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Roseville Boy Scout has cat-scratch fever

Builds 65 cat-scratching posts to donate to Placer SPCA to earn his Eagle rank
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Nick Leapley's cat Sophie is a total nutcase.

She jumps all over furniture and tears things apart. She's a real "piece of work," said Leapley, 16. But the Roseville Boy Scout loves cats, and other animals, and this inspired his project to earn his Eagle Scout rank.

Leapley and 29 volunteers spent Saturday making 60 cat-scratching posts to donate to the Placer SPCA in Roseville. Those posts will go into the kennels while adult cats wait for adoption. Then, the post goes home with the forever family at no additional cost.

"They can take something home they're familiar with," Leapley said.

These posts benefit both the felines and their human companions, said Placer SPCA Humane Educator Mary Terrell.

"The cat-scratching post project is important because it gives the cat something safe to scratch while in their kennels," Terrell said. "We also want cats to get used to using a scratching post instead of furniture and curtains. We encourage people to keep their cats safe by keeping them indoors, and providing fun places for them to scratch indoors makes that possible."

Summer marks kitten season as female cats go into heat during warm weather and can have up to three litters during this time of year, Terrell said.

"Shelters are inundated with unwanted, unplanned kittens during this time of year," she said. "Of course, we always have lots of adult cats as well, especially during this time when everyone looking to adopt is usually adopting kittens."

The animal shelter hosted a cat adoption event July 14, waiving adoption fees for nine felines who have been in need of forever homes for more than three months.

The organization's website showed more than 85 kittens and cats up for adoption in mid-July. There were about 25 more housed at the Placer SPCA's Pet Adoption and Resource Center in Auburn.

Leapley reached out to the nonprofit organization in May to see how he could help, and soon began buying materials, organizing volunteers and applying for grant funding to make the scratching posts possible. He ended up receiving $100 from Lowe's and a carpet donation to cover the posts.

The soon-to-be junior at Woodcreek High School has been in the Boy Scouts since fifth grade.

"It helps boys become better people and it teaches them lessons they can use," he said. "I feel it's a good way to give leadership and learn project management skills, and it will help me throughout life."

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.

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For more information on cat adoptions at the Placer SPCA, visit www.placerspca.org.