Gigi and Pepper: two cats have lived 365+ days in shelter, inspiration for art party

Becky Campbell • May 20, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Two cats who keep getting overlooked at the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter have spent more than a year in the facility, but officials hope a whimsical fundraiser will help bring attention to them and raise money, too.

Pepper has lived at the shelter more than 400 days since April 2018, when her owner had to go live in a nursing home. Gigi, who was not so fortunate as to have a home, was brought in as an unwanted cat in May 2018, which has been more than 380 days.

Both have unique personalities, and Shelter Director Tammy Davis, said the Purrrfect Paint & Wine event on Thursday will highlight their situation. The event will allow 25 people to either paint a picture of Pepper or Gigi, or participants can take a photo of their own cat to create the artwork.

The artist who will lead the party, SassyHat, creates whimsical paintings, Davis said, and she will give instructions for those who attend the fundraiser.

“It’s like a one-on-one painting instruction,” Davis said. “She will help us step by step and the focus will be on these two cats that have been there longer than any other cats.”

Davis said it’s kitten season, so “the shelter has taken in a lot of cats and kittens, (including) kittens that need to be bottle fed. The money will go toward care of the animals in the shelter.”

The event, scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m., is $40 per person and includes complimentary wine and refreshments as well as painting supplies. To register for the event, contact the animal shelter at 423-926-8769