Cat care group benefits from Brooklyn art open house

See what happens when a cat lover dedicates her studio’s open house to the care of feral cats ‚Ķ

Karen Kraus, executive director of Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon helps Dorothy Steele show off a “cat platter” which the artist is raffling off to help fund the spaying and neutering of feral cats.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
This time of year, many in Inner Southeast Portland’s creative community hold open houses and sales.

What is special about the event at the Dorothy Steele Studio on December 8?

“This year,” Steele told us without pause, “in addition to raffling off a ‘cat platter’, a percentage of our sales go to the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon.”

Steele said she’s been making colorful cat- and nature-themed pottery for 25 years, 16 of them at her location in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

“I’m a real cat lover, and I’ve always done cat-themed pottery. And, I know that the Feral Cat Coalition volunteers do a great job of helping keep the population of feral cats down.”

The artist said her work has evolved into creating pottery decorated with impressions of plants native to Oregon. “I press them into the clay to make the design, and lots of vibrant color. My work is functional, food-safe, and you can use it in the microwave. Above all, it speaks of Oregon.” To learn more, see Steele’s Internet website:

Works of five artists are on display, and on sale, at the Dorothy Steele Studio in Brooklyn.

Reducing feral cat population
Steele introduced us to Karen Kraus, executive director of Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon. “Spaying and neutering is important, because there is a cat overpopulation problem. It isn’t just in Portland; all across the country there are too many feral cats. Our program is for feral and stray cats who have a caregiver kind enough to feed them, but who understands that these cats shouldn’t reproduce.”

Kraus said they’ve spayed or neutered 3,000 cats a year, and have assisted with more than 27,000 cats since they started the program.

The organization holds two neuter clinics a month near the Rose Garden. If you care about a feral, stray, or barn cat, find out more by calling (503) 797-2606, or by visiting

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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