Stray Cat Blues began as a grassroots organization founded by Linda Weber in 1991 and incorporated in 1997 and now operates a prolific network of foster homes where kittens are cared for and socialized to help them become compatible house pets.
"I started actively rescuing cats when I moved to my current location in 1991 and I was on my own pretty much for a few years. The name "Stray Cat Blues" came to me on a day when I could not do more to help all the cats that needed help. The actual incorporation did not come until 1997"
"We started out in this little pet store in Lansdale called Lansdale Feed, with only two adoption cages. In the early days we were doing maybe 50 adoptions a year. Then one of the board members got wind that a big pet store was coming to Lansdale, and that was PetSmart, and they were looking for rescues for their adoption center. So when the PetSmart opened in Montgomeryville we went there and have been there for about 20 years. That's considered our flagship store and what really put us on the map," .
"It's kind of grown away from being grassroots. We now we have board of directors," "In 2009, when PetSmart opened that October at Providence Town Center, during the height of the recession, the shopping center was really a ghost town for a long time, with only Wegmans and Staples. We really struggled for a while. Now we're celebrating the 10th year of our relationship with that PetSmart in October."
Jerry Kalick is our President and has been with us for 15 years so he knows every inch of Stray Cat Blues, Inc. He used to work in Human Resources and managed a large accounting firm, experience that comes very much in handy. The funny thing is—Jerry used to dislike cats before joining us and now he has eight of them! Jerry has a huge heart, but is a force to be reckoned with. To any new fosters, Jerry would tell them, “Get ready for the ride of your life!”
Sussi Seybert has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in mathematics from Drexel and is a retired actuary and IT maven. With her big heart, Sussi has been doing non-profit work since 1999. Her love of saving animals brought her to SCB in 2014 but after stepping away, she came back in December 2017 to help create and manage Whiskers Way Station, our facility in Lansdale. Her always curious nature around technology helped the organization grow to what it is today. She is a foster and enthusiastic cheerleader for all of our volunteers. For new young fosters Sussi says, “Go back to school and become a vet before it's not too late!”
Ellyn Hatstat is the secretary of our board and has a BS from Penn State in Biobehavioral Health and MBA from Boston University. Ellyn joined Stray Cat Blues in 2017 as a foster and has grown with the organization in various roles. In addition to volunteering with us, she also works full-time managing Oncology Clinical Trial Programs. Ellyn has been a cat lover since birth and has always had cats in her life. She loves fostering neonatal bottle babies, nurturing the most vulnerable babies into strong kittens ready for their forever homes. For anyone considering fostering but worried "you'll never be able to give them up" , Ellyn says, “Your first several times adopting out your fosters will be sad but it will get easier every time! You will fall in love over and over again with each new litter of kittens...adopting out someone's new best friend is very rewarding and a happy time!”
Linda M. Weber has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Quantitative Business Analysis from Pennsylvania State University and has over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry as a Statistical/Clinical Programmer. Back in 2018, Linda started fostering cats with us but since then has joined our Board of Directors, Communication and Fundraising Committee, and Website teams. For any new adopters, Linda recommends that you make a space for your new kitty where they feel safe and can go relax when they need to.
Donna, a passionate cat rescuer, joins us after spending more than 20 years in healthcare. Most recently, she served as an Operations Manager supporting the management and development of Surgical Outpatient Facilities throughout North America. Donna also has a wealth of nonprofit and fundraising experience including sitting on a Board of Directors for a local nonprofit, and working to recruit dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers for The Colon Cancer Coalition and Get Your Rear in Gear Philadelphia where she earned awards for highest donor and team volume.
Donna enjoys organic gardening with her husband, cooking while listening to her son play piano and organ, and spending time with her three rescue cats.