When Pete & Debbie Gulyas opened Blue Arrow Records on Waterloo Road a few years ago, they became aware of the number of feral cat colonies in the North Collinwood neighborhood. Being cat lovers, they decided to do something to help the cats, and the Waterloo Alley Cat Project was born in November 2009.
Tomorrow night, Friday, February 3, they’ll be holding their annual fundraiser at the Beachland Ballroom. From 7-9 p.m., there’ll be auctions and raffles for more than 60 donated premiums including antiques, handcrafted jewelry, original artwork, gift baskets, event tickets, and gift certificates for haircuts, books, clothing, and restaurants — plus a cat slide show featuring some of the animals they’ve has helped, and food from local restaurants like the Grovewood and Chili Pepper’s. The Ghoul will MC. At 9:30, there'll be music with the Very Knees, Shitbox Jimmy, Volcano Fortress, and DJ Jake Kelly. Admission is $5 or three cans or a bag of cat food.
The nonprofit organization, which recently got some funding from Neighborhood Connections, runs a trap/neuter/release program to limit growth of the feral cat colonies. "We've neutered over 100 cats," says Debbie Gulyas. She adds that about 20 % were socialized enough to become house pets — or store pets in the case of the five who finagled permanent digs in the backroom of Blue Arrow with their feline charm. The rest are released back outdoors where the Waterloo Project's volunteers feed and care for them. — Anastasia Pantsios