Paper Moon cat birthday ‘pawty’ will support local animal foster organization

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A March 9 “pawty” at McGregor’s Paper Moon bookstore will celebrate the fourth birthday of shop cat Pearl while raising funds for a local animal foster organization called J&J Furry Fosters. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


A March 9 “pawty” at McGregor’s Paper Moon bookstore will celebrate the fourth birthday of shop cat Pearl while raising funds and supplies for a local animal foster organization.


Anyone who donates pet food, pet supplies or cash will get 10 percent off storewide that day, and all donations will benefit J&J Furry Fosters.


Saturday marks the second year Paper Moon is celebrating Pearl’s birthday, but the shop—well known for its feline friends—is no stranger to “pawties.” The late Mitchum was long the star of past fundraising birthdays.


“It was always such a success. He ate up the attention and was perfect for it,” said staff member Candi Walker. “Last year, Pearl was perfect for it. She had so much fun greeting people. She loves little kids, and just perks right up.”


Last year’s event brought in a lot of food, kitty litter and cash donations, and so far this year, Pearl has raised $100 as well as litter and treats, according to Walker.


“It’s a fun way to get people together and celebrate Pearl, and also bring awareness to all the kitties who need homes,” Walker said.


Pearl and fellow shop cats Ruby, Harlow and the late Sol were all rescues. That’s why Walker and Paper Moon owners Jennifer and Louise White wanted to support an organization that helps other cats in need. 


J&J Furry Fosters is operated by Jennifer Stoehr out of her Prairie du Chien home. 


Walker called Stoehr a great supporter of the bookstore and its cats, and a “special soul” for her cat foster work.


“Jen treats them like her cats, makes them feel loved. That makes for greater success when they go to their new homes. That’s why we thought it would be neat to support a smaller venture this year,” she said.


Stoehr has been fostering for over a decade, first through the organization CASA (Crawford Area Shelters for Animals), before transitioning to her own venture. Her focus the last four years has been spaying and neutering animals—particularly stray and feral cats.


“There’s a bigger need for that,” she said. “If you can get mom spayed, then hopefully there will be less kittens in the future.”


In the past few years, she’s helped spay or neuter 228 cats through the Madison Cat Project, an initiative that offers more affordable surgeries as well rabies and distemper vaccinations and flea and tick medications.


“I run to Madison once a month. I also help other people set up appointments and take [the cats] so people have the option of a cheaper spay or neuter,” Stoehr said. “One month, I had 19 cats. That was a very full car.”


Stoehr said she receives as many as two to three calls per week for fostering and is currently full with over 40 cats. She hopes to someday set up a kenneled area in her basement, similar to an animal shelter, to house animals.


The work she does is largely out of her own pocket. That’s why Pearl’s birthday fundraiser—and support from the Paper Moon ladies—means so much.


“Pretty much my whole life revolves around helping cats and helping people with their cats. So there aren’t even words. I appreciate it so much,” she said. “I’ve been shopping at Paper Moon since I was a little girl. I’ve gotten to know them, and they are one of my favorite places to go. How many shops can you go in and pet cats?”


Stoehr also appreciates the awareness the event will raise.


“I’m hoping that exposure for spaying and neutering will go up and also exposure for fostering and adoption will go up. There are options available,” Stoehr said. “Then, hopefully there’s a decline in the population.”

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