Hadley Cunnyngham and Clove the cat

Hadley Cunnyngham, who is holding Clove the cat that is available for adoption at Petland, is a six-year-old cat lover who decided since her birthday falls so close to Christmas she would like to ask her friends to bring cat food to her birthday party instead of toys. She took the 73 pounds of dry cat food and 18 cans of wet food to Floyd Feline & Friends where volunteer and family friend Sarah Hallstein accepted the donation. / Murielle Cunnyngham

A local 6-year-old came up with a creative way to give back to an organization close to her heart while at the same time celebrating her birthday.

Hadley Cunnyngham’s birthday is on Jan. 3, nine days after Christmas. For some kids this might be a chance to get more, however instead of toys Hadley asked her friends and family for cat food for her birthday.

Murielle Cunnyngham, Hadley’s mom, said she has a rescue cat of her own named Boots, and their extended family hosts a total of nine rescue cats. It is a cause close to Hadley’s heart she said, and it is a proud mom moment.

Her goal was to donate all the food given to her to Floyd Feline and Friends, a local organization which focuses solely on rescuing and fixing local cats in the area. Hadley received 73 pounds of dry cat food and 18 cans of wet food at her birthday party, which she gave to Floyd Feline and Friends volunteer and former Pre-K teacher Sarah Hallstein.

Hallstein said the food will go to feeding cats the organization houses as well as feeding feral cat colonies in the local area. These colonies are made up of sterilized cats who keep the mice and rodent population down. Floyd Feline and Friends does not release any cats they have rescued into the wild.

Floyd Feline and Friends works to place cats in loving forever homes she added. Cats reproduce at a greater rate than dogs and, for some reason, the public wants to adopt dogs more than cats, said Hallstein. When someone adopts from Floyd Feline and Friends they are freeing up space for the non-profit to rescue a sick or injured cat from animal control, where it would otherwise be put down.

For those wishing to donate to Floyd Feline and Friends, Petsense in West Rome accepts donations on the organization’s behalf. The organization has cats available for adoption at both Petsense and Petland such as Clove, the cat Hadley is holding in the photo of herself and Hallstein. Adult cats sometimes make the best pets, Hallstein said, because all they want is a lap to cuddle in.