Uptown Cats – introduction

When exploring New York City earlier this month, on a Sunday, I left Barnes & Noble on Broadway (where I, as a writer and reader, was staying for about 6 1/2 hours)…

Stepping into the bright sunlight I could hardly trust my eyes. There was a gentleman building up little towers with cat cages and getting prepared for an adoption event, right there at the corner Broadway and West 82nd Street.

One of the things I realized was how surprisingly relaxed the cats in the cages were, considering the adoption took place on a quite noisy corner in the middle of NYC. Still, their stress level must have been high at some point, but I seriously watched cats lying around on their back.

I was fascinated, and even though he was quite busy before his supporters and helpers would come in, the gentleman working there was still able to allow me stepping by a little later for an interview. This is what you are going to read now.


1. When was Uptown Cats founded?

Officially and formally it was founded in 2004, but the start was much earlier, around 1999.


2. What was the reason for Uptown cats to be founded?

After the loss of his own cat, Des Calderon, the owner and founder of “Uptown Cats” realized the neighborhood had a sincere problem with stray cats and he decided to do something about it.

Part of Des Calderon’s personal story can be seen here: http://natgeotv.com/za/rescue-ink/videos/the-cat-choreographer. Nat Geo Wild has been informing about Des Calderon.

Des Calderon started with setting himself a goal to help 10 cats a year in memoriam of his own kitty he had lost. But after this one year he saw so many more cats in need he couldn’t just quit. So he continued and in the meantime is helping around 50 to 100 cats/year.


3.What is the purpose of “Uptown Cats” and how is the procedure?

Des Calderon recognizes the strays in the streets (or vacant houses or stores, buildings, basements, and so on.) Often Des is called by a person who sometimes can even provide him with a backstory on the particular stray cat. (Left after family moved, owner died, or similar).

The cats are caught and taken to an animal clinic/vet to have them chipped and checked, then they are set up on You Tube and/or Craigslist for adoption or taken to the adoption events.


4. How can people help you best?

Of course, number one on Des Calderon’s wish list: Adopt a cat! Then, important are sustainability, cat food and cat litter, paper towels, laundry determents, gas support, blankets, medical expenses support. Some cats are injured or sick, maybe even born with a handicap and need medical help. Financial support is important to Uptown Cats.

Foster homes are once in a while needed, but it is important that they’re are free of other pets.

As well does Des Calderon work together with established connections with vets who are cost effective, even though they’re sometimes limited in what they can do. Any connection with a volunteering vet would be useful for Uptown cats.


5. Do you have a personal connection to the stray cats you catch?

Yes, he has. The cats are fostered personally by Des Calderon who names each cat after taking it in.


6. Is there anything else you’d like to say? Something that is really important to you?

Yes: Spay and neuter your cats! Uptown Cats works on the population program TNR (Trapped, neutered and returned), the ASPCA does support this neuter and spaying program. It is so important that the stray cat population will be limited.


Thank you, Des Calderon for your time you sacrificed to provide me with your answers for this interview.



As a “Thank you” gift I got the most wonderful “Uptown Cats” 2015 kitty calendar from Des Calderon. All cats shown are Uptown Cat kitties and have been adopted.

Uptown cats


In case you are interested in helping Uptown Cats, please find them here:


Uptown Cats business card


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uptown.cats

Website: http://uptowncats.org/

Contact email: contact@uptowncats.org

Donations: http://uptowncats.org/donations/


I personally think it is important to help and support. And I hope with this interview I have done a little step into the right direction.


3 thoughts on “Uptown Cats – introduction

  1. Quite a noble enterprise here AJ. There must be thousands of stray cats around cities throughout the world. I’ll keep well away from the trap, neuter and return program though. 🙂


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