By Jill Keppeler
In the kitten area at Precious Paws Rescue in North Tonawanda, five kittens romped and played during a recent summer afternoon. But at the tip-top of a small climbing tree, sisters Narcissa and Nutella napped the hours away.
The small calico and tortoiseshell, along with their siblings, mom Lorelie and other cats are cared for by rescue personnel while awaiting adoption.
"It's just about a love for animals," said Diane Ham, a founder of the organization.
While the rescue is a labor of love for its volunteers, the care, both medical and otherwise, that goes into each cat and kitten can run into the hundreds of dollars. And that's where an upcoming fundraiser comes in.
Precious Paws Rescue will host Buffet, Bingo, Benefit at 6 p.m. July 10 at Lumber City Pizza, 1269 Erie Ave., North Tonawanda. Admission is $12.50 presale or $13.50 at the door and includes a buffet meal and two bingo cards. (Additional cards are $1 each.) For tickets, call Ham at 716-694-3446 or Lori at 716-695-6770.
Ham said the rescue was started in 2008 and moved to NT about two years ago. The small site, which is open by appointment only, has an infirmary are that currently houses three cats on special diets, a main room and a kitten room.
A visitor to the main room was immediately greeted by Irene, a tabby with an orange tip on her tail and tuxedo Brahms.
Other cats don't warm up quite as quickly, such as black-and-white Giorgio and orange-and-white Grover, who watch cautiously from cat trees and shelving set up for feline climbers. Ham said the rescue could use volunteers to help socialize its furry residents.
"We have some scaredy cats in here," she said. "If they had a home and people would give them a little time and love, they'd come around."
The rescue can also use foster homes and donations from its wish list. For more information, call 716-512-5521, email [email protected] or visit www.preciouspawsrescue.net or the Facebook page "Precious Paws Rescue - Mothers and Kittens."