The red carpet to home

It was a star-studded affair, drawing 263 people. With the likes of "Gwyneth Pawltrow," "Colin Furth," and "Tom Cat Cruise" in attendance, and with volunteers dressed in gowns and tuxedoes, how could the ACATEMY Awards have been otherwise?

But for Alice DeVito of Ocean Township, New Jersey, who lost her two cats to old age in the past year, the glitz was all, of course, secondary. She came to the adoption event to adopt a cat. She walked away with two - sisters Daisy and Feather. Alice has since renamed Feather. Her name is now Maisey.

Daisy and Maisey were 2 of 24 cats adopted at the cat adoption event, which was organized by Best Friends and held at the Monmouth County SPCA. In addition to the all the cats available from the SPCA, there were also several cats available from four local rescue groups that participated in the event. They included Liberty Humane Society of Jersey City, Noah"s Ark Animal Welfare Association of Ledgewood, FUR Friends in Need of Hazlet and St. Hubert"s Animal Welfare Center of Madison/North Branch.

Alice adopted Daisey and Maisey from FUR Friends. She decided on adopting two cats, instead of one, after talking it over with one of FUR"s representatives and learning she could get two cats for the adoption fee of one.

"And I"m so glad I did," Alice says. "They play with each other and tumble all around. They"re just a riot to watch."

After adopting Daisy and Maisey, Alice received an ACATEMY Award statuette, a photograph and big gift bag, as did everyone who adopted at the event. She received her ACATEMY award from none other than the lovely Miss New Jersey International, Brielle LaCosta.5494432885 e994f43df1 o

"The event was a great deal of fun for everyone," says Beth Mersten Cruz, Best Friends" New York City Programs events specialist, who was pivotal in organizing the event. "The cats and adopters were truly treated like the celebrities."

Another person to adopt two cats was Best Friends" member Rita Lage of Aberdeen. She, too, had recently lost her cats to old age and was ready to open up her home and heart again. She adopted Salem from St. Hubert"s and Meredith from Noah"s Ark. She"s renamed the two Smoky and Missy. She was attracted by their black-and-white coloring and by Smoky"s laid-back demeanor.

Rita says that the two were a bit snippy with each other when they first got to their new home, but that"s changed in the past few days. "We were hoping for the best that they would get along, and they have," she says.

Rita has had several cats in the past, but Missy is the first female. "She"s such a girl," Rita says. "She sets her rules with Smoky."

Seeing cats find the perfect home, and the perfect mates, gives Beth a gratifying feeling. "It makes all the work involved in running an event like this truly worthwhile," she says

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Photos courtesy of The Art of the Rescue