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Sunday, April 9, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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PAWS' feline adoption center in Greenwood is the cat's meow

Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle is home to a new kind of cat shelter - one without bars or rooms full of kennels. There are no dogs yapping in the background.

PAWS Cat City, at Northeast 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue North, is a nonprofit adoption center solely for felines. About 15 cats roam through three rooms, free to climb, or sleep, where they may.

"It's a more stress-free environment for cats," said Richard Huffman, a spokesman for Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

It's also an easier setting for people to get to know the pets, he said.

"If you're looking for a high-personality cat that will run up to you, you'll see it," he said.

Most of the cats yesterday seemed more inclined to sleep. But there was a steady flow of people coming in to pet the cats and size them up for possible adoption.

Aaron Greenlee, 11, of Federal Way became a quick fan of Cat City.

It's a much better place to buy a cat, said Aaron, whose family adopted a 2-year-old gray cat with beige speckles.

"Kennels look like jail cells," Aaron said. "Here, there's a whole bunch of toys."

His family learned about the cat center from a Web site, www.paws.org, which has pictures and background information on all the animals available for adoption.

PAWS also operates an animal shelter in Lynnwood.

PAWS takes in about 2,000 cats a year at its Lynnwood site. All animals must be dropped off at that shelter. Cat City is only for adoptions, Huffman said.

It costs $75 to adopt a cat, but Huffman said PAWS spends an average of $250 to take care of each animal before it is adopted. All cats are spayed or neutered.

They also have microchips the size of a grain of rice implanted in the backs of their necks. The chips allow animal shelters to identify their owners if the cats become lost.

The pets at Cat City are either strays or animals that owners dropped off in Lynnwood, Huffman said.

The center will be open noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 206-782-1700.

Andrew Garber's phone message number is 206-464-2595. His e-mail address is agarber@seattletimes.com.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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