A sought-after — and virtual — orange tabby cat is lending a helping paw to fellow strays, including a few locals.
The Nebraska Humane Society was one of two pet adoption agencies to receive copies of Stray, a new video game, to raffle off. In addition, two video gamers with local ties hosted charity livestreams with proceeds going to the Humane Society.
In total, the shelter near 90th and Fort streets brought in more than $12,000, thanks to the video game, said Brendan Gepson, marketing specialist.
In the game, players navigate the adventurous feline through an aging industrial landscape as it does normal cat stuff — balancing on railings, walking on keyboards and knocking things off shelves — to solve puzzles and evade enemies.
Gepson said Annapurna Interactive, the game’s publisher, reached out to Humane Society officials in early June to partner around the release of the video game.
The shelter received four copies of the game to give away. It solicited donations for $5 to be entered in a raffle to win one.
In a little less than a week, they raised more than $7,000 from about 550 donors, Gepson said. The majority of donors, he added, were first-timers. Donors hailed from out of state, including one from Germany and another from Malta.
After the fundraiser, Annapurna Interactive donated a little over $1,000 to the shelter.
Later, two gamers with local ties livestreamed their play of the game. One of the streamers is the cat parent of a Humane Society alum.
“It’s really heartwarming to see all the support coming in from all these people who have never interacted with us or their local animal shelter before,” Gepson said. “Sometimes working at an animal shelter, not everything you see is the most uplifting. This support has been astounding.”
And the game nails what it’s like to live with or work with cats, Gepson said. Plus it has a designated button to let the cat character, which is unnamed, meow at any time.
“To watch your cat get up on a counter and knock some stuff down, it’s really beautiful,” he said. “It’s a good game. A lot of people look at it and think it’s just a cat simulator. It’s a little bit more impactful than people think.”
The Humane Society has about 80 cats up for adoption right now, many of them kittens.
And if you’re looking for an orange tabby similar to Stray’s main character, you’re in luck. Garfield, 5, is up for adoption at the Humane Society.
Bonded to buddy Nova — a brown tabby — Garfield is described as big, friendly and affectionate.
Garfield’s page on the Humane Society website says: “Nova and I are looking forward to climbing a cat tree and lying in a sunny window.”
This report includes material from the Associated Press.
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