Animal rights activists stormed a public meeting last week demanding legal action against a fundraising event scheduled to take place locally in August. Hamptons Police Department officers were called to the meeting to maintain order.
The focus of the activists’ indignation was the 7th Annual Kitty Katapult event, which is planned for Saturday, August 12 in Napeague. The event, which is being held to raise money for Kitty Kat Kares, a charity founded by eccentric billionaire Whitney Ogden Oates III, features heavily padded cats being placed into spring-loaded catapults which are then triggered remotely to send the cats hurtling through the sky.
Promotional materials for the event say that the Kitty Katapult raises money for Kitty Kat Kares from the registration fees paid by the cats’ owners, and that prizes are awarded to cats that travel the farthest distance without significant injury. But animal rights activists allege that the Kitty Katapult has historically been a cover for illegal gambling.
“They claim to be raising money for stray cats, but Kitty Kat Kares barely exists as a charity,” says Felix Jammer. “In fact, this is an event where Whitney Oates and his rich friends show up and they spend a drunken, rowdy day shooting cats into the air and betting on which one will go the farthest!”
Oates dismissed the protests, and touted his charity’s work. “Since 2010, our organization has done wonderful things—really beautiful, beautiful things—for the strays, whom I love, by the way. We’ve provided many of them with delicious meals. I’m talking steaks, all prepared beautifully by my chefs. These protests have to stop.”
The protestors dispersed without incident.