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Friday, June 14, 2024

Melty is gone.

The stray cat that was hanging around Flow Space, the yoga studio located at 117 NW 16th Ave., disappeared a few weeks ago, but the owners of the studio aren’t that concerned.

Even though they fed him for the last four weeks, they accepted him as a wandering soul.

“We weren’t sad about it because we like the idea of him just following his beat, going wherever he wants to go,” said Maggie Rucker, the instructor and manager at Flow Space.

Melty made his first appearance before the studio’s first sold-out kitten yoga event July 9, but he left soon after. Rucker said she thinks he might come back for the event this Sunday.

The Sunday event, which starts at 2 p.m., will again benefit the Alachua County Humane Society. All 45 tickets have been sold.

The first event raised more than $600 for the shelter, including ticket sales and donations. The second event has already surpassed that amount from ticket sales alone because of a slight price increase.

“We charged an extra $5 this time just (because) we thought it would be nice to get the Alachua County Humane a little more revenue than we were able to give them last time, so we bumped it up a little bit more,” she said.

Three of the 19 kittens that the shelter brought to the event were adopted, said Margot DeConna, the director of development for the Alachua County Humane Society.

DeConna said she was not expecting the event to raise as much money as it did.

She said the outpouring of interest online was a shock.

“The reaction to the event was also more than I was expecting. It was hugely popular,” she said.

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Rucker, however, said she wasn’t shocked by the excitement around the event. She said any event involving a “well-founded” organization like the humane society draws people’s attention. Putting on a trending event like kitten yoga doesn’t hurt either, she said.

“You see how successful certain kinds of yoga are already, and you just bring it in, and you find the right fit, and it will blow up, no matter what,” she said.

Rucker wanted people to perform gentle poses, low to the ground, allowing them to better interact with the kittens. But her style of yoga instruction, especially with themed yoga, also gives people the freedom to do what they want. This meant that many people were playing with the kittens and having fun.  

She said people were so energized by the event that not everyone chose to do the final pose, shavasana — where people lie flat on their backs to “sort of to let all the dust settle inside of you so that your energy levels even out.”

Some people performed this last pose, and others instead decided to play with cat toys.

Having another event so close to the last one helps the humane society during the busy, warmer months when more kittens are born and brought to the shelter, DeConna said.

Currently there are 150 kittens in foster homes and about 60 kittens at the humane society. She said understanding just what kitten season means is really only possible after visiting the shelter and seeing just how many kittens are there.

Because the kittens who attended the first event have since been adopted, a new group will be at the event.

“We want to find them loving homes so we’re striking while the iron is hot,” DeConna said.

DeConna said from her perspective the first event was a success. She said it is a “win-win” because it raises money for the shelter and helps get kittens adopted.

“It accomplishes all of our goals in a really fun setting that allows the public to interact in a way that they don’t normally get to do with our adoptable pets,” she said.   

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