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Kitty Connect

Animal lovers, unite! Rebecca Godo, from Landmark Education’s Team Detroit, has created a game for all to play, be they animal lovers or animal not so much’ers. Everyone in the conversation is inspired by the genius of this game.

Rebecca loves animals and doesn’t relish the idea of any animals forced to survive out in the elements. “I want all animals to have permanent and loving homes. However, that can’t happen until we get the pet population under control.” Rebecca sees a far-reaching piece of her game as “Worldwide animal population control, with municipalities all working together. Pet population control then becomes one HUGE worldwide community effort.”

There are too many cats on the streets with no homes to go to. And many of us have experienced the disturbance of cats at the height of the mating game, a highpitched screech that mimics a crying baby. Rebecca, as a result of her participation in Landmark’s Team Management and Leadership Program, has created a game to work in harmony with other organizations that provides peace for the cats as well as peace of mind for residents. “When cats are spayed and neutered, the noise, odor and other annoying behaviors associated with mating cats is reduced,” says Rebecca.

For her game, Rebecca created the possibility of generosity, love and gratitude. Her intention is an organization, Project Kitty Connect. And the outcome is people and animals everywhere experiencing unconditional love, care and compassion. All involved in this game find themselves empowered to live fully self-expressed in the realm of wild animal caregiving.

“We’re making a difference in the community,” Rebecca reports. “We trap live animals and take them to veterinary clinics to be neutered or spayed. After the animals have healed, they’re taken to a caregiver in the area near where they were originally taken.” Rebecca explains that the caregivers then provide food and water for these wild felines, called feral cats.

Rebecca continues. “There’s an overpopulation of cats in the United States. When an animal goes to a shelter, the state or city has to pay for the care of the animals until they are euthanized. This causes overcrowding in shelters, and the expense of euthanasia of the feral cats.” Through Rebecca’s non-profit Project Kitty Connect, teams raise money for continuation of the cause, spread the Kitty Connect message so that more cats can be treated, and generally empower people to understand that they can make a difference in this way.

Rebecca pleads her case with passion. “Cats are territorial. What typically happens in an area where there are many feral cats and a food source, is the cats will occupy a certain territory and not allow any other cats to move in. When a group of cats are all removed at one time, it’s called a vacuum effect. If it’s a natural attrition, others cats don’t come in. In a managed colony, if a new cat moves in, it is taken out to be fixed. This is part of our Trap-Neuter-Return policy.

“We work with veterinary clinics who charge us $25 per cat to spay or neuter. That cost includes a rabies vaccine. The normal charge is usually much higher, approximately double what they charge us.

“Team is so important, because people who take on the responsibility of feeding and looking out for these feral cats are powerless by themselves. As individuals, they don’t have the resources. They don’t have traps, access to vets, transportation, post-surgery care, fundraising, and on and on. So Team is essential in this game.”

One way in which the teams are working together to raise money for Project Kitty Connect is a Texas Hold’em poker tournament. A required gaming license application is in the process of being filed with the first tournament scheduled for July 2011 in Redford, Michigan. Another planned fundraiser is a calendar that is being created. Rebecca will appear each month with a different look and with a different cat.

In Rebecca’s Game in the World, “Everything is possible with Team. When people love animals and their hearts go out to them, they are empowered as part of this team and find power they weren’t aware they had before. They find the resources to play full out, and create powerfully to be supported in, what they need to do to express their love and care and expression of the animals.

“This empowerment is what the teams come away with in playing this game together. We see what is possible. We feel the power. And we empower others to listen for the difference they can make. It really is life changing.”

Written by Shash Broxson. Edited by Carrie Savage-Zimmerman.

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