A bronze homage to a roving Lakeside neighborhood cat is the goal of a 5K run to be held May 20, in the cat's memory.
The gray-and-white Catsby, widely known to Duluth East High School students and staff, residents of the area and Lakewalk users, was hit and killed by a car in November. News of his passing saddened many, some of whom contacted his owner and shared their Catsby experiences. Owner Susan Hagge told the News Tribune in November that Catsby was an attention-loving, social animal that had a way of escaping the house. He was found often outside the school, inside the school as well as Ecumen Lakeshore senior living center, sunning himself on top of cars, stretched across the Lakewalk and interrupting games on the East field.
Neighborhood resident Deb Hannu said she was one of many who would visit with the cat, and then drive him home.
"You'd see a great big group of people and you knew Catsby was in the middle," Hannu said. "He was everyone's cat."
Hannu is part of the group of area residents, students and teachers organizing the run. The event is meant to raise money for a bronze sculpture of the cat and for Animal Allies.
Artist Ann Klefstad will create the life-size sculpture, which will be installed on a boulder on Duluth school district property near the Lakewalk and East.
"He had really distinctive markings, and they will be duplicated in the bronze," Klefstad said.
The sculpture is expected to cost $3,000. Ten percent of the money raised will go to Animal Allies, and once the sculpture cost is covered, all remaining funds will go to the nonprofit. Johnson's Bakery in Duluth will also bake a Catsy-shaped cookie and donate proceeds to the cause.
Hannu said a QR code will be attached to the sculpture for people to scan to view and share their stories of the animal on a blog.
If you go:
The Great Catsby 5K Fun Run is at 10 a.m. May 20. Register online at tinyurl.com/catsbyrun. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the run. A Catsby T-shirt is included. Check in at the starting location, 40th Avenue East and the Lakewalk, opposite East High School. For more information call (218) 260-8197.