In the most adorable news you’ll probably read this week, there is a charm school for wayward cats in Los Angeles.
A charm school. For cats. Á la "My Fair Lady." Cue the collective “awwwww’s”.
It’s the Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats, run by headmistress and founder Shawn Simon.
All the cats here are feral cats, or kittens born on the streets to feral cats. Simon socializes them using a very carefully crafted and curated method so the cats can be adopted into forever homes.
This is important for Simon - and all cat lovers - because once a feral cat ends up in a shelter, they have an almost 0 percent chance of surviving. Feral cats have the highest kill rates in shelters across the country.
But the thing is, you can’t just socialize a feral cat the way you would a domestic cat because...well...they’re street.
“You have no idea how many street cats there are,” said Simon. “They’re good at hiding.”
To combat all the inherent issues with feral cats and socialize them, Simon came up with “lesson plans,” all with clever names, to help volunteers understand what the cats need.
There’s the “Step and Repeat” which lays out repetition with food to create positive associations. And there’s “The Twitch” which gets really specific about how to touch a cat to find that spot that melts the physical tension.
Simon says there are a few key benchmarks she looks for before a cat is deemed ready for adoption.
“Sitting on a lap," she said. "Purring. Everybody wants their cat to purr. And then being out and open in a room [rather than hiding].”
Thanks to the Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats, these (adorable) feral cats and kittens have a second shot at life off the streets.
For more information on feral cats or how you can help support the work of Kitty Bungalow, go to kittybungalow.org
Here are some more feel-good stories about people doing great things for Los Angeles animals.
This place lets you hike with wolves, and it's only 45 minutes outside the city.
Life Animal Rescue desperately needs flight volunteers to escort dogs from Thailand to get forever homes in LA.
And a PSA: there is no such thing as a micro pig. Instagram is lying to you.