Christmas might be fast approaching, but there’s no time like the present to gift your cat-loving friend something to purr-use through the new decade. Move over, Australian firemen: the best Christmas gift is giving back, and we love a man who’s game to get up close and personal with these adorable kittens for a cause. That’s why local non-profit organisation Project LUNI is blessing us with Singapore’s first calendar decorated cover-to-cover with rescued street cats getting cuddly with bonafide guy candy.
“We wanted to create something that showcased what we do on a daily basis – rehome, feed and sterilise street kittens – in a tongue-in-cheek way that we strongly believed our community of cat lovers would appreciate,” says Kerstin Schulze, creative architect behind the campaign and a key team member of Project LUNI. “Cat abandonment and rescue is a serious topic and an unfortunate rampant problem in Singapore. We thought it’d be the perfect opportunity at the end of the year to bring light to this issue in a more fun and approachable way.”
It’s 2020 and time to let go of “crazy cat lady” archetypes. Project LUNI wants to show that men are equally capable of being cat lovers. “There are just as many men out there who love cats and want to help,” Kerstin points out. “Hopefully our calendar will encourage more of them to consider cats as great companions and adopt them.” The calendar also comes with useful tips on cat care, in line with Project LUNI’s mission to educate the greater community on how to keep our feline friends happy and healthy.
From concept and design to photography and print, everything is a labour of love from the ladies of LUNI (and a few ballsy friend contributions over a series of afternoon photoshoots). If you think babies and children are hard to photograph, try playing Art Director to restless young kittens. The outcome? Priceless photographs of sprightly young cats and their newfound model playmates.
“I Iove animals, especially cats,” says August’s model Chris, a Dragon Boat paddler who jumped on the chance to be a part of the calendar. “It’s heartwarming to know there are like-minded individuals out there using their personal enterprise to help present shelter situations by going beyond sharing posts and donations.”
Saving Singapore’s street cats since 2017, Project LUNI has been a godsend to the furry community. Founded by Nina Heusler-Astolfi and Lukas Heusler, the project rests on four pillars of action: Rehoming kittens, daily feeding of street cats, Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programmes and medical care for street cats. It also counts numerous vet clinics in Singapore as well as vendors like Fidelis Meats and Polypets as partners in its journey. This year alone, they’ve successfully rehomed 117 cats – up from 82 last year and 17 the year before. More than 400 cats have also undergone proper sterilisation since Project LUNI’s inception.
Nina first arrived in Singapore from Hong Kong where she had been feeding street cats for an organisation. She then began volunteering with the SPCA here but quickly realised she could make a bigger impact with an enterprise of her own. From fostering and rehoming a few kittens to moving on to TNR, her small passion project quickly grew into a non-profit organisation. Now, Project LUNI’s growing community of volunteers work tirelessly to help – from loving families who foster, to individuals that help raise funds, manage trappings, and provide administrative relief.
“We love what we do even when it is often heartbreaking to see so much suffering,” shares Nina. “Every life counts and we do what we can to save as many as possible. It could be feeding those used to being on the streets to make their life as bearable as possible, or rescuing and fostering cats and kittens to prepare them for a loving home with an adopter. We have even helped relocate cats to other countries with their new families!”
The calendars are priced at S$15 for a single calendar, with bulk order discounts at S$10 per calendar for purchases exceeding quantities of 10 or more. All proceeds from the calendar will go towards Project LUNI’s feeding, fostering, and sterilisation costs, as well as medical bills for the injured and numerous other rescue efforts. The organisation typically spends between S$3000 to S$5000 every month on these programmes.
Play a part by cuddling up with these local cuties for a cause this Christmas and into 2020. Purchase your calendars here, and follow Project LUNI on their website to find out how you can get involved.