Originally printed on NorthJersey.com – Thursday, March 24, 2005
BY ABIGAIL LEICHMAN, staff writer
(Stores are rated on a scale of one to four cars, with one car meaning a store is worth a short trip, and the top rating, four cars, meaning a store is worth going the distance.)
Lynn Cancro founded this resale shop-adoption center in the hope of raising enough money to establish a cage-free, no-kill adoption center in the Pascack Valley.
Nine years later, C.A.T.S. is a non-profit organization governed by a board of directors helping it inch closer to that goal in a variety of ways (Jack Daniels Porsche is donating a car to be raffled off in the spring, for example).
But you’ll still find Cancro and a dedicated core of volunteers at the shop, its flagship venture.
C.A.T.S. accepts high-quality items such as antiques, CDs and audiotapes, clothing, jewelry, books, collectibles, housewares and gift items – many of them still in the original packaging.
I picked up a spotless Gap cardigan and sweater and an Abercrombie top, and my daughter snagged a T-shirt, an Express denim skirt and a thumb ring, each for $4 or less. We also chose a picture frame to hold a particularly adorable snapshot of our cat, Pufferbelly.
For many visitors, though, the main attractions here are the fluffy felines lounging in comfortable cages along the store’s perimeter, awaiting loving homes. Each one has been nursed back to health after being abandoned, neglected or abused.
Off-site cats up for adoption – view them at Care4strays.org – are being fostered by C.A.T.S. customers and volunteers.
“The beautiful people who bring us donations and the wonderful customers … allow us to pay our bills and put away some toward the shelter,” Cancro says, “and we always need more people to help us plan fund-raising events, work in the store and donate food.”
Oberg & Lindquist, a local appliance retailer, recently sent over a refrigerator in which to keep medication for cats on the mend.
C.A.T.S. is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Watch for between-seasons sales, when the merchandise is practically given away free.
Caring About the Strays (C.A.T.S.)
80 Kinderkamack Road, Westwood
Worth-the-trip rating: 3 cars.