I attended a special screening of an episode featuring Oakland’s Cat Town Cafe. I laughed. I cried. I met the producer. I cried some more.
The Grand Lake Theater is an Oakland landmark. It lists some big names among its visitors: George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, and Tom Hanks. Rachel Maddow saluted the 90-year-old movie palace on her talk show. Fahrenheit 9/11 director Michael Moore featured it on his website. Thus it made an impressive — and fitting — venue for a screening last week of Shelter Me, the PBS series that highlights animal rescue.
The episode, “Hearts and Paws,” features Oakland’s Cat Town Cafe & Adoption Center — the nation’s first cat cafe, located about a mile and half from the theater — as well as Cat Town partner Oakland Animal Services. The episode also features Mutts comic strip creator Patrick McDonnell.
Shelter Me producer Steven Latham attended the screening, as did Susanne Kogut, executive director of the Petco Foundation. After the screening, Kogut handed Oakland Animal Services a $90,000 check the size of a sheet of plywood. As moving as that was, “Hearts and Paws” moved me more. It airs on PBS stations around the country this month. Here are five reasons to watch it.