Ann Kurz and Keller’s Kats

~ By Marcy Rubin

Ann Kurz, Corn Hill resident and pet owner, volunteers with local animal rescue Keller’s Kats (, where she helps with grant writing and fundraising. Keller’s Kats has a network of over 50 foster homes that take in newborn kittens and special needs cats. Most cats come from the Verona Street Shelter, which is not equipped for the intensive care that they require. Potential adopters can make appointments to meet the cats at Keller’s Klubhouse, the rescue’s visitor center, and also at the Paws Cat Café ( in the Eastview Mall.

Ann Kurz
Ann Kurz

Keller’s Klubhouse in Bergen is a cozy and welcoming space where over 40 adoptable cats doze on couches, climb cat trees, and interact with visitors. Founder and Executive Director Karla Barkley is dedicated to finding homes for all cats. She named the rescue after Keller, a special needs cat she adopted in 2014, and plans to create a sanctuary for terminally ill and senior pets. Karla describes Keller’s Klubhouse as a place that “gives people an opportunity to see these animals in their best environment.”

Ann’s five cats are featured in this issue. The oldest, Kamea, was adopted from Lollypop Farm. Ann says, “Kamea is the queen of the castle and pretends to just tolerate the others with evil-eye stares and hisses. She is happiest on my lap but I believe she secretly enjoys the feline companionship—at a leg’s distance!”

Kellers Kats
Clockwise from top left: Zuzu, Koni, Abbott, Costello, Kamea. Photos by Ann Kurz; composite by Marcy Rubin.

Ann adopted Zuzu, a petite red tabby, and Koni, named for the butterfly-shaped markings on his head, from Keller’s Kats. “Zuzu is as sweet as sweet can be and loves nibbling my nose in the morning to wake me up. Koni has radial hypoplasia, which is evident in his underdeveloped, twisted front legs.  He walks on his elbows, waddling like a raccoon, and sits up on his rump like a squirrel or kangaroo. Koni is the prankster, always instigating wrestling and swatting matches and getting into mischief.”

The newest additions to Ann’s household are Abbott and Costello, also adopted from Keller’s Kats. They are bonded littermates with cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), a disorder causing jerky, uncoordinated movements and muscle tremors similar to symptoms of cerebral palsy in humans.  “Abbott, the brown tabby, can take only a few steps before falling while Costello, the red tabby, can slowly high-step march across a room and maintain his balance.  Abbott is definitely the straight man of the pair and is not amused by Costello’s antics of tagging people and jumping on cats as they walk past. I’m so thankful to Keller’s Kats Rescue for blessing my home with much love and laughter.”

If you would like to submit news, pet celebrations or memorials, or have your pet featured, please send a photo and description to [email protected].

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