In this series, we’ll introduce you to staff members and the furry faces that inspire our work to protect cats.
Alley Cat Allies’ Boardwalk Cats Project® is such a great success and a fixture in the Atlantic City community in large part due to the dedication of volunteers and Alley Cat Allies staff members based in the area. Two new faces to the Alley Cat Allies team are Bob Draper, Field Representative for the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and Steve Garraty, our South New Jersey Field Representative. Both are big cat lovers—Bob has a huge cat family 11 strong, while Steve’s cat Handsome Joe has all the love to himself.
When Bob and Steve aren’t working down at the Boardwalk to help the cats, they both love to spend time in the great outdoors. Bob enjoys biking, boating, and kayaking, while Steve likes to spend time surfing, as well as painting.
How did you meet your cats?
Bob: My wife and I have 11 indoor cats. All are former stray or feral cats, except one, Emma. She’s a ragdoll and the undisputed head of the household.
Steve: My wife and I first met Handsome Joe when his feral mother brought him to our front door and left him there. We took Joe in as an indoor cat and with the help of Alley Cat Allies were able to TNR Joe’s mother.
How does the love of your cats inspire your work at Alley Cat Allies?
Bob: Cats are fascinating, complex creatures and great companions. My own cats have inspired me to try to help reduce the community cat population humanely.
Steve: Cats themselves are wonderfully inspiring creatures and deserve only the best from us.
What are your cat’s likes or dislikes?
Bob: One of my cats, Lyle, is my bosom buddy and more like a dog than a cat. He follows me everywhere and likes to lay on my desk when I’m working at the computer.
Steve: Handsome Joe LOVES a cardboard box of any size. He plays, eats, and sleeps in any cardboard box we give him until it literally disintegrates around him.
Any funny anecdotes that make your cats unique?
Bob: Three of our cats are former community cats and are not entirely socialized. We can’t pick them up or pet them except on rare occasions and on their terms. But they’re good cats with good habits and get along well with the rest of their housemates. Taking them to the veterinarian can be a challenge though!
Steve: Handsome Joe was born with a beard! Like a billy goat. It was much more prominent when he was a kitten but, even though he’s full grown now, it’s still quite noticeable.