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Beacon Senior News

Senior laps for senior cats

Aug 02, 2018 03:36AM ● By C.J. Payton

There are cat people and there are dog people. Valerie Mazrin is the epitome of a cat person, and she's on the hunt for other fellow cat people—specifically seniors, who would welcome senior cats into their laps and lives.

As founder of Cats League & Assistance of the Western Slope (CLAWS), a nonprofit cat rescue and shelter, Mazrin met many seniors who wanted a cat, but felt they were unable to afford medical bills or regular vaccinations. Thus, the Senior Laps for Senior Cats (SLSC) program was born.

With the support of CLAWS, local seniors can enjoy the companionship of a senior cat with few strings. SLSC is not a cat adoption program, which eliminates the $85 adoption fee. The cat remains the property of CLAWS, but lives at their forever foster home, where the foster family is responsible for providing a warm, safe and loving home for the cat, as well as food and litter.

If the cat becomes sick, it's returned to CLAWS for care and recovery until it can be returned home, all at no cost to the foster.

"We provide our cats with the medical attention needed to ensure they are adoption or foster ready, including vaccines, microchips, leukemia tests, and spay and neutering," said Mazrin.

Cats are considered seniors at age 10, as they can live up to be 20-something years old. Many senior cats get passed up at shelters because many people looking to adopt a furry feline want kittens.

CLAWS reaches out to high-kill shelters and rescues cats in danger of being euthanized. The organization will never euthanize a cat unless it's already dying and it's the humane thing to do.

"If we have a cat that is unadoptable, for any reason, it has a loving home here until it passes naturally," Mazrin said. "Our goal is to provide the comfort all living creatures deserve-being fed, safe and warm, and loved."

From cats that are playful and frisky, to ones that are carefree and prefer to lounge in the sun all day, CLAWS has a senior cat for any senior lap. An adoption questionnaire helps the CLAWS staff and the foster parent(s) find the cat that's a good match for their needs and lifestyle. Family involvement and support is essential for fostering a CLAWS cat in the SLSC program.

Give a cat the lap of luxury Currently, CLAWS has 30-35 senior cats needing foster homes. For more information, call CLAWS at 241-3793, or visit