Tomorrow, is the Ellen M. Gifford Sheltering Home’s Fall Festival. The Gifford is a no-kill cat shelter in Brighton, MA, founded in 1884, that houses a variety of homeless cats, either surrendered, rescued, feral, or special-needs. They take incredible care of the cats, providing them excellent medical care, socialization and affection, and housing them until they can be adopted to loving homes. Some of the Gifford‘s long-term cat residents have been there for 10-15 years! As a “no-kill” shelter, they never euthanize animals because of space issues, behavioral issues, curable illness, or because a cat has been at the shelter long-term. Recently, an outdoor enclosure was constructed to allow the cats to safely roam outside, enjoy some fresh air and sun, and play, as they were meant to. The shelter itself allows the cats to roam freely inside, with no tiny cages stacked one on top of the other, with barely enough room for the cats to turn around in. They’ve also constructed an outdoor facility to house feral cats (cats the have either been born/raised outdoors, with limited socialization with people, or who have been outside long enough to lose their domesticated status). The feral colony pen offers a safe environment for these cats to live, without the danger of passing cars, starvation, unfriendly folks who might try to eliminate them as pests, as well as gives them the opportunity to socialize with humans and possibly, be adopted some day. I’ve been a volunteer at the Gifford since 2004 (nine years!) and will be vending at the Fall Festival Sunday, September 15th, with a portion of my sales going to support the Gifford and their amazing cats. The Gifford Shelter really is a special place, and I feel great about supporting them and the work they do. Over the years, I’ve been the Gifford’s ad-hoc cat photographer, and all of the portraits in this post are of the adorable kitties I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I highly recommend anyone in the Boston area who may be looking to adopt, looking to donate, or looking to volunteer stop by on Sunday, to see this amazing shelter in person. You’ll get to meet the kitties, eat some delicious cupcakes and cookies, and support a wonderful charity with purchases! The Fall Festival is Sunday, September 15th, from 1-4 PM. The shelter is located at 30 Undine Road, Brighton, MA. It’s accessible by the the B-line Greenline train, at the BC stop (last stop on the line). There’s plenty of street parking as well! Hope to see you there!