An Interview with Cat’s Cradle Founder, Pat Rossi
EvEryonE agrEEs that Cat’s Cradle’s
growth has been amazing, but do you
know who initially recognized the need
and got the ball rolling? We interviewed the
Founder, Pat rossi to find out.
Cat’s Cradle Interviewer: Pat, tell me,
how did all this begin?
Pat: It really all started when I impulsively
adopted a white kitten named Wednesday
in the winter of 1996 … her owners were
expecting her to live outside in bitterly
cold weather! after that I began to see
Wednesday in every cat, no matter how
mangy or unloved.
CC: How did you get others involved?
Pat: I put an ad in the paper calling for a
planning meeting at the Catholic Church.
Jim short, owner of the Foreign Car service
in Harrisonburg was the only one who
showed up. Then I got a call from the local
Tv station asking me to fill in for the sPCa,
who had cancelled on short notice. I had
about 30 minutes to prepare so I grabbed
two small kittens and ran with it. Jennie
Hoagland from Weyer’s Cave and Teresa
Kappes saw the show and called me. I still
have the clip on videotape.
CC: I love the name, Cat’s Cradle.
Where did that come from?
Pat: I picked the name because it tested
well with friends and neighbors. I was afraid
it might suggest we were breeding cats, but
CC: Tell me about the “early days”.
Pat: originally, the phone number I adver-
tised was my home phone in Dayton so
my home essentially became a public facil-
ity. one morning there was a knock on the
door and Jennie and I could see that it was
two Dayton cops. We thought we were
busted as we were harboring about 24 kit-
tens in my basement! We opened the door
and one officer said, “We were told that
you have a lot of kittens in your basement
… would it be oK if we went down and
played with them?” But really, the Dayton
and the Bridgewater cops were lovely. The
latter even built a new pen in my basement.
CC: Where were all the cats coming
Pat: Everywhere! For instance, one day I