Microsofties likes cats, can has cat calendar for charity

Since it’s a fact the internet was invented to share pictures and videos of cats, it’s no surprise there’s a big cat following at a Microsoft. Wrapping my series of interesting projects organized by Microsoft employees to raise money for its 2011 charity giving campaign is none other than a cat calendar.

Coordinated by Karen Easterbrook of Microsoft Research, Kristi Minietta, Susan Bunch and Alex Sutton, the cat calendar is now in its fourth year – which is like 35 cat years. During last October, they received over 1,000 cat photo submissions cats by Microsoft employees which had to be spread across two editions.

The fact the calendar started from an idea on a cat-oriented mailing list is indicative of the enthusiasm from the cat community at Microsoft. Karen jokes “somehow, for four years, we have pulled this off, and had way too much fun doing it.”

Although no doubts they do it partly for the awwweee, they also support a great local cause – raising funds for the “Forget Me Not” animal shelter of Ferry County in Washington State (where Microsoft Redmond is located) which they have been supporting for several years.

Even with the calendar still selling, they are projecting to raise over $45,000 for the shelter this year with the Microsoft donation matching scheme. Their money has already helped secure dog kernels, help control feral cat colonies and support low-cost neutering for the community. It really sounds like a win-win-win relationship for the Microsofties, shelter and cats.

Between all the interesting charity projects I’ve written about this year – photobook, music album and auction, the cat calendar definitely scores highly on the cute scale.

16 insightful thoughts

    1. If you’re local you can buy the cat calendar in the Microsoft Employee store next to the Visitors Center. There’s a section of the store where apparel, logo-branded gear, and the like can be purchased by visitors without a badge, and the cat calendar is there. 🙂

  1. Just FYI, Redmond is in King County, not Ferry County. The shelter is in Republic, WA on the east side of the state, but they do rescues in the Seattle area.

  2. What a cool project, I love it! Everytime I see those, I get remembered by the website “Icanhazcheezburger”, which is one of the main parts of the net I dare.

    (Sorry for my english – no native speaker!)

  3. Mike, I believe it was a poorly worded way of saying that the Microsoft Redmond campus is located in Washington State.

  4. As a former Microsoft employee, Microsoft Cats DL member, and the owner of the gorgeous Vici (Miss January, pictured above), I can tell you that in my experience there is no more caring, solid, hard-working group than the “MCats.” These folks epitomize all that’s great about working at Microsoft, and they are the reason I want to come back, even above the great pay and benefits. The personal love and support this little group shares is a phenomenon. I am so glad they are having a brief moment in the sun here. Thanks so much for this post!

  5. If the internet was invented to” share pictures and videos of cats”. It would follow that they would be selling those calendars to the public on…..The Internet. Pass it along to those trying to raise money, it’s a no-brainer. Unless MSFT is biased to ‘locals’

    1. Thanks for this- we have discussed doing so but our challenge is in the up front printing costs, which the charity pays up front. If you work at Microsoft (in any region or country) go to our internal site http://catcalendar during October to order. For nonmicrosofties you can follow the happenings of the Cat Calendar on our Facebook Page!/pages/Cats-of-Microsoft-Calendar/121205481268263

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