Woman’s love for cats leads to start of nonprofit

Published 10:21 pm Thursday, October 19, 2017

By Katie Krouse
Special to the LaGrange Daily News

What started as a love and admiration for cats has turned into a full-time job for 75-year-old Nancy Coleman Yates.

Throughout her life, Yates has journaled stories of her own cats as well as those of others. Although she never intended to publish a book herself, she felt her stories were worth binding together in ink. Yates published Cat Tales in 2014.

“It’s mainly memoirs for the families I’ll have down the line because I knew if I didn’t get them on paper they would be forgotten. Most of [the stories] are very unusual and this way our families can laugh about it for years to come,” Yates said.

Approximately 400 copies of the book have been sold, and each purchase benefits The Mosa Fund, a nonprofit Yates and three other women oversee in Troup County.

The Mosa Fund, founded and operated by Yates, Brenda May, Sandra Fowler and Judy Price, began in 2009 as a way to offer financial support to those seeking to spay or neuter a cat, whether it be feral or a household pet, in order to keep the stray cat population in Troup County from multiplying.

“When I lived in Spartanburg — I lived there for 8 years — I never saw a stray cat, ever. And we moved down here and everywhere you look there’s stray, hungry, sick cats,” Yates said.  “I used to not turn cats away, but now I have to turn cats away because if I bring them over here I know they’ll be here three weeks and then the coyotes will get them.”

Also, a concern to Yates and members of The Mosa Fund is the increasing presence of coyotes and the harm they are causing to the feral cat population.

“Coyotes are eating cats left and right. It’s just terrible. We’ve got to get some help,” she said. “Coyotes are a huge problem here. I mean, yes, it’ll cut down on the cats, but that’s not the way you want that to happen.”

The women set out to create the charity with the initial goal of helping 25 cats. They traded in their gold and used the money to start The Mosa Fund. It didn’t take them long to surpass their goal and helped 100 cats. That’s when Yates realized the organization could really work.

“Miraculously the money kept coming in — not big sums of money, but enough money to keep us on our feet,” Yates said.

Today, Yates said the Mosa Fund has helped spay or neuter more than 1,500 cats in the Troup County area. Funding is made up largely from donations within the community and grants from different organizations. The money is used to spay and neuter cats in the area as well as provide them with a rabies shot, all at no expense to the cat owner.

Yates believes when a person starts feeding a stray cat, he or she becomes its owner and catching it becomes easier. She said having them fixed is essential to keeping cats in the area from populating.

“If you can feed them and get them used to you, then you can catch them and get them fixed. That way they aren’t populating anymore.”

Once a month, The Mosa Fund carves out a day with a local vet in which 16 cats are fixed and receive their rabies shot. For the upcoming Nov. 3 event, all slots have been filled, and Dr. Amanda Greathouse will be the local vet performing the surgeries and administering the shots.

For more information on The Mosa Fund or to get your cat on the list for an upcoming spay and neuter day, contact Nancy Yates at (706) 884-3167. Donations can be sent to the following address: P.O. Box 800370, LaGrange, GA 30240. If you are interested in purchasing Cat Tales, the cost is $20 and you may do so by contacting Yates directly.