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stray saves real cats, stray video game, stray twitch, stray livestream

What a beautiful meowment.

Ready for the most pawsitive story of all time? Have we got some uplifting mews for you.

The video game Stray (released by game company Annapurna Interactive in July 2022) is unsurprisingly mega popular among feline fans. What cat lover wouldn’t love the thought of traipsing through an abandoned post-apocalyptic city as a scrappy orange tabby, unlocking clues and scratching up carpets?

Stray - State of Play June 2022 Trailer | PS5 & PS4 Gameswww.youtube.com

Turns out, the indie video game taking over the internet with memes and general stray cat fandom is doing much more than providing kitty-centric entertainment to humans—it’s doing some real good for cats IRL. AP News announced that Annapurna Interactive used livestreams of the game on Twitch to raise money for multiple animal shelters and cat-related charities.

Cat people are a different breed, no question. It’s never a passing interest, only an all-consuming adoration, bordering on obsession. So it’s no wonder really that Stray became the fourth “most watched and broadcast game” on the Twitch platform the day it launched.




In addition to setting up charity livestreams, Annapurna Interactive also offered copies of the game to Nebraska Humane Society as part of a raffle. Participants needed to pay only $5 for a chance to win the normally $30 game.

Marketing specialist Brendan Gepson told AP that within a week, the organization was able to raise $7,000 because of the giveaway, which he added was especially notable because the vast majority of those donations were from people who had never donated before.

Though the drawing has already been made, you can still donate to the Nebraska Humane Society campaign here.

New Yorkers truly got the ultimate experience, when Annapurna Interactive partnered with NYC cat cafe and adoption agency Meow Parlour for a weekend. Visitors got to play the game for free for 20 minutes, all while being surrounded by the cafe’s adorable kitty residents and maybe even go home with one! This is the stuff dreams are made of, people.

This extra support comes at a particularly crucial time for our feline friends—”kitten season.” According to the ASPCA, “kitten season” typically takes place between March and October, though it varies across the country. Of the millions of cats that enter shelters each year, a huge majority are at-risk kittens that come in during this time period and approximately 860,000 are euthanized.

Unsurprisingly, the creators of Stray are notably cat people. The game’s website states the development team is “mostly made up of cats and a handful of humans,” and the beloved orange tabby protagonist is based on an actual adopted stray named Murtaugh. Murtaugh is so famous he even got his own interview. What a legend.

stray helps real catsCat GIF by Annapurna InteractiveGiphy

However, it’s one thing to have feline fondness. Annapurna Interactive came up with a truly purrfect way to put love into productive action. Never thought I’d see the day where playing a video game could help save thousands of cats nationwide, but here we are. What a time to be alive.

Be responsible, folks. Consider adopting from a shelter, be sure to spay/neuter your cat and of course, go play Stray.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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