visit the PetSmart on Eisenhower Road in Macon and find a handful of adorable, loving cats lounging on cushions or napping in perches in the windowed nook known as “the Cat Room.” From kittens to mature adults, playful personalities to serene and sleepy, fluffy to short-haired, there are kitties to suit all kinds of owners.
I have been making weekly visits to the Cat Room since July 2016. Why? Because I am a volunteer with Circle of Friends Animal Society, or COFAS, the animal rescue organization that is responsible for saving these kitties.
COFAS has been partnering with PetSmart on Eisenhower Road for the last 10 years. In the last 2 years alone, more than 600 COFAS cats have found a loving home through the Macon PetSmart. Each of the kitties who come to PetSmart from COFAS is available for adoption by loving families.
Due to overpopulation issues, most shelters have to make the difficult decision to euthanize animals when there is no more space available. Organizations like COFAS rescue cats from death row and give them an opportunity to spend their lives with a loving family.
COFAS does not have its own shelter, and they do not accept cats from individual pet owners. The cats come from the Macon Animal Welfare facility on Fulton Mill Road. Our cat director pulls them directly from death row and finds them a foster home. If a cat owner needs to surrender a cat and cannot find a home for it, COFAS recommends people to take any orphaned cats to Macon Animal Welfare on Fulton Mill Road.
The cats are raised in the foster homes of volunteers. COFAS is 100% volunteer led. COFAS has cats of all ages, from kitten to seniors. The cats live with a volunteer foster family before coming to the Cat Room at PetSmart. They are treated as a family pet, so they are very well socialized. You can tell that these kitties are loved. The kitten we adopted from COFAS, Albus, is very sweet. He is a good pet sibling and a beloved member of our family.
Once the cats are brought to the store, a volunteer like me will feed and water the cats and clean the cat cages two times a day. The Petsmart staff is not responsible for them. Volunteers and visitors to the Cat Room play with the cats and keep them company to continue socializing them. Frequently, the cat room volunteers become familiar with each kittie’s personality, and they try to provide a good description of their feline nature on each cat’s information card so that adoptive families have as many details as possible to help them choose the right cat for their family.
Every cat available for adoption has been sterilized and received all age appropriate vaccinations. The adoption fee is $80 for the first cat, $40 for the second. COFAS provides information sheets about each of the kitties, including their names, ages, and information about the cat’s personality such as whether he or she is playful or laid back or if he gets along well with children and other pets.
There are other ways to help besides adoption. COFAS can always use kitten chow, wet food, and scoopable cat litter, preferably Tidy Cats. If you are interested in donating items, you can bring any food, toys, and cat litter to the Cat Room at the Petsmart on Eisenhower.
You can also go to the COFAS website, https://cofas.org/, to make a financial donation.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to being a COFAS volunteer, Emily Akins is a wife, mother, and yoga instructor in Macon-Bibb County. Her family cat, Albus, was adopted through COFAS.