This story and associated images and/or video was produced before physical distancing regulations were introduced in Victoria.
Maneki Neko Cat Rescue
[Vision: Various videos of cats playing and relaxing at Neko HQ]
Samantha McKernan - Founder, Maneki Neko - Animal Welfare Victoria
[Vision: Samantha holding and patting a cat and explaining the waving cat]
The Maneki Neko is the Japanese symbol of success and prosperity. You might have seen the statues with the little waving cat. So that little wave is to say prosperity and good luck come towards me. So we’ve chosen that as our name. So it really just means ‘lucky cat’.
[Vision: Neko HQ signage and entrance]
And Neko HQ - Neko is Japanese for cat, so it just means cat headquarters.
[Vision: Cat playing in tunnel toy - Samantha speaking]
The Grants program allowed us to open Neko HQ.
[Vision: Inside vision of Neko HQ showing lounges, cats and cat toys]
Neko HQ is a fundraising centre but it’s also an outlet for adoptions.
[Vision: Lady holding and patting cat]
So people come in, spend time with cats, and if they fall in love they can take the cat home.
[Vision: Samantha speaking - lady working on computer and patting cat]
We felt that it was important to offer an alternative to pounds and shelters, and also the foster care network for people to adopt.
[Vision: Lady playing with cat - view of inside Neko HQ]
We found that people like to meet a number of cats before they choose one, and a centre like this gave us the ability for them to meet 10 to 15 cats at one time in a relaxing environment.
[Vision: Lady playing with cat on cat tree - cat playing with interactive cat toy]
The cats are more naturally behaving because they’re in something akin to a home, and so they are able to see them at their very best.
[Vision: Lady patting a cat as she works on a laptop computer]
We also wanted to make it fun and relaxing for people to be here as well. So we have things like work stations where people can come in and spend the day working from the Cat Lounge.
[Vision: A blackboard showing events listed - videos of cats playing with toys]
We also host events, yoga with cats, meditation with the cats, bingo, comedy, anything you can think of we do here in the Lounge.
[Vision: Lady patting a cat playfully]
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